XBMC

Kodi Setup Guide

How to Set Up Kodi: The Essential Kodi Setup Guide

I’ve had so many questions from you, my readers, about how to setup Kodi so I decided to put together my Kodi Setup Guide.

There’s no doubt that Kodi is the media frontend. Whether you’ve got a HTPC or an Android TV box, Kodi is a must-install application on your streaming device to give you the best multimedia experience.

“How to Set Up Kodi: The Essential Kodi 17.0 Setup Guide” will take you through the installation and configuration to ensure you get the best out of your Kodi setup.

Whether you’re wondering how to setup Kodi on Android, Windows or even LibreELEC, the process is essentially identical regardless of platform so my guide’s got your back!

With that out of the way, let’s get started.

What’s in this Kodi Guide?

What is Kodi?

At its core, Kodi (previously known as XBMC) is a media player that plays back an impressive array of multimedia, including videos, music and images.

However, calling Kodi just a media player would be doing it a massive disservice.

Kodi also features a 10-foot user interface that’s designed for use on TVs and with remote controls.

It also handles streaming media from a wide variety of sources, including local and network storage, AirPlay, UPnP and the internet.

It’s incredibly user friendly, insanely customisable and immensely powerful.

Kodi Background

Whilst Kodi seems new and shiny, it comes with an exceptional legacy behind it.

Kodi is actually the new name for XBMC. XBMC started back in 2003, as an evolution of the Xbox Media Player on the Microsoft’s original Xbox, acting as an intuitive frontend to media playback and games on the newly hacked console.

As time progressed and the original Xbox was phased out of production, Xbox Media Centre outgrew its roots.

As part of the movement away from its console heritage, the software re-branded as XBMC and was usable on a variety of platforms. Over the years, it has grown immensely popular due to its combination of stability, diverse features and immense customizability.

However, its legacy has caused issues with some referring to it as Xbox Media Center rather than XBMC – whilst an innocent mistake, the use of Microsoft’s trademark potentially put fans in Microsoft’s crosshairs. Thus, Kodi was born.

That’s enough history, let’s get on to setting up Kodi…

Organise your Multimedia First

Before you start setting up Kodi, it’s important that you get all your media files in order.

Kodi will use filenames and paths, as well as information stored inside files (called metadata) to work out what they are. If you don’t have your files organised properly, Kodi won’t be able to recognise them properly.

Organising your media files is a surprisingly in-depth topic which I’ll cover in another guide. For now, I’ll share my preferred layout for multimedia to keep everything super organised.

Each media type should be organised into its own folder for easy cataloging. For example, I’ve got separate folders for Movies, TV Shows, Music, and Pictures.

I use the same layout whether the files are stored on my HTPC or my server. This makes it really easy when I’m looking for something in particular

Organising TV Shows

When organising your TV shows, I recommend using the following layout:

/TV Shows/{TV Show Name}/Season XX/{TV Show Name}.SXXEXX.{Episode Name}.{Filetype}

Where XX is the appropriate Season or Episode number according to TheTVDB.com.

So for example, if we picked the first episode of one of my favorite TV shows “Family Guy”:

/TV Shows/Family Guy/Season 1/Family Guy.S01E01.Death has a Shadow.mp4

If you’ve got what TheTVDB calls a Special (like a holiday special that’s not considered part of the season), put them in as Season 0 and the episode number as per TheTVDB.

Going back to my Family Guy example, if we had the “Family Guy 100th Episode Special“, it’s path would be:

/TV Shows/Family Guy/Specials/Family Guy.S00E09.Family Guy 100th Episode Special.mp4

It’s pretty straight forward thankfully though using a tool like TVRename can handle a lot of the hard work for you.

Organising Movies

For movies, I typically prefer to have each movie inside its own folder. This is because it allows me to all related files such as cover art together:

/Movies/{Movie Name} ({Year})/{Movie Name} ({Year}).{Filetype}

I always include the year as Hollywood has a tendency to recycle names which causes confusion (thanks Ghostbusters (2016)!).

As an example, let’s take Star Wars: A New Hope:

/Movies/Star Wars – A New Hope (1977)/Star Wars – A New Hope (1977).mp4

Any other files relating to Star Wars: A New Hope would also go in that folder.

Organising Music

Unlike video files, music files (typically MP3s) can store information about the music inside them in what’s known as an ID3 tag.

An ID3 tag is holds information about a music file such as the Artist, Album Name, Track Name, Track Number and more.

If you’re music files are missing tags, a tag editor such as MusicBee (my personal favorite) or TagScanner can help fill in the gaps.

Kodi will actually use this information to build its music library but it’s still useful to keep your music files in a logical folder layout.

If your music files are tagged correctly, many music managers can even organise your files into folders for you!

I like to organise music by Album Artist and Album for easy cataloguing:

/Music/{Artist}/{Album Artist} ({Year})/{Track Number} – {Track Name}.{Filetype}

For example:

/Music/Alkaline Trio/Crimson (2005)/01 – Time to Waste.mp3

For compilation albums, I set the Album Artist as “Various Artists” as there are separate artist and album artist tags.

Now let’s get on to setting up Kodi!

How to Install Kodi 17

Kodi is available on a massive array of platforms, such as Windows, Linux, Mac and Android, so you can download Kodi 17.0 from a variety of sources.

The latest version of Kodi available is currently Kodi 17.1 Krypton.

Just head over to the Kodi Download page and download Kodi 17.1 for your platform of choice.

If you’re on a Windows 10 PC, you can download Kodi from the Windows Store.

Just open the Windows Store app, search for Kodi and click the green install button.

Downloading Kodi from the Windows Store is the best option if you’re on Windows 10, as the Microsoft Store will keep the app updated automatically so you’ll always have the latest version.

Those on Android can grab it from Google Play. Much like the Microsoft Store release, Google Play will ensure Kodi is automatically updated as new versions are released.

For the sake of this guide, I’m going to use Kodi 17.1 Krypton as it’s the latest version of Kodi available.

If you’re using the Windows installer, make sure you leave the installer set to a “Full” installation – This will install all relevant files and will offer you the most painless setup experience.

The installer will complete after some time and you will be ready to start!

Launch Kodi

Launch Kodi and you should see the Kodi splashscreen after a few moments:

Before you know it, you’ll be seeing Kodi’s Home page with the new (and very stylish!) “Estuary” skin:

Setting Up Kodi

Now that you’ve installed it, it’s time to set up Kodi.

To access all of Kodi’s settings (and there’s a lot!), simply select the Gear icon on the homepage:

Change Language and Regional Settings

Kodi should automatically set the time for your based on your streaming device’s clock.

However, Kodi will typically default to a US region. If you’re not in the US (like this particular Aussie), navigate to Interface Settings>Regional to adjust your Region preferences.

Kodi Setup - Regional Settings
No more farenheit for me!

Here you can select your language and “Region Default Format“. This will change the most common regional settings such as time, temperature and speed units.

Configure Weather Settings

Kodi can show weather forecasts and other weather information. I’ll admit it’s come in pretty handy when deciding if the weather is nice enough to break my binge watching session!

To set up Weather for your area, navigate to Settings>Service Settings>Weather and select “Service for weather information“.

Kodi doesn’t come with any weather services out of the box so you’ll be presented with an empty window:

Select “Get More…” to see all the weather providers Kodi supports.

There’s a few providers available so I’ll pick Yahoo Weather as it’s the easiest to set up.

Kodi will automatically download and install the weather service for you.

Now select “Settings” to configure it. It’ll show you up to 5 locations you can monitor. Let’s set one up for now:

Select “Location 1” and type in your nearest location. I’ve picked Tokyo as an example. You’ll get some suggestions of possible locations. Just pick the one that’s closest to you:

Repeat the process for any other locations you want then click OK to save them.

Now if you go to the Weather menu on your home screen, Kodi will show you the current weather and a forecast for the week. Neat huh?

Enable Some Other Important Settings

There’s a few settings that I strongly suggest you enable so you get the most out of your streaming device.

Now some of these settings are hidden in the Basic settings level so you’ll need to enable Standard settings or above.

To do this, open one of the Settings menus and look for a gear icon and the word Basic in the bottom left corner.

Select that until it changes to Standard or above and more settings will appear.

Enable Automatic Refresh Rate Switching

Kodi offers automatic refresh rate switching which basically syncs your display (like your TV) refresh rate to that of your video.

Without going into too much detail, it’ll make your videos look much better if your streaming device supports it.

If you’ve got a Windows HTPC or Linux-based Kodi distribution running, you should be all good.

Those using Android TV boxes, this may or may not work depending on your firmware. That said, devices such as the Nvidia Shield and WeTek Hub will definitely work.

To enable automatic framerate switching, you’ll need to go to Settings>Player Settings and select “Adjust display refresh rate” and change this to “On Start/Stop“.

This means that when you start playing a video, if it’s framerate doesn’t match well with your display’s refresh rate, Kodi will try and change your display’s refresh rate to match the video and restore it after you stop the video.

This leads to much smoother looking video, particularly if you’re watching movies.

Enable Audio Passthrough

If you’ve got a device that supports audio decoding such as an amplifier, I’d recommend you enable audio passthrough to get the most out of your setup.

Navigate to Settings>System Settings>Audio and enable “Allow Passthrough“.

This will let Kodi pass through multichannel audio directly to your amplifier for decoding, allowing you to experience surround sound if your video has a multi-channel audio track.

Enable UPnP

Kodi is designed to be a comprehensive media solution and being able to stream multimedia like movies and music to it via UPnP is awesome.

To enable UPnP playback, navigate to Settings>Services Settings>UPnP/DLNA and select “Allow remote control via UPnP“.

Kodi will now appear as a UPnP Renderer in supported apps so you can use apps like BubbleUPnP to stream videos directly to Kodi from other devices and even control playback.

I often use it to show music and videos from my smartphone on the big screen.

Enable AirPlay

If you’ve got any Apple devices, I’d recommend enabling AirPlay to allow you to stream music and videos to Kodi using Apple’s proprietary streaming technology.

First, you’ll need to make sure you have Zeroconf enabled under Settings>Services Settings>General. Turn on “Announce services to other systems” to enable it.

Now, go to Settings>Services Settings>AirPlay and enable “Enable AirPlay Support

Please note that as Kodi is using an unofficial AirPlay solution, certain features may not work.

Enable Remote Control Support for Remote Apps

If you’re wanting to use your smartphone as a Kodi remote using apps like Kore or Yatse, you’ll need to enable Remote Control support.

Go to Settings>Services Settings>Control and select “Allow remote control via HTTP“.

Now, you’re remote apps should be able to find your Kodi installation and control it.

Setting Up Your Media

What is the Media Library?

Kodi organises all your media by using a Media Library.

The media library is basically a database that houses a list of all your multimedia files such as movies and TV shows, along with other information about them.

This other information is called meta-data and includes things such as the year, actors and plots.

In order to get files into Kodi’s media library, you’ll need to tell Kodi where all your media files are.

The great thing about Kodi is that it doesn’t care where or how your media files are stored. So if all your movies are stored locally on your streaming device or you want to stream movies from your server, all you need to do is tell Kodi where your files are and it’ll handle the rest.

Adding Video Sources (i.e. TV Shows and Movies)

Go to Movies on your Home Screen. As no movies have been added yet, Kodi will take you to the Files section to add your sources.

Select Add Source and browse to the directory where you’re keeping your files. Let’s do movies as an example:

You can click on “<None>” if you want to enter the path manually or Browse to choose the folder that contains your videos:

You’ll notice that the Browse menu contains both your local storage and networking sources. Kodi doesn’t care where your files are stored, it just needs to know where they are.

For example, if your files are on a Samba share on your server, just pick “Windows network (SMB)” and enter your share’s details to add it to Kodi.

Kodi will suggest a name for the media source based on the folder name. However, you can enter your own if you prefer.

Once you’ve chosen your media source and named it, click OK to save:

Now, Kodi needs to know what type of videos the folder contains. Choose This directory contains to tell Kodi what type of content it has in there such as movies or TV shows.

I’ve picked Movies in this example so Kodi will find the metadata (known as scraping) from The Movie Database:

There’s also scanning options to help improve accuracy depending on your folder layout.

Kodi will then prompt you if you want to refresh your library. Say “Yes” and Kodi will get to work “scraping” your videos and finding matching movie titles:

It’ll also download the appropriate metadata, as well as any cover art. Thanks to Kodi, your movie library won’t just be organised, it’ll look great too!

This process can take a while depending on the number of files you have and the speed of your internet connection.

Thankfully, Kodi can do this in the background so you can keep using Kodi while it does its thing.

When it’s all done, selecting Movies on the Home Screen will show you a list of all your movies organised in alphabetical order, along with appropriate cover art:

Adding Music Sources

Setting up music follows the same basic process as adding video sources, just with less options.

Enter the Music section on the Home screen then navigate to Files>Add music… and pick your music folder just as you did when you added your videos folder:

Click OK and accept the prompt to refresh the library:

You’ll notice you didn’t need to tell Kodi what was in the folder as there’s no sub-types of music according to Kodi’s media library.

After Kodi has finished refreshing the library, you’ll see your albums (and any embedded cover art) appearing on the Home screen when you hover over Music:

Adding Picture Sources

By now, you should have got the hang of adding media sources. Pictures are no different.

Enter the Pictures section on the Home screen then select Add pictures… and choose your Pictures folder as you did for your music and video folders:

This time there’s no refreshing but opening Pictures will show you thumbnails of all your images to browse.

Customising Kodi

Install Add-Ons

Kodi supports addons which are plugins that can greatly extend Kodi’s abilities.

There’s an impressive array available, both official and unofficial, covering everything from new video streaming services to torrent clients.

Out of the box, Kodi comes with a few popular ones such as YouTube to allow you to get up and running quickly.

Let’s install the Red Bull TV addon from the official Kodi repository which will let us stream videos from Red Bull’s service.

First, navigate to Add-ons and select “Install from repository”:

Browse to the Kodi Add-on you want to install. I’ve picked “Red Bull TV” but there’s hundreds in Kodi’s official repository:

Select it and Kodi will show you some details about the Addon as well as an Install button.

After you’ve clicked Install, Kodi will then download the add-on and any dependencies for you. You should see it appear on your list of add-ons on the Home screen.

Install New Skins

If you’re not happy with the default Estuary skin, the Kodi community has produced an amazing array of alternative skins.

To install a new skin, go to Settings>Interface Settings>Skin and select “Skin“.

Kodi will now show you a list of installed Skins. If you’re wanting to change your current skin to one you’ve previously installed, pick it now:

Otherwise, select “Get More…” and Kodi will fetch a list of all the skins available in the official Kodi repository.

Pick one that you like the look of from List. My favorites skins are Amber and Aeon Nox so I’ve picked Amber for this guide.

Kodi will download and install the skin, as well as any add-on dependencies that it needs:

Once that’s done, it’ll ask if you want to keep the new skin. Confirm and you’ll have your stylish new skin:

Check out Amber in all its minimalist glory!

Skins can be customised by going into “Configure skin…“. Each skin has its own settings you can tweak so I recommend playing around to see what you like.

Tweak Main Menu Items

Kodi offers a massive array of items on the main menu. However, you may not use all of them.

Let’s say you don’t have a TV tuner on your HTPC so you don’t want the TV menu.

Just navigate to Settings>Skin Settings>Main menu items and toggle the “TV” item to remove it from the home screen:

You can also make further adjustments, such as toggling Category shortcuts and more! Play around to customise the Home menu to your liking.

Enjoy Kodi

Phew, that was a long guide!

Now, Kodi’s such a massive beast and there’s plenty more to configure and tweak.

That said, my Kodi set up guide should have got you to the point where you can actually enjoy Kodi and what it can do.

All you need to do is grab the popcorn, sit back and enjoy the Kodi experience!

If you’re wanting more information, I’d highly recommend checking out the official Kodi Forums and Kodi wiki as they really are a wealth of information – particularly if you’re after information on some of the more technical or obscure elements of Kodi.

Have fun with Kodi!

Did you have any trouble setting up Kodi? Was there anything else you want me to cover? Let me know in the comments below!

SPMC XBMC Android

How To Setup SPMC On Android – The Essential Guide

SPMC is an exciting development in the world of Android for Kodi, having recently been unleashed onto the world. An unofficial fork of the Kodi project, SPMC provides a number of fixes and features for specific Android chipsets and devices, offering improved performance over the official Android Kodi release.

Our guide will answer the important SPMC vs Kodi question, show you how to set up SPMC for your Android device and correctly configure it to get the perfect Android Kodi experience.

At the time of writing, the latest version of SPMC is SPMC 16.7.0 based on Kodi 16.1 Jarvis.

 What Is SPMC? How Is It Related To Kodi?

SPMC is “an unofficial spinoff of the official Kodi app

Semper Media Center, officially known as SPMC for short, is an “an unofficial spinoff of the official Kodi app” by Team Kodi Developer Chris Browet. Whilst it is based on the same code as the official Kodi software, SPMC incorporates a number of fixes and improvements for specific Android devices and chipsets that were deemed too specific to be incorporated into the main code base.

Thus, SPMC and Kodi are incredibly closely related – even sharing a developer. Regardless of which version of Kodi you use, either SPMC or Kodi, you will get the same fantastic experience.

SPMC vs Kodi: What’s the Difference?

SPMC incorporates specific Android fixes and improvements too specific for the main code base

You’re probably wondering “what’s the difference between SPMC vs Kodi?”

SPMC brings all Kodi features and provides some additional Android-specific fixes.

Some of the changes include:

  • Registration as an Android launcher
  • AC3/DTS passthrough
  • Better H/W acceleration via private API
  • OUYA specifics
  • Enhancements for Amlogic and Rockchip devices

A number of users have found that the latest SPMC builds perform better on their Android TV box than stock Kodi.

The good news is you don’t need to choose SPMC or Kodi as both Android apps have their own app IDs. This means you can have both SPMC and Kodi installed on your Android device at the same time and simply use whichever works best.

How to Install SPMC On Your Android TV Box

SPMC-Download-Website

SPMC for Android can easily be downloaded and installed onto your Android device in several ways. Visiting spmc.semperpax.com offers download links to the latest SPMC APK (Android Package File), Google Play and Amazon Appstore.

The latest SPMC build at the time of writing is SPMC 16.7.0 based on Kodi 16.1 Jarvis.

Install SPMC using the SPMC APK

Download the SPMC APK file and copy to your device if you downloaded it on your computer. Select the APK and follow the prompts to install it. You may need to enable installation from external sources in order to complete the SPMC installation.

Install SPMC from Google Play or the Amazon Appstore

Simply search for SPMC and select Install. If you are downloading it via the Amazon Appstore, you may need to enable installation from external sources, as needed for the APK installation.

First Boot of SPMC

XMBC-Confluence

Open the SPMC app via your launcher to boot SPMC. After a brief initial setup process, you’ll see the familiar Confluence Kodi screen.

Setting Up Media Sources in SPMC

Adding a Video source

Connecting a video source is easy:

  1. Navigate to “Videos>Files>Add Videos…”
  2. Select Browse to see a list of possible locations
    • For local video sources (For example, videos on your device or SD card), select “Android videos” or “External Storage” respectively
    • Remote locations can also be added (For example, videos stored on a NAS). For network sources, you may need to type the path to your source (i.e. smb://[Your-Server]/[Your-Video-Path]/, where [Your-Server] is your server name or IP address and [Your-Video-Path] is
      the path to your videos)
  3. Specify what’s in that folder, such as movies or TV shows. Kodi will scrape the media accordingly, downloading information such as release date and fanart.

Adding a Music source

Adding a music source is basically the same as for video:

  1. Navigate to “Music>Files>Add Music…”
  2. Choose your Local and Remote music sources as above

Enable Airplay

XBMC-Airplay-Settings

Airplay support can be enabled via “System>Services>AirPlay” and enable “Allow Kodi to receive AirPlay content”

Bringing SPMC to a TV

Connecting your Android device to your TV depends on whether your device offers HDMI out.

The easiest way to use SPMC on your TV is to buy an Android TV box which can be connected directly to your TV. Android TV boxes are available for a wide variety of budgets so you’re likely to find something that meets your needs. Check out my Best Android TV box guide for my picks.

Alternatively, many new smartphones and tablets can output video via integrated HDMI out or MHL ports. With a MHL cable, you can connect a standard HDMI cable from your phone’s MHL port to the HDMI port on your TV. This means you will have high definition video and audio on your TV straight from your phone.

Controlling Your Device Remotely

XBMC Remote Control Settings

As SPMC is based on the same code base as XMBC, all Kodi remote apps should be compatible. To enable remote support, go to “System>Services>Remote control” and ensure that “Allow programs on other systems to control Kodi” is enabled.

For those with an Android device, we recommend Yatse. Not only is it a stunning application, it works perfectly and has a heap of powerful features such as voice commands and widget support.

  • Download Yatse from the Google Play store here. Please support the developer and buy the Unlocker inside the app to unlock more features.
  • iOS users can download the Official Kodi Remote app from iTunes here

Much like Kodi, there’s plenty more to set up in SPMC. If you’re wanting to learn how to setup Kodi, I recommend checking out my detailed Kodi setup guide which offers plenty of tips and tricks that apply to SPMC on Android.

How did you go setting up SPMC? What do you think of SPMC vs Kodi? Let me know in the comments!

Photo Credit: SPMC Homepage

Kodi 14.2 Final Unleashed. Brings Bug Fixes

Our favorite HTPC frontend Kodi has just reached version 14.2. This is primarily a bug fix release. However, some of the bugs fixed were quite significant – particularly those affecting stability on Windows PCs.

I’ve provided the official changelog below:

  • Fix: Application stopped responding on Windows
  • Fix: Gap-less playback on MP3
  • Fix: Playback of rtmp protocol
  • Fix: Scanning of newly added episodes
  • Fix: Fix multipath source scanning
  • Fix: Loading external subtitles in some cases
  • Fix: packaging of PIL module on Android. This fixes some script error when using weather add-on
  • Fix: Fix video playback on all platform after refresh rate change
  • Fix: Various bugs that were present in PVR add-ons.
  • Fix: Save weather location
  • Fix: Fix filtering of foreign add-ons
  • Fix: ftps handling
  • Fix: use LastWrite instead of ChangeTime for file system on Windows
  • Feature: Bump OSX SDK to 10.10

I’ve installed KODI 14.2 on my HTPC and feels more stable so far, as I’d have some regular crashes under -Kodi 14.1.

To get the latest version, hit up the Kodi download page here.

Share your experience!

How is Kodi 14.2 working for you? Does it feel more stable?

[via Kodi]
Rikomagic-MK12-Review-Featured

Rikomagic MK12 Review

Every month, we see new Android boxes come out and Rikomagic is no exception. Having made waves with a number of their earlier Android devices, Rikomagic have established themselves as one of the leaders in the Android mini PC space.

The Rikomagic MK12 is their new Android mini PC. Powered by the Amlogic S812 chipset,  the MK12 is armed with a quadcore CP and octacore Mali-450 GPU like its Amlogic S802 predecessors. However, it’s also learned some new tricks, bring H.265 video decoding and Gigabit Ethernet to the table.

Read moreRikomagic MK12 Review

MeegoPad T01

MeegoPad T01 Windows Mini PC Impressions

Intel are starting to make waves in the tablet space, with x86 processors appearing more frequently. Now, it’s starting to move into mini PCs. The combination of cheaper Intel chipsets and Windows licences has bred devices like the MeegoPad T01. The MeegoPad T01 is a Intel Bay Trail-powered Atom PC with the familiar “Android Stick” form factor. Armed with a quadcore 1.33 GHz processor, this tiny stick is capable of running both Android 4.4 and Windows 8 in a dual OS configuration!

MeegoPad T01 Specifications

  • Chipset: Intel Atom Z3735F  “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz (Bust freq: 1.83 GHz) with Intel HD graphics Gen 7 (2W TDP)
  • RAM: 2 GB DDR3L-1333 (64-bit up to 10.6 GB/s)
  • Storage: 16 or 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot up to 64GB
  • Video & Audio Output: HDMI 1.4
  • Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (Realtek RTL8723BS)
  • USB:  2x micro USB ports, 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Other Features: Power button
  • OS: Windows 8/Android 4.4 (Dual Boot)

MeegoPad T01 Impressions

This is a very exciting product as it combines  cheap hardware and the allows you to run Windows which eliminates many of the limitations with Android-based devices such as getting the right drivers for peripherals. Additionally, getting Netflix and other streaming apps working should be much easier, as often embedded platforms don’t always support the required DRM. It’s also capable of loading Android 4.4.2.

Whilst the Atom Z3735F isn’t necessarily the fastest chip around, it should be ideal for handling XBMC/Kodi, media playback, web browsing and even some light gaming. You can see CPUBoss’ benchmarks here.

The inclusion of a power button is a small thing but something that I find very exciting as I don’t always like having my media players running all the time so this addition is incredibly welcome and strangely rare in the Mini PC world.

I personally want to get my hands on a MeegoPad T01 as I love the idea of having a tiny Windows media center that I can take around with me.

MeegoPad T01 Video

MeegoPad T01 Images

To get more information on the MeegoPad T01, please follow the link to the product page.

Do you like the look of the MeegoPad T01? Is this something you’d want to use as your HTPC? Let us know in the comments below.

Kodi 14 RC Splash Screen

Kodi 14.0 Release Candidate Milestone Reached

Kodi 14.0 has finally reached the Release Candidate milestone. This is an exciting point in development, as it means development will fix to primarily bug fixing and the inevitable upcoming release.

Key changes in Kodi 14.0 are:

  • Support for H.265 software decoding via FFmpeg 2.4.3
  • Improvements to the Kodi library – Both in terms of speed and UPNP compatibility
  • The ability to disable auto-updating add-ons
  • International on-screen keyboards
  • Improved Android support including support for newer chips such as the Amlogic S802
  • Support for ATSC sub-channels

As usual, you can download the Kodi 14.0 Release Candidate from the Kodi downloads page.

[via Kodi]
Mk808B Plus Android Mini PC

MK808B Plus Android Mini PC Impressions

CNX Software has reported on the release of the MK808B Plus. This new Android Mini PC uses an Amlogic M805 quad core CPU coupled with a quad core Mali-450MP GPU and runs Android 4.4.2. Hardware H.265 decoding and Miracast support are two of the big draws of this device, meaning the unit will be capable of playing pretty much anything you throw at it. Furthermore, the MK808B Plus appears to be the cheapest hardware H.265 player available currently at under $50.

View the MK808B Plus at Geekbuying

MK808B Plus Specifications

According to the manufacturer, the MK808B Plus specifications are:

  • CPU: Amlogic  M805 Quad-Core 1.5G (Cortex-A5)
  • GPU: Quad-Core Mali-450 GPU
  • System Memory: 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage: 8 GB NAND flash and a micro SD slot supporting up to 32GB
  • Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (Internal Antenna) and Bluetooth 4.0.
  • Video & Audio Output: mini HDMI 1.4b
  • USB: 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x mini USB OTG port, 1x mini USB for power
  • Power Supply: 2A 5V Power Supply

MK808B Plus Included

The device comes packaged exactly the same as the older MK808B. Inside the box, you receive a mini HDMI to HDMI cable, micro USB OTG cable, power adapter with micro USB cable and the user manual. The user interface appears to be the MediaBox user interface seen on other Amlogic S805 devices and comes preloaded with XBMC. At this stage, there is no word as to whether or not Linux can be run on the device but I remain hopeful. HDMI CEC is also an unknown at this point.

Geekbuying has already performed some benchmarking on the device, returning an Antutu score of 16601 which is quite good. The device also appears to natively display at 1080p which is an exciting development. Anyone who’s owned one of these Android boxes has probably felt the pain of being limited to 720p without delving into the world of custom roms and kernels.

The recommended retail price of the MK808B Plus is approximately $50 and is available from Geekbuying. Geekbuying will be running a promotion on from the 19th of November, selling the device for $10 of the normal price for only $39.99.

I’ve already placed an order for one so keep an eye out for my review when it arrives.

View the MK808B Plus at Geekbuying

[via CNX-Software]