Audio & Video

Kodi 19 for beginners: basics, library, addons, remote control

From zero to a bag of chips, this is how you get started with the Kodi media center

Whether Smart TV, NAS, Amazon Fire device or set-top box - Kodi can be used almost anywhere. For own local media it's first choice anyway, but you can also Live TV, streaming providers, Youtube, media libraries and so on directly in Kodi. games? Also the! Remote control via smartphone? Of course. Thanks to a number of addons, Kodi can do an incredible amount, while remaining simple and pretty. Here you will find everything you need to get started, from the first start to lounging on the couch with the remote control.

Kodi: THE media center

It feels like Kodi has always been there, even if it was called XBMC Mediacenter a long long time ago and was intended for the Xbox. In the meantime, Kodi has largely established itself as the standard media center and runs on all possible platforms. Why? Well, Kodi is extremely comfortable, looks damn good, is quite technically mature, constantly evolving and being extended by a huge community. One and only Price For that: Kodi has never been a performance miracle, it also runs on older Raspberry Pis, but there are constant problems with the buffer and the surface, the spooling in streams and various addons.

The First question So is: where do you want Kodi to run? And for this we have all kinds of articles on offer:

Kodi runs perfectly on the current Raspberry Pi 4, boxes like Nvidia Shield TV or right one Computers like MSI Cubis have enough power anyway. The tip is simple: the hardware for Kodi should not be undersized, otherwise Kodi will run but not be fun.

Once installed, Kodi always uses the same method – so have fun getting started! We'll show you the Setup in four sections:

  1. Basic configuration (language, control, interface, etc.)
  2. Library (median and metadata/scrapers)
  3. Extensions (Repository from ZIP and Add-on from Repository)
  4. Set up remote control

There are also hundreds of other settings and options and extensions - but you've gotten to know the basic procedure for everything important about Kodi and should be able to implement your own wishes with confidence. Well, there are things that need to be explained in more detail, for example adding your own categories or even own icons in title lists. You can find many more examples in our well over 100 Kodi articles.

1. Basic configuration

After the start you land on the Home by code. the Settings, or the area System, you reach via that gear icon.

kodi home page.
Here you go to the "System" area with the settings.

First you should open the media center German change so that the instructions also fit word for word - that starts in the area Interface:

system overview of kodi.
Starts with interface - later it's called user interface.

Then select below Regional/Language easy German off – the language will then be installed and activated automatically.

language settings of kodi.
Change Language to German.

You can still stay in the user interface settings. By default, you only see part of the settings in Kodi. To change this, click the button on the bottom left several times Default …

arrow up button with level for settings visibility.
Kodi doesn't show all settings by default!

...until your there Expert and see the corresponding new settings next to it. Of course, you will rarely need such settings, but if you don't see them, you can't know...

expert level options.
As an expert, you can now see more.

Now switch to Settings/Skins/Main menu items: Here you can reduce the categories of the main menu - many use Kodi only for video content, so you don't have to clutter the interface with sections for photos, music, live TV and so on. Disabled here as needed.

list of home page objects.
Deactivates what you don't need - for a better overview.

It continues to go down Settings/System/Energy saving: A sensible attitude is definitely put screen to sleep while idle, to take the largest power consumer in the system out of play when nothing is running.

power options in kodi.
Saving energy is always a good idea - use the settings!

Below in the area Wake could you Wake on LAN activate: If Kodi then wants to access content on a NAS in the network, for example, which is currently on standby, it tries to start the NAS - does not always work, but often.

wol settings.
A Wake-on-LAN signal can wake up sleeping computers.

Switch to the area addons and may allow the installation of extensions from unknown sources. This is always a theoretical security risk, but as long as you don't suck illegal extensions from Russian Darknet exchanges... In any case, you can then also install extensions outside of Kodi's own repos (directory).

setting for unknown sources.
With a residual risk ... - but manageable if you use common sense.

Switches to Settings/Services. Here you make three settings. First under General: Kodi services and content can sometimes be used on the network with other tools. Enabled for this to work Report available services to other systems. If you don't see a need: At some point you'll use an app, Kodi will appear in it and you'll think of something interesting - but only if you activate it here.

zeroconf settings.
Zeroconf sounds good - turn it on ;)

Under Settings/Services/Control you should allow control via HTTP to Kodi for example via a browser control on another device. In addition, you activate Allow remote control by applications on this device/other devices. You can then use Kodi, for example, via a Remote control like Kore (see below) or Yatse on an Android device or tools on the Kodi server.

http and remote control options in kodi 19.
The remote control in the network makes everything more convenient - but of course it is associated with a (certain) risk.

Settings/Services/UPnP/DLNA: Here you should Allow remote control via UPnP. With this you integrate Kodi into your UPnP universe - and if that doesn't mean anything to you, here we explain it.

upnp settings in kodi 19.
UPnP can save your ass - it almost always works.

That would be them main Settings are set - the boring part is over ;) Of course there is still a lot to do if you have special needs - would you like an example? Here is a very special Kindle eBook to illustrate (which, by the way, is available at Kindle unlimited would be free):

Product prices and availability are correct as of the date/time shown and are subject to change. All pricing and availability information on at the time of purchase applies to the purchase of this product.

2. Set up library

Now it's getting exciting, the library is being set up: media are added and enriched with metadata from the Internet, i.e. descriptions and pretty little pictures. entry point is System/Settings/Media.

system page of kodi 19.

Videos will serve as an example, so select the section Library/Videos…

media section in the settings of kodi 19 matrix.

It continues with Add video...

list of sources.
Yep, add videos...

In the video source dialog, click Search.

dialog for adding videos
What should one say...

You end up in a list of possible Sources. Typically you will want to add your media from, for example, a NAS. Theoretically, you could traditionally browse your network here, via Windows network (SMB). However, you will no longer find anything there in current LANs, since this Rummage no longer works for security reasons. So click on Add network share...

list of network locations.
SMB browsing usually no longer works - so get to work manually.

Here you have to manually Server & Hosting specify in the form of an IP address that Release in the form of the shared folder or shared disk, as well as the access data for this release. For example, how you can share a USB hard drive in the network under Linux, we show here.

dialog for adding a network share.
The usual information: address, name, login data - nothing wild.

Back back in the source selection you will now find a new entry with your approval, for example here smb:// for a USB hard drive on an MSI Cubi. Open this point.

List of marked shares in kodi 19.
Your new source – for browsing mind you!

Now you can browse again and the whole source via OK use or select a subfolder first. You should create your own sources for films, series, music and pictures - this can always be done via the entry you just created with the release.

list of shared folders in kodi matrix.
Enter the folder with, for example, films.

So, for example, select your Movies folder so that you can see your list of movies (subfolders within are okay), and select OKAY.

list of media in shared folder.
Once you see the media itself, you're in the right folder - OK.

forgive one Namur and confirms the new source.

Properties of the new video source in kodi 19.
If necessary, give a good name!

Now you have to specify what kind of content is in the source - so click on This folder contains... None.

dialog for specifying the type of folder content.
Includes "None"? Sounds wrong. Is wrong.

Then choose the point Film.

dialog for specifying the type of folder content.
Includes Movies? Better!
By default, the film data would now be retrieved (“scrapert”) in English. So click first Settings ...

properties of the new video source in kodi 19 - set now.
Up to this point, information would be provided in English – i.e. open settings.

... and choose as Preferred Language the point en-DE.

language selection for the scraper in kodi's settings.
With de-DE, the Scraper content comes in German.

Confirm the dialog and then allow Kodi to fetch the information for this new source.

dialog to allow scraping.

And in the Movies section you no longer just see old text lists, but pretty artwork with German descriptions.

detail page of a movie with metadata.
Obtaining such information is called scraping - an error-prone and important process ;)

Tip: In order for getting the metadata, the scraping, to work well, the media must have proper names - Big_Buck_Bunny.mkv is a good name bbb 720p video.mkv is a bad name ;)

The library is there and you could get started - but then you would miss a lot!

3. Set up extensions

You can get extensions from repositories, such as the Kodi repo that is already integrated, or in the form of ZIP files. There is a decent selection at Kodi itself. You also get repos from third parties as ZIP files and install them that way. Below you can see the installation of the repos and then the ARD and ZDF media library. So get the repo-ZIP first.

Then it starts in Kodi system/addons.

control panel of kodi.
You can access the addon settings via the system area.

Calls the area Install from ZIP file .

list of directories.
Install addons and repos from ZIPs.

Then look for the downloaded file in the file system, here

file list.
Choose the repo ZIP.

After its installation you call the area Install from repository .

installation locations in kodi.
Install from repo.

Let's continue about that Kodinerd's addon repo.

list with repos.
select repository.

The addons are sorted by category, media library addons can be found under video addons. Chooses ARD and ZDF ...

list with addons.
The repo's video addons.

... and installs the extension.

info page of the addon for ard and zdf.
You install the addons yourself via the information page.

The addon itself can then be called up via the addons area on the start page.

zdf addon on kodi homepage.
Aaaaand turn it on.

4. Set up the remote control

As a rule, you will probably have Kodi running on the network. The perfect remote control: The Smartphone. There are various apps for this, the app is official Korean, your at Google Play gets and also with F Droid.

After installation, however, it is very similar for all apps anyway:

  1. Searching for Kodis on the network (so Kodi should be running!).
  2. If found: click, done.
  3. If not found: enter the IP of the Kodi device and port 8080, if necessary login data, done.
  4. Sit down, open your bag of chips, relax.
illustrated process of installing kore for kodi 19.
In four steps to the remote control - Kore is enough.

With that, Kodi is basically set up. Other topics will arise over time, such as a shared library for multiple Kodis in the network, setting up streaming services, smart playlists and so on.

Kodi now runs on many smart TVs, NAS, set-top boxes, and things like Amazon's Fire devices. If you want to set up a device specifically for Kodi, the Raspberry Pi is probably still the first choice. If you need a little more performance, still silent, but a bit larger, then an MSI Cubi is a great alternative, which can then also take on other tasks. As a decision-making aid: MSI Cubi vs Raspberry Pi 4. And afterwards you are welcome to go shopping, preferably via our Amazon affiliate links – active redistribution of Bezos' space money to three people from Cologne who invest it regionally in Kölsch ;) Thank you!

Product prices and availability are correct as of the date/time shown and are subject to change. All pricing and availability information on at the time of purchase applies to the purchase of this product.
Product prices and availability are correct as of the date/time shown and are subject to change. All pricing and availability information on at the time of purchase applies to the purchase of this product.

Mirco Lang

Freelance journalist, Sauerland exile, (fairly old) skateboarder, graduate computer scientist, retail salesman, open source nerd, Checkmk handbook writer. Ex-Saturn'ler, Ex-Data-Becker'ler, Ex-BSI'ler. First contact with computers: ca. 1982 - a friend's big brother's C64. If you want to read more about open source, Linux and craft stuff and support Tutonaut here: About Coffee sponsorship via Paypal.I'm always happy. In advance: Thank you! Do not miss: and New: Mastodon

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