If you’ve got a lot of movies, TV shows, and other videos on your computer’s hard drive, the Kodi media player is a great way to play them. But what if you don’t want to watch them on your PC? What if you’d rather see them on your television or mobile phone?
This where Kodi’s UPnP features come in. Setting your PC up as a Kodi UPnP server can give your entire home network access to the movies contained within it. This can allow you to stream its movies to your television through an Amazon Fire Stick or play them on any mobile device that is connected to your wi-fi. If you have a Roku, you can stream your PC’s movies to an Android or iOS phone and then mirror them to your Roku so they display on your TV. Regardless of which devices you use to connect to your Kodi UPnP server, setting one up can be helpful to the whole home.
Kodi is a free, open-source video media player. Not only can it allow you to watch videos stored on your computer throughout the home, it can also let you watch content from potentially anywhere on the web. If you are looking for Kodi addons to stream online content, here is a list of the Best Kodi addons.
Important: Use a VPN whenever you stream from online sources
In addition to playing movies stored on their hard drives, most Kodi users also use addons to stream content from online sites. Depending on the particular addon or server used, this can lead to your privacy being compromised by man-in-the-middle attacks, buffering caused by ISP speed throttling, or being shut out of viewing certain content thanks to geographic blocking.
Kodi users often use VPNs to protect themselves against these threats. A VPN encrypts your data to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, stops ISPs from knowing what sites you are accessing, and helps to get around geo-blocking by masking your IP address.
But not all VPNs are created equal. Some keep logs of their users’ activities, thereby creating new privacy risks. Others are too slow for the bandwidth-intense practice of video streaming. We at Comparitech recommend IPVanish for Kodi users. It has servers in over 50 countries, keeps no logs, and is fast enough to stream 1080p video with no problem.
DEALT ALERT: Our readers can save up to 60% on IPVanish here.
How to set up a Kodi UPnP server
To set up your PC or other device as a Kodi UPnP server, follow these steps:
Now your Kodi media library is connected to the home network.
How to set up a Kodi UPnP client
Once you’ve got your server set up, it’s time to get the client working. Load up Kodi on your Android or iOS phone, Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire Stick, or other device you want to use to access your server’s content. Now follow these steps:
- From the main menu, click videos
- Click files
- add videos
- Click browse
- Click UPnP devices
- If the server was setup correctly, it will appear as an item on the list as something like “Kodi-(yourname’s PC).” You will probably see other devices on your home network listed here as well. Click the Kodi server that you just set up.
- Choose video library
- Choose OK
- The “name” field for the source will automatically be populated with something Kodi comes up with. If you like the name it comes up with, click OK. Otherwise, type something you like and click OK
- Click on the name of the source you just set up. You now have access to the entire library from your PC on your phone.
Want movies and shows to download? Try PlayOn with UPnP
Now that you know how to stream videos from your PC to other devices in your home, you may be wondering where you can find more movies and shows that can be downloaded to a PC. This is where PlayOn Desktop comes in. PlayOn Desktop is a DVR service that allows you to legally record TV shows, movies, sporting events, and other video content to your PC. There is a free trial here.
In order to use PlayOn, you’ll need a subscription to a streaming-video provider such as Netflix, Hulu, a cable TV system, or DirecTV NOW. Some free services like YouTube can also be used with it. In addition, you’ll need a subscription to PlayOn itself, which costs $50 for a lifetime membership or $7.99/month.
Once you’ve got these two things, download the PlayOn software and start recording content. Even if you cancel a streaming service afterwards, your recordings from that service will still be accessible from within your PlayOn menu.
See also: How to watch movies on Kodi
How to use PlayOn UPnP with Kodi
The PlayOn UPnP feature can be accessed from within Kodi. In order to do so, follow these steps:
- From the main menu of your Kodi UPnP server, click videos
- Click add videos
- Click browse
- Select UPnP devices
- From the list, select PlayOn: (your name) – PC. You’ll see a list of channels such as ABC, Amazon Video, etc.
- Do not click on any of the channels. Instead, click OK
- Type “PlayOn” or some other name you choose in the field that says “enter a name for this media source,” then click OK
- From your Kodi UPnP client, click videos
- Select the name of your Kodi UPnP server
- Select video library
- Choose files
- Click “PlayOn” or whatever you chose for the name of PlayOn when you set it up in the earlier step
- Select PlayOn recordings
- Click the folder your video is in
- Click the video to start playing
Two other places to download movies and TV shows legally.
If what you find on PlayOn still isn’t enough to satisfy your craving for downloadable movies and shows, check out these two other completely legal sites that let you download videos for free.
Public Domain Torrents
As the name implies, Public Domain Torrents carries torrents of movies whose copyright has expired. As a result, it is completely legal and free to download and/or share these movies. Public Domain Torrents carries a wide variety of genres,including action/adventure, drama, sci-fi, and many others. It carries an especially robust collection of classic Kung Fu movies and B-rated sci-fi/horror.
Internet Archive Movies
The movie section of the Internet Archive carries a huge collection of public domain films, shows, advertisements, short films, and other video content. It includes over 5,300 feature films, nearly 300 of which are comedy and almost 500 of which are sci-fi or horror. Regardless of what genres of movies you like, there’s probably something in the Internet Archive that you’ll find enjoyable.
If you’ve got videos on your PC that you want to watch on a separate device, the Kodi UPnP feature can help. Follow the instructions in this article and you should have no trouble getting your server and client up and running.