Kodi for FTV (UPDATED: 11/11/2015)

On a tip from aftvnews.com, I decided to install FireStarter and Kodi on a Fire TV Stick.  As I type this out, I am repeating the process on a second stick because my WIFE has taken custody of the first one.  Yes, WAF for this enhancement is very high.  Here’s why…

After installing in this manner, the FTV Stick still comes up as it always did.  Jumping into Kodi is as easy as pressing the home button.  Double pressing the home button returns to FTV mode.  Adding sources is fairly simply as well and navigating the sources is intuitive.  Once inside a source, you often have the option to Play From Here which plays every file at the source beginning with the selected file.  So, navigate to Food Network, scroll down to Barefoot Contessa, and Play From Here for hours of fun.

This post will guide you step by step through the installation process.  If you are a visual person, scroll down to the bottom where I have linked Mr. Craig’s excellent YouTube video of the process.  Let’s get started…

  1. Download Kodi (choose Android ARM), ADB, and FireStarter.
  2. Power up your Fire TV Stick, scroll down to Settings, select System, select Developer Options, set ADB Debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources to On (OK the warning).
  3. Still in System, navigate to About, scroll down to Network, and note your IP address.
  4. Extract the contents of adbfw128.zip into a folder on your PC and run adbFire.exe.
    • adbFire will check for updates.  If one is found, download the new version, close the old version, and extract and run the new version.
    • adbFire takes nearly a minute to load.  Do not open adbFire a second time while the first instance is loading.
  5.  Click the Stop ADB button.
  6. Click the New button.
  7. Enter the IP address and a description for the Fire TV Stick you are installing Kodi on.
  8. Click the Save button.
  9. Click the Connect Button.
  10. Click the Install APK button.
  11. Browse to the FireStarter APK and install it.
  12. Browse to the Kodi APK and install it.
  13. Still in System on your Fire TV Stick, select Applications then Manage Installed Applications.
  14. Select FireStarter then Launch Application.
  15. Arrow Left then down to Settings in FireStarter.
  16. Arrow Right and select Startup Application then select No Action and go back to the previous menu.
  17. Select Home Button Single Click Application and select Kodi.
  18. Scroll down to Home Button Double Click Application and select Fire TV Home

That’s it.  Kodi is installed.  Let’s configure Kodi…

  1. Scroll to System then Settings then System, select Audio Output then Play GUI Sounds, and select Never.
  2. Press the Return button until you are at the Kodi home screen.
  3. Select Videos, then Add-ons, then Get more.
  4. Scroll through the list of Add-ons selecting any add-on you would like to enable.

To watch Kodi on your Fire TV, simply press the Home button once, scroll to VIDEOS, and press Ad-ons.  Enjoy!

Bonus #1: Install a repository of add-ons (from tech radar)…

  1. Start Kodi.
  2. Select SYSTEM then File Manager.
  3. Select Add Source and enter http://fusion.tvaddons.ag as the path to the media location.
  4. Enter Fusion as the name for the media source and click the OK button.
  5. Back out to the Kodi main page and select SYSTEM then Settings then Add-ons.
  6. Select Install from zip file, select fusion, select ‘start-here’, and select ‘plugin.program.addoninstaller-1.2.0.zip’ (the version may change with time).
  7. Back out to the Kodi main page and select PROGRAMS then Program add-ons then Addon Installer.
  8. Select an ADD-ONS category, select an add-on, navigate to the add-on, and select install.
  9. Select OK when the install is complete.
  10. Return to the Kodi main screen, select VIDEOS then Add-ons and you should see your new add-ons listed.

Bonus #2: Add shortcuts to Kodi’s home screen (from All Things Tech)…

  1. Start Kodi.
  2. Select SYSTEM then Settings then Appearance
  3. Select Skin then -Settings
  4. Select Add-on Shortcuts
  5. Fill the slots with tour favorite add-ons and exit to the main screen.

References: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_gkSeGBJP4

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23 comments on “Kodi for FTV (UPDATED: 11/11/2015)

  1. Yep certainly do…

    I installed it on both my firetv sticks and love it

    Previously I was using firedtv but it wouldnt keep the home page persistent…. not like Firestarter does. Thats the key!

    Now why I really like it?

    Silicondust has their Beta HDhomerun DVR which works with their Hdhomerun Tuners and can be installed and running on a NAS. I purchased a 2 Tb WD Cloud Nas for $79 off woot and installed the hdhomerun dvr on it. You can run this DVR software on some fairly low cost NAS’s.

    With networked hdhr tuner and nas I can record shows on nas and playback via kodi or plex. I prefer plex for playback…. but my NAS is not powerful enough to run plex server, so I use kodi on the ftv. One day i plan on getting one of the intel base quad core Qnap NAS, but the Hdhr dvr software runs fine, but Plex server needs more powerful NAS.

    With your posting here the firetv interface is now so nicely seamless and you can access kodi and play the hdhr dvr add on.

    The hdhr dvr interface is not highly WAF at this time IMO though… but its very Beta and there is hope. And with using firetv stick now with firestarter and kodi and hdhomerun dvr I am excited about the prospects.

    One other thing, i installed via AGK Fire…. you install that on your android device (phone, tablet, etc) and select which firestick by ip address and then sideload any app on the device to the firetv. Very easy!

    Great post and thanks! More firesticks on the way!

    Like

    • The short answer is no. There are things on cable which cannot be pulled off the internet. Kodi, however, may be good enough for you or may be part of an alternative to cable. That’s what Kodi is for me.

      We primarily rely on an antenna for television reception. That brings us prime time programming, a lot of independent channels, sports (especially the NFL), and local programming. We use Netflix and Prime to access ‘premium’ programming (we recently signed up for Prime for shipping and discounts, but it looks like it will replace Netflix for premium content as well). Streamers like the Roku and Fire TV pull files off internet sites. A lot of cable channels have companion sites which feature some or all of their programming. Some require cable credentials, others do not.

      That said, there is a lot of programming out there that you will not find on cable. You can find sports and movie feeds from all over the world. It’s a great adventure. Have fun!

      Like

  2. If running Kodi on Firetv Stick and encountering audio sync issues, try disabling the hardware acceleration under Settings > Video (select advanced options)

    Got fire sticks on black friday for all the tvs in the house and sent rokus packing

    Like

    • Hi Len..

      I have an hdhomerun prime and cablecard… we havent cut the cord totally because there is no competition here for internet so to get the speed I need for internet for work the bundle pricing for cable tv, internet and phone is $30 more than just internet alone which is about $76 (35 mbps/2 mbps)

      But you can use either hdhomerun connect or extend for OTA. I would probably go with hdhomerun extend as that transcodes the stream to h.264 thus taking the transcoding burden off any devices you use.

      The main tv where we watch primarily is served by Tivo Roamio and a Tivo HD.The Tivo HD is OTA and the Roamio is cablecard, the Tivo HD is backup in case cable goes out. Both tivo’s have lifetime subscription… the fire sticks are for servicing tv to rest of the house.

      Now I run Windows Media Center ona home theater pc (HTPC) but as MCE is going away (microsoft has quit selling media center for win8.1!) also installed Next PVR on the same htpc in testing for roll out to production. NextPVR works well with Schedules Direct and I paid $25 @ year for EPG and as Brighthouse in central FL does not DRM the channels I get all channels

      I also have the Hdhomerun DVR running on a WD Mycloud NAS on network also in user acceptance testing. Both the NextPVR and Hdhomerun DVR use Kodi as client software…. I have sideloaded the kodi android client to firetv sticks situated around the house at different tvs (guest bedroom, master bedroom, office) and use hdhomerun dvr and next pvr add ons in kodi to watch tv there. The hdhomerun dvr is beta sw, the user interface is not the best, some guy named tvjunkie has a modded add on which provides more gridlike epg and I use that.

      I was looking for wireless client devices and the firetv devices do a great job with that, I have a neatgear blackhawk router that has a pretty good wireless signal strength. In retrospect I feel i should have got the firetv box instead of the stick, the box has more memory and stronger cpu because the stick will have some minor abberations in the picture at times but for occassional viewing purposes the fire sticks are ok.

      Again I am looking at adding hdhomerun extend for OTA to add on top of my existing infrastructure.

      All in all I would have preferred to stay with windows mce, but microsft is going away with that in a few years.

      There is an older gentleman on youtube with videos he posted on testing several client android stick and pc nuc’s and with his grand daughter they demonstrate various devices and kodi and hdhomerun. Google Ronnie Bailey on youtube and you will see his videos (https://m.youtube.com/#/user/clarkss12), he shows the interface for kodi and various apps and devices if you want to see what the hdhomerun app and tvjunkie mods are like

      If you have any questions ping me but you should consider network tuner like hdhomerun extend, its a lot better experience than our old simpletv and being able to watch practically anywhere in the house with that is pretty good

      Preston

      Like

  3. HI Len, yeah Ronnie does a pretty good job on just running a $30 android stick with open elec installed on it. I am checking that out too, but since I know you like the firetv sticks I posted that update.

    Like

  4. Thank you I was able to install it but how do I get the additional add ons that you suggest. I don’t know how to bring up the text box to type it in

    Like

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