The day many of us have been waiting for is finally here. The final release candidate of Kodi 14.0 Helix has been released! Christmas came a little bit early for us as the candidate was released on the 23rd of December. We have outlined the process of how this media center is developed in other articles, so in this one we will go over the great features included in this update. Stay tuned for much more content in 2015 as the new Kodi Element Android TV Box will be released very soon!
The library will be quicker on the input and output sides. For input, the scanning will be getting a huge boost of speed, meaning the initial scan of Android and IOS systems will be a much higher quality. For output, work is continuing on UPnp integration. UPnp, or Universal Plug and Play is a set of networking protocols that permits networking devices to seamlessly find each other’s presence to establish network services for data sharing. The communication between Kodi UPnp users and servers continues to get better allowing for better sharing.
Cutting edge Video Codecs
The Kodi update will use FFmpeg 2.4.4 meaning users will be able to play back h.265(also known as HEVC) and VP9 video codecs. This upgrade could mean much smaller video files that are the exact same high level of quality as the previous, larger files. A 1 GB file could be cut in half to 500 MB. This will be particularly useful for users with large libraries or those interested in 4K quality video.
More User Control
A big change with this update will be control of add-on updates. Users of Kodi will now be able to prevent add-ons from updating without a forced update, prevent the add-on update notices, or continue with the current system of using auto-updates. To change the update settings, visit the Add-ons folder in System Settings, if you are using Confluence, click left with your keyboard or remote to open the side panel, where a number of options exist, including the option to hide any add-ons that aren’t expected to work in your region. Secondly, tablet users will now be able to change the traditional QWERTY to a large selection of international options. To do so, visit the International section of the Appearance folder in System Settings and select Keyboard layouts.
Android updates and Kodi update notices
For Android users, playback improvements are continuing. This means more and better support for different chipsets, 4K support for the Amlogic chipsets, and much better fast forward and rewind capabilities.
We want to give notice to our customers and followers that this release is the first under the new name Kodi. When you install the final release candidate on an existing device all of your library and add-ons will be moved to Kodi. This will make reverting back to the XBMC Gotham 13.2 version difficult. We recommend that if you do this, please back up your library and settings before installing Kodi.
Also, if you are using a skin other than the Confluence default skin, you may find your software keyboard blank due to the above mentioned keyboard layout upgrade. This can be fixed by checking to see if your skin has a Kodi Helix update. You can check for this update by going to the add-ons browser from the settings menu and selecting “Check for updates”.
With this historic release and name change, many of the bugs seen in previous versions of XBMC have been fixed. However, since Kodi is an open-source media center, many changes are still on the horizon. Make sure to check back with us on our website and on Facebook regularly to keep up with these changes and make the most of your Kodi Element Android TV Box experience!