The Kodi media center is incredibly versatile. One reason for this is the possibility of adding new functions to the primary system with add-ons.
Movies, photos, music, online streams: Kodi plays almost anything. The open-source media center is a real asset, especially in combination with a Raspberry Pi or an HTPC on the television. Nevertheless: If you only use Kodi in its basic configuration, you are leaving many potential fallows.
With extensions or “add-ons,” you can expand the functions of Kodi extensively. In this way, you ensure, for example, that Kodi can access other online streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix, or the media libraries of various TV channels.
Kodi add-ons: here’s what you need to be aware of
All in all, installing, setting up, and configuring Kodi add-ons isn’t very complicated. However, you should note that using the handy Kodi extensions can present a few stumbling blocks.
The most common problem in practice is that an add-on either does not work at all or ceases to function over time. There are several reasons for this.
Suppose it is specifically about access to an online service that Kodi does not directly support. In that case, it can happen, for example, that this makes access more difficult through unofficial extensions. In particular, the popular streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime are blocking Kodi access.
Although the add-on makers often find ways and means to reaccess the streams, in practice, it can happen again and again that a streaming extension no longer works. In this case, all you have to do is wait and hope that the extension will get its functions back with a new version.
Upgrading the installed Kodi version can also lead to compatibility with old extensions. This is especially true for more significant version jumps, such as the recently published update from Kodi 17 to Kodi 18. The Kodi developers are continuously working on the internal program code. Certain functions that require add-ons may be changed so much that the extensions no longer work.
In such a case, unfortunately, you only have two options: hope the developers of the extensions will release an update or wait before upgrading to a new version of Kodi. Especially if you attach great importance to various attachments in your daily use of the Mediacenter, you should check before the version jump whether the add-ons have already been adapted for the new Kodi edition.
How to install Kodi add-ons from official sources
As mentioned before, installing Kodi extensions is not particularly complicated. This is especially true if you focus on the sources officially supported by the Kodi developers. Using the Kodi version 18 alias “Leia” current at the time of this article, we will show you how to install add-ons from the official sources:
- Open Kodi and navigate to the “Add-ons” section. Here Kodi lists all installed add-ons sorted by category.
- Use the menu on the left to open the “Download” area. Here Kodi shows all of the available add-on categories, which you can now browse through as you wish.
- Now choose the add-on that you want to install. In the example, we take the WDR media library from the “Video Add-ons” area. Click “Install” and confirm the action.
Kodi will now install the selected add-on. You can then access it from the appropriate category on Kodi’s home page. Alternatively, you can find all installed extensions in the “Add-ons” menu.
Install Kodi add-ons from third-party sources
In addition to the official Kodi add-ons, various extensions cannot be accessed directly in Kodi. This applies, for example, to the extensions above for Amazon Prime Video or Netflix. Different file functions can also be retrofitted using unofficial add-ons. For this to work in general, you must first activate the switch “Unknown sources” in the Kodi settings under “System”> “Add-ons.”
There are two ways to install a Kodi extension from external sources: adding so-called “repositories” from which you can later download the add-ons as shown above or directly as a ZIP file.
For both variants, switch back to the “Add-ons” area and open the “Add- ons browser” at the top left. Click here on “Install from ZIP file” and navigate to the folder where you have saved the ZIP file of the external add-on or the repository. If you confirm the installation, the add-on is available immediately.
If you have added a new download source instead, it will appear in the add-on browser. Select the entry “Install from repository” and browse the Kodi extensions available. You can now install this as shown above.
Please note that in this way, a lot of Kodi extensions are distributed that are at least in a legal gray area or simply illegal. When Kodi extensions promise free access to millions of movies, you should exercise caution. Examples of this are Kodi extensions for offers such as Kinox. To or various soccer streaming portals. Our tip: Better keep your hands off such extensions and rely on legal requests.