If you have been investigating different home theater setups, you may have come across the Kodi media player and the OSMC operating system (OS). If you wish to learn a little more about Kodi and how to run it via the OSMC fork then stay tuned. We’ll cover these topics and more in this article.
What is Kodi?
Kodi is an open-source media player which has tons of features. One of its more common uses is for the playback of audio and video files from both local and online sources. It is also available on a number of different devices such as the Raspberry Pi, Nvidia Shield, most iPhones and Android gadgets.
Warning: Kodi should only be used for content to which you have the legal right to access. Neither the Kodi Foundation nor Comparitech advocates the use of Kodi for piracy.
Always Use a VPN with Kodi
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are used for a number of purposes. While some people use them to hide the streaming of pirated content, they can be used to ensure that you get the best out of your internet service.
Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been known to throttle connections based on the amount of media a user has streamed, regardless of whether the media is illegal or not. In addition, there are also security benefits to using VPNs. They can offer a degree of protection from some man-in-the-middle attacks. Moreover, VPNs can give users the ability to access content which is usually locked to specific geographic locations by connecting to a VPN server in the country the content is locked to.
Streaming any type of media through Kodi or otherwise requires a lot of bandwidth. With this in mind, you should note that all VPNs slow down your internet speed to some extent. Some VPNs have slower speeds than others, however, and will make streaming without buffering difficult. If you want to stream with Kodi, you should choose a VPN which slows down your connection as little as possible.
We recommend IPVanish since it provides a fast connection and lets you stream videos effectively. It’s also compatible with many different devices such as Linux, Windows and Mac computers, as well as mobile devices.
BEST VPN FOR KODI:IPVanish is our top choice. Has a large uncongested network of servers and achieves good speeds. Strong security and privacy features make IPVanish a favorite for Kodi and Amazon Fire TV Stick users. Try it risk-free with the 7-day money back guarantee.
What is OSMC
The benefit of running OSMC as opposed to an OS like Android for the purpose of using Kodi is the simplicity offered by OSMC. With Android and other OSes, you will have to use Kodi within the framework of an OS and will have to deal with navigating through that OS.
With OSMC after installation, you will simply see the Kodi interface after your device starts up and you can enjoy your media immediately. OSMC installs in minutes and the OSMC team pushes out updates at least once per month. This sometimes happens more regularly, especially if the team needs to address security concerns.
Since OSMC runs Kodi, you will be able to use and install any Kodi addon. However, you will also have access to the OSMC app store which has applications available like Cron Task Scheduler and Samba (SMB) Server.
OSMC is compatible with the Vero, Raspberry Pi and the 1st generation Apple TV.
How to Install OSMC
To install OSMC, you will first need to load a version of OSMC which is compatible with your device onto installation media compatible with your device. The easiest way to do this is with the OSMC installer.
Download the installer, run it and do the following:
On the first screen, select your Language and the device you would like to install OSMC on. Afterwards, select the next button.
Next you will need to select which version of OSMC you would like to install. You can choose a version from the dropdown menu (1) or you can choose a build which you may already have on your computer (2). Builds can be downloaded from the OSMC website from under Disk images. In most cases it’s probably best to download the latest version.
Next, choose the install location for OSMC.
The next step will be to configure how OSMC connects to the web. You can choose if you would like to use a wired connection, a wireless connection or if you want to configure your network manually.
If you choose the wireless connection option, then you will need to enter the details for your network at the next step.
Now you can select the device you want to use.
Next, you will need to read the End User License Agreement and indicate that you have accepted it before proceeding.
OSMC will now install to your storage medium. After installation is complete, pop your bootable medium into the device you will use to run OSMC and start it up.
After you fire up your OSMC device, you will be greeted with a simple but beautiful interface.
It closely resembles the standard Kodi 17 Estuary skin.
You are of course free to change this if you are so inclined.
The options on the main menu are as follows:
- My OSMC
Using OSMC is almost identical to using Kodi since OSMC essentially is an OS with a Kodi front-end. However, with OSMC, you have some additional options under the My OSMC main menu option.
You will have access to the following:
- Log Uploader: This lets you upload your logs online or download them.
- Updates: This lets you check for updates. However by default OSMC will check for updates automatically.
- Services: Services like an SSH server are offered in OSMC. This allows you to log into your OSMC device over a network from another device.
- Pi Config: This contains configuration options unique to the Raspberry Pi.
- Overclock: This contains options for overclocking your Raspberry Pi. This option does not appear to be available on the Vero and Apple TV.
- Remotes: You can set up a remote for use with your device from here.
- Network: You can change network settings here.
- App Store: You will find OSMC specific apps here.
Alternatives to OSMC
Two alternatives to OSMC are LibreELEC and OpenELEC. They are also Linux based Oses which run Kodi but offer more of a barebones setup and don’t have as beautiful of an interface. With that being said, if you don’t care for the additional options OSMC offers, such as those available through the My OSMC menu, you might want to give LibreELEC a try. LibreELEC offers more frequent updates and seems to be more stable than OpenELEC.
Should you give OSMC a try?
Setting up OSMC is pretty straightforward so for that reason alone it’s worth it. It can also be installed on the super affordable Raspberry Pi. Moreover, the interface is simply gorgeous. Overall, OSMC is a solid option which allows you some cool features such as the ability to run a Samba server on your device. You don’t even need any advanced technical skills to get it up and running so it’s certainly worth a shot.