5 of the best Kodi add-ons for TV and movies in 2017
Published by on August 19, 2017 in VPN & Privacy

playstation vue
Kodi, the free and open source home theater software, allows you to stream media from a huge range of sources. They don’t come pre-installed, however, so you’ll have to install a few Kodi movie add-ons before you can start binge-watching interesting movies and TV shows.

However, during your search for movie and TV streaming add-ons, you’ll come across two types: official Kodi add-ons that can be accessed through the Official Kodi Add-on Repository, and add-ons that are made available through a large number of third-party repositories.

Third-party add-ons carry significant risks over those found in the Official Kodi Add-on Repository. Third-party add-ons can be hijacked by hackers and used to spy on user streaming activities. They can also carry other forms of malware which can be silently pushed on to users even if the add-on was installed from a seemingly trustworthy source. Because third-party add-ons are not fully vetted, they carry significant privacy and security risks.

Our guide will break down how to install some of the best add-ons for TV and movie streaming.  We also give an overview of the privacy concerns related to popular third-party movie and TV streaming add-ons. 

At the very bottom of our guide, you’ll find a helpful overview of the most popular third-party add-ons that you may also see recommended in other places, with an explanation of what those add-ons are, how they stream content, and what kind of content they provide. 

Laws and rules vary from country to country, so we recommend anyone looking to streaming content through third-party add-ons that offer “free” content to check on whether the content is legally offered, and whether it’s legal to view such content in your country. 

Expert Tip: No matter which add-ons you choose, we strongly recommend you employ a reputable, fast VPN  when streaming video on Kodi to keep you safe and private online.  A favorite VPN with the Kodi community is IPVanish, which works with all Kodi add-ons and with all of the most popular devices including Amazon’s Fire Stick.  You can save up to 60% on IPVanish plans here.

Why Kodi users should always use a VPN

To install these add-ons on Kodi, you’ll first need to set up their respective repositories. A repository is like a library full of add-ons you can install at will from within Kodi. Some repositories require manual installation, while others like Fusion allow you to use a simple add-on installer.

Many Kodi users turn to a VPN to hide their streaming activities from their ISP. However, there are many legitimate reasons to use a VPN while using Kodi. Perhaps one of the most important is data protection. When you download and install Kodi add-ons, you may be exposing your computer to hacking and snooping. Add-ons can be hijacked and used to install malware on your system, as well as used in man-in-the-middle hack attacks which allow the hacker to see all of your activity, including passwords and usernames.

Additionally, subscription services are often geo-locked, meaning they only work in certain countries.  A VPN solves both of these problems by encrypting all the internet traffic going to and from the device so that third parties, such as your ISP, can’t monitor your activity. While you’ll need to be extra vigilant and install anti-virus software to help detect malicious add-ons, man-in-the-middle hijacks can be prevented through VPN privacy methods.

Reader deal: Save up to 60% on IPVanish, the Kodi community’s favorite VPN service.

Comparitech does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions, including illegal streaming through Kodi. Kodi can be used for many excellent, legal online streaming purposes. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading or streaming copyrighted material without permission.


Official Kodi add-ons for streaming TV and movies

All of the add-ons listed below can be either be found in the Official Kodi Add-on Repository or other locations. Importantly, none of these add-ons provide illegal, pirated content. We recommend these add-ons because they are more commonly vetted by an official organization, stream content legally, and are less likely to be a piracy concern.

BBC iPlayer
BBC iplayer

BBC radio and TV programs come in the form of iPlayer WWW as an add-on for Kodi. You can watch live TV, catch-up TV programs, and radio content from the BBC iPlayer website. Keep in mind that most content is UK only, so you’ll have to set your VPN to the UK to use it. Not all VPNs work so check out our article on which beat the BBC iPlayer VPN ban.

The BBC iPlayer is legal to use if you are a UK resident with a valid TV License 

iPlayer WWW is available on the Official Kodi Add-on Repository.

PlayOn
Playon

If you want to integrate paid streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video into Kodi, the best cross-platform solution is PlayOn. For $2.50 a month, this streaming DVR saves video files into an MP4 format for playback. It includes a feature that allows you to automatically skip ads. You will need a Windows PC to record the video onto using the PlayOn Media Server app, but the Kodi add-on works on any operating system.

PlayOn is a fully-legal and interesting way to connect your paid streaming accounts and fully integrates with the Kodi media player.

Subscribe to PlayOn here (includes a 30-day money back guarantee). You can find the PlayOn Kodi add-on Official Kodi Add-on Repository.

YouTube
youtube

YouTube remains a popular source for TV shows and movies. Any movie or TV show, whether full episodes or video clips, that you can find on YouTube, you can find quickly and easily on the YouTube add-on. Perhaps the best part of using the YouTube add-on over accessing the site through a web browser or other options is the fact that you can bypass all of the somewhat annoying side banners and video suggestions. In fact, you don’t even get the annoying advertisements that play before your videos either.

When trying to use the YouTube add-on, you won’t be able to access content until you pair your device. When you hit “sign in”, you’ll be given an activation code and prompted to go to youtube.com/activate to pair. You may need to do this twice in order for it to work.

YouTube is a fully-legal option for streaming video. While you may run into pirated content on YouTube, this is rare, and YouTube is fairly quick about taking down such content.

USTV Now
BBC iplayer

USTV Now is an interesting service. Although more specifically designed for US military service men and women and expatriates who are overseas, pretty much anyone can sign up for an use the service. USTV Now costs $19 a month for 28 cable channels and limited DVR services. You can pay out $39 a month for an option that tacks on unlimited DVR. 

With USTV Now, you can get access to hundreds of movies and TV shows. Whether they’re shows you saved through DVR, or on-demand replays, you can access that content through the USTV Now add-on. 

USTV Now is considered legal at this time.  You can find it in the Official Kodi Add-on Repository, however, this is an older version that may not work. 

For the newer version of this addon, you can check the SuperRepo or Kodisrael add-on repositories.

PlayStation Vue (PS Vue Add-on)
playstation vue

PlayStation now offers a TV streaming option known as PlayStation Vue. After signing up for a PlayStation Vue account, you can access that account through Kodi using the Kodi add-on you’ll find in the Official Kodi Add-on Repository.  The service is a bit on the pricey side ($39.99 a month), but offers not only a DVR option for recording shows and movies but also on-demand movie and TV show streaming, just like you’d find with a cable subscription service.

PlayStation Vue is a fully legal option, and connecting to the service via the Kodi add-on violates no copyrights. You can only connect to this service once you’ve created an account and by using your account credentials.

Unofficial Kodi add-ons for streaming TV and movies

The following add-ons are ones we have seen listed on other websites as good recommendations. Below, we explain what each add-on is, how it provides pirated content, and why we do not recommend you use it.

Exoduskodi exodus

What it is: Exodus is a movie and TV streaming add-on that’s particularly popular in the pirated streaming community. Exodus scrapes from different websites that offer pirated streams to then display that content in Kodi

Why should you avoid it? Although you can find some legal, uncopyrighted and public domain content in Exodus, such as the 1962 film The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (which interestingly failed to acquire its copyright before the film entered the public domain), most of the content available on Exodus is illegally pirated. You can access much of the same content by using one of the streaming options listed, such as PlayStation Vue.

Genesis Reborn
Genesis Reborn

What is it? Genesis Reborn is “rebirth” of one of the oldest pirate streaming add-ons available on Kodi. This add-on is based on a similar architecture to Exodus, scraping streaming websites where pirated material is located and streaming that content into Kodi. Genesis Reborn is “rebirth” of one of the oldest pirate streaming add-ons available on Kodi. This add-on is based on a similar architecture to Exodus, scraping streaming websites where pirated material is located and streaming that content into Kodi.

Why should you avoid it? There are few redeeming qualities for Exodus if you are looking to keep your nose clean with only legally available content. For reasons such as a failure to renew copyrights, some public domain content is available here, such as the 1939 version of Gulliver’s Travels. Still, most of the thousands of movies and TV shows listed here are pirated and should be avoided. You can use alternatives, such as PlayStation Vue or USTV Now to get access to on-demand streaming.

Elysiumkodi-elysium

What is it? Elysium is a film and TV add-on for Kodi, primarily dealing in illegally pirated streams. It scrapes sources from various locations around the internet and categorizes them. Elysium, which was formerly known as Zen, works similarly to Exodus and Genesis Reborn.

Why should you avoid it? The story is the same here. Legal content is available, particularly public domain films and TV shows, but you’ll need to search for those and cross-reference with other sources to ensure you’re staying on the right side of the law in your country. Unless the content you see is in the public domain, it should be avoided. Given Elysium doesn’t distinguish which content is legal and which is pirated, you should avoid using this add-on, opting instead of one of the official options listed above.

SALTSkodi salts

What is it? SALTS is one of the more popular pirate streaming add-ons available. An acronym for “Stream All The Sources,” SALTS is a top contender when it comes to illegal streaming through Kodi.

Why should you avoid using it? Broken record time: SALTS primarily deals in pirated content streams. You’ll find good, legal, public domain content (such as the 1962 horror film The Last Man on Earththrough SALTS as long as you know what you’re looking for. Still, this add-on is a prime example of what a pirated streams add-on looks like, drawing the vast majority of its content from illegal sources. Use any of the options given in the official add-ons list as alternatives.

Specto
Specto

What is it? Specto is yet another piracy add-on in the same family as Exodus and Genesis Reborn. While the official heir is Exodus, the old Genesis add-on was forked and turned into Specto. The Specto Kodi add-on not only allows for pirated streaming but also serves up somewhat shady video downloading as well.

Why should you avoid using it? Given it shares the same structure as Genesis Reborn, Exodus and the like, you’ll find that Specto also deals more specifically in pirated streams, with a small mixture of legal streaming options available. Outside of those public streams, the thousands of films and TV shows here are pirated, making this a bad choice for legal content. Instead, opt for the legal options listed in the official add-ons section.

Gurzil
Gurzil

What is it? Gurzil is an Exodus fork that operates just like the popular streaming add-on. Gurzil pulls streams from various pirate sites and displays them in Kodi for easy viewing. 

Why should you avoid using it? Simply put, Gurzil shares the same problems you’ll find with the other third-party on-demand streaming add-ons. While public domain films exist, most users aren’t going there for these. Instead, the primary focus of this add-on is on pirated content streaming. We do not recommend Gurzil given its heavy reliance on pirated streaming. 

How to install Kodi add-ons

To install these add-ons on Kodi, you’ll first need to set up their respective repositories. A repository is like a library full of add-ons you can install at will from within Kodi. Some repositories require manual installation, while others like Fusion allow you to use a simple add-on installer.

Learn how to install Kodi add-on repositories like SuperRepo, Smash, Kodil and Filmkodi here.

Add-ons that you can directly download via a zip file do not require you install a repository first.

Do you know of more TV and movie add-ons for Kodi that we should add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

How to watch Kodi TV & movies on a Fire Stick, Android, iPhone, or Mac

Kodi v17.3 “Krypton” is the latest stable version of Kodi available for download. On devices with standard web browsers, simply download the app from the official website and install it to get started. Once installed, you may download add-ons from the official repository or install new repositories. Check out this tutorial on how to set up Exodus as an example. This should work for Windows, MacOS, and Android smartphones.

iOS is a bit trickier because Kodi is not available from the App Store. If you want to install Kodi on an iPad or iPhone without jailbreaking it, we recommend using the Cydia Impactor app to move Kodi from a desktop to your iOS device.

Android-based streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Roku require a bit more work to get Kodi installed an running. To download Kodi on a Fire TV Stick will require sideloading apps or using the Downloader application. The only way to get Kodi running on Roku without is to “cast” or “mirror” another device.

Related: Are you having Kodi buffering issues? See our guide to 2 quick Kodi buffering fixes.

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