Kodi is a great way to get rid of the cable connection, and is an open source software that was christened as a continuation of XBMC. It functions primarily as a media player and is a potential replacement for any media-centric software you might have on your phone. If you are looking to watch and stream stuff on your phone on-the-go or make your TV go smart, Kodi is what you would need.
The open source tag means it will run on almost all platforms without so much as a squeak – Windows, Android, Mac OS X, Linux as well as different versions of BSD. Some of these OS work well on the Raspberry Pi and the result is that you can install Kodi on the Pi with relative ease to set up a media centre with features that can only be found in expensive alternatives. The setup is a DIY project that you can undertake and complete easily.
What do you need?
Raspberry Pi3, a case, power supply, micro SD card with an adapter to plug into PC. The superior hardware of Pi 3 make Kodi best experienced on that, and the power supply needs to provide 5 volts at 2 amperes through a micro USB port. All micro SD cards will suffice, though faster the better. The SD card should be 8 GB or more, and the case should have decent airflow because it will get hot during the whole process. You will also need a cable that can take HDMI with audio from the Pi to a screen that you want to see your stuff on. All this stuff is often sold as a kit that might end up saving you some money and is easily available online.
You also want to have a mouse and a keyboard to work directly with the Raspberry Pi, and they almost any of them will work out just fine.
Putting Things Together
To put things together, you should find a static-free, flat spot. A static-mat is recommended, but if you don’t have it just be really careful. While doing it you need to have small screwdriver. You may need stuff that appears on the packaging or any instructions. Follow the instruction sheet and place the Raspberry Pi in the case making certain that any holes or ports are not obstructed and the wires and SD card fit well.
Now, put the case in a safe spot ensuring that the wires are not bent at extreme angles. If you are going to use a USB receiver type remote or an LIRC IR type remote, you should also ensure that the signal will make it to the receiver. Once the installation has been done, the hardware will not be touched for a long time so you should find a safe spot for it.
Install The Software
You should use the Open Source Media Centre (OSMC) unless you are sure of any other OS. OSMC is Linux but its front end and administration is done with the OSMC skin for Kodi. The OSMC is the easiest to install on the Pi – all you have to do is download the right installer for Windows, Mac or Linux, put in your SD card into the computer and follow some simple steps to configure your network. Then you tell your computer where your SD card is and press the button.
The first steps are to open your web browser and go to OSMC.tv’s download page, where you can find the appropriate installer for your PC. Download it and install it, following the simple instructions. After you are done with this, remove the SD card and plug it into your Raspberry Pi, and also plug in the keyboard and the HDMI cable. You may also want to use an Ethernet cable if you want a more robust wired network, and then plug in the power. If things have gone well, you can turn on the TV and keyboard and complete the setup. This will involve choosing the language, the time zone and what the new Kodi box will be called. This will complete the setup and you can use your Raspberry Pi to do the same things that you can on a PC or a Shield Android TV.
There are some things that you should do as soon as you set up Kodi on your Raspberry Pi. First and foremost, you should buy licenses for MPEG-2 and VC1 hardware decoding, which are easy and cheap to buy over internet and preferable to other, shadier sources. You can also set up Plex and PleXMBC to stream content from your web media server to the Kodi Box. Kodi can attach easily to your content or other media servers over the internet, and this will be its strength as you will find out. Also, try installing support for your DVR backend and any HDHomeRun tuner and set things up so you can watch recorded PlayOn streams. Add-on settings for all legal ways to get content off the internet to your screen are also highly recommended. You can also any Android Kodi remote app to control stuff, and the remote can be found easily in the Play Store.