Kodi is one of the most robust and flexible media center out there which allows you to do everything from managing your in-home media library to using add-ons to stream content from any part of the world. Free and open source, it is rich with great features but also has its own issues. The interface of the service is little weird and you have to do a bit of work on it to actually make it friendly for you.
Also, as more and more add-ons for Kodi are shutting down as a result of a few serious court cases against Kodi. Some of the big names in the industry are working together to shut down Kodi and block access to many of its sources. With all of these issues going on, it is high time that you are armed with some Kodi alternatives to get you going even if something happens and there is no lack of them yet. So check out this list of our best Kodi alternatives. (The compatibility of these alternatives with different platforms have been highlighted in their respective description)
8 Best Kodi Alternatives of 2018:
Kokotime is an android app which allows you to browse files on your home network, use your playlist, and stream all of it to your Android device and is one of the best Kodi alternatives. This free, simple and elegantly designed media center allows you to watch all your favorite media content in a unique and user-friendly design. It also has a Chromecast remote so that you can cast your content to your Chromecast in the app. You will also be able to browse your files using the in-app file manager and Kokotime will also index and organize your local media. The app also supports third-party add-ons.
Kokotime has got built-in video player with support for live streams, HLS and DASH and multiple video extensions optimized for all your media. It also has a universal cast which is a unique service that lets you cast any media to any device without the need of an external device and you can also continue watching where you left off. Kokotime also has automatic subtitles loading with custom subtitle styling and subtitle synchronization in the video player. It also supports add-ons to load media libraries or load media from your local server or a public media service and display them in a unique layout.
Plex is popular Kodi replacement which is loaded with a truckload of features. It is great for streaming locally stored digital media to multiple devices over the network because of its client-server architecture. Plex has a big collection of channels that let you watch streaming content based on a variety of different topics like news, entertainment, and technology. It also has a home theatre software application which allows you to view and manage your media library through an immersive user interface.
Plex has both free and paid options and the paid subscription starts at $4.99 per month and has a lot of additional features than the free one. Plex’s media server module takes care of transcoding media for streaming to different devices and it can even run on low powered PCs and optimize bandwidth usage. The service is available on a variety of platforms like Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox and PlayStation. The premium level subscription has got features like movie trailers, wireless syncing of photos to the media server and more.
3. Media Portal
Media Portal is also another open source media player and a mod of the original Kodi with brilliant functionalities and features. It has PVR functions like playback, pausing and recording online TV and you can also watch online TV, listen to music, download games and install applications just like with Kodi. Media Portal 2 was released four years ago with all the good features of the previous one while removing all the issues that were found in the predecessor. Now it has two versions, and Media Portal 1 has been around for a longer period of time than the other.
The issue with this one is that unlike Kodi which is cross-platform in nature, Media Portal can only be installed in the Windows operating system. It is quite extensible and has quite a selection of plug-ins which can be used to do everything from watching YouTube videos to viewing the latest sports scores. Media Portal 2 is still in development and offers fewer plugins than the original one. It is a hybrid based on XBMC source code but offers more functionality of DLNA server offered by the Windows Media Player. Media Portal also includes robust support for a wide range of TV tuner cards.
Emby is an open source service and something you will definitely love if you like the Plex approach of media streaming but doesn’t want its proprietary software components. It transcodes media files according to different target streaming devices and supports streaming to DLNS compatible devices as well. It also has some features of the live TV functionality and lets you manage DVR recordings and has many features unique to it. Some of them are the parental controls and web-based tools to edit metadata, search subtitles and a lot more.
Embry is also built on the client-server approach and makes streaming locally stored media to the network connected devices very easy and quick. It is also available for multiple platforms like Windows, Mac OS X, Android, Roku, Chromecast, iOS, Samsung Smart TV and many others. It also has both free and paid subscription which starts at $4.99 per month which has a lot of extra features. Emby even has a Kodi add-on which gives it the Kodi library management features. The premium subscription also unlocks many features like cinema mode and backup/restore of server configuration.
5. Universal Media Server
Universal Media Server is another Kodi alternative which supports all the major operating systems with versions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The program streams or transcodes video, audio and image formats with little or no configuration. This app has a simple presentation and allows you to stream media between different devices and even software within those devices such as the web browsers and it also supports streaming to a huge variety of devices.
Universal Media Server is based on Java programming language and it also includes a lot of plug-ins for doing various things like getting movie info from IMBD to integrating with music databases. Some of the features of the site are bit rate adjustment according to network speed and a web interface to work with devices that don’t have DLNA support. This streaming platform is free to download and comes with features that are offered not even by the paid services. Universal Media Server is also an open sourced app and offers to stream across various platforms including the Android operating system.
OSMC stands for Open Source Media Center and is the only direct alternative of Kodi and as the name suggests, it is an open source media desktop built on Linux and is very similar to Kodi by design. It is powered by Vero 2, the flagship OSMC device manufactured and configured by OSMC developers to ensure that the users get the best video streaming experience. OSMC can also be installed on Apple TV and Raspberry Pi 1 and 2 devices. You can playback media from local storage, the internet and from the local network storage just like in Kodi.
OSMC is very easy to use and offers a library of over 30,000 Debian repositories to add videos, music and other media and the best part is that it is absolutely free. You can download it anytime from their official website over a number of devices and operating systems. It also has a huge community that provides immediate support for newcomers so you can browse through the community section on the website. All the apps on the website are totally free and updates are constantly pushed to all users. The only drawback is that it does not work directly on a Windows PC, Mac Desktop or Linux PC.
Usher can be called your personal movie and video assistant because it can see and manage pretty much everything like the videos you keep on your hard drive and it will do so even if you don’t want to move your videos and movies into the Usher library. It can also identify videos stored in iTunes, iPhoto and Aperture, thus providing easy management for these collections. You can also add details to these videos and then use the Smart Playlist to quickly filter your collection on those details. Usher uses Apple’s QuickTime technology, so it can play back any movie that you can watch in QuickTime player.
You can also use tags to help categorize movies and multi-value fields that can store the entire cast for a movie in one Property as an example. Usher also allows you to directly watch videos in its window, a separate window or in full-screen mode and in the first two modes, you can choose between QuickTime X-style hovering controls or fixed controls outside the playback area. Playlists and Smart Playlists in Usher work the same way they do in iTunes and iPhoto, so if you’re comfortable there, you’ll be right at home in Usher. Add as many additional libraries as you like and Usher will treat them all as an extension to your existing collection. This means you never have to worry about running out of drive space for your collection.
Stremio is one of the best Kodi alternatives and is VoD software specially designed to facilitate online video streaming with a lot of emphasis on ease of use. It looks and works similar to Popcorn Time than Kodi but it was initially developed from the inspiration from Netflix. Stremio desktop has a very smooth design and great memory usage and offers stream links from official portals like HBO in addition to a free link to stream for all media unless the movie is still in theatres. It is available on PC, Mac, Android, iOS and tablets and can thus be cast to the Google Chromecast.
Stremio also provides you with the basic features to organize your local media so that you can enjoy your local entertainment while you have exclusive access to online news, TV series, sports, movies and even YouTube videos. It can collect all your local media and use pre-installed add-ons to fetch the most trending and watched TV channels online. Stremio also has superb Tv and movie recommendation service which gives you the official release dates of the media you love. It also brings up a new list of content for you to watch based on your watching history.
Movian is another close Kodi alternative which you will find on most operating systems and major devices and was formerly known by the name ‘Showtime’. In fact, this one is almost exactly like Kodi but with a much better interface and is quite straightforward to use. It has a lot of plug-ins which help you watch movies, Anime, Twitch, YouYube videos, TV shows, and even the Pirate Bay but there aren’t enough plug-ins to compete with Kodi’s huge library. Its plug-ins are Java-based rather than Python based which makes it less complex.
Movian has a very user-friendly interface which makes navigation very simple and pleasant and the app is also very light and gentle on your devices, hence providing faster navigation and plug-in installation. It also allows access to media files on a local network and most of the plug-ins come pre-installed with a central repository which will allow you to just install Movian and start watching. Video playback is flawless and most of the videos are available in high definition and you don’t need a VPN for movies, TV shows or music but you may need one for online channels. It is currently available for Linux PCs, PlayStation 3 and 4, Raspberry Pi, Smart TVs, Mac OS X and is only available for Windows through Google Chrome browser extension.
Mezzmo is a top Kodi replacement for Amazon Fire Stick and is based on DLNA. Hence it supports different video formats and also ensures that you get the best streaming experience all the time. Mezzmo also has a massive library of media content and thus allows you to access all your favorite shows, cartoons, movies, 3D shows and a lot more with just a single touch. On top of all this, the media center of Mezzmo allows you to stream high-quality media on to your Fire Stick unlimitedly.
You can use this service for free without any subscription or you can subscribe to the premium version of Mezzmo with a lot of additional features by paying $29.95 per month. It is compatible with platforms like Windows and also supports different TVs and media players like Amazon Fire TV, Bush TV, Hisense TV, Dune HD Smart B1, Buffalo Link Theatre and some more. It has support for embedded text subtitles and all popular media servers like Serviio, Plex, Twonky, iSedora, Jriver and more are supported by this service. It has many features like playlists, playback, photo slideshow, built-in photo image viewer etc.
11. JRiver Media Center
JRiver Media Center is one of the best Kodi alternative and a worthy choice for seamless audio, image, television and video. It plays video without effort from everywhere like Netflix, Blueray, TV, YouTube and more and you can enjoy media at any time and from anywhere through your phones and DLNA too. This hit multimedia platform for PlayStation 3 has a Jukebox like interface and offers a similar experience like iTunes. It also has a big community with over 25,000 JRiver users.
This service supports limited platforms like Windows, Mac and Linux. The master license is compatible with all of the above-mentioned platforms and is available for $69.98. The Windows-only package is $49.98 ad the Mac OS X only package and Linux only package are also available for the same price of $49.98. Regular builds are posted on the Media Center Interact forum implementing the requested features and fixing reported bugs. Audioscribbler plugin and G-Force are also available for the JRiver Media Center and it can also rip and burn CDs.
Serviio serves Apple TV users and is a free media streaming service with a great video streaming experience. When installed on Apple TV, it allows you to explore hours of media regardless of the format type and is very popular due to its feature of casting media on a variety of devices. They also maintain an active community of members from different countries discussing technical issues and solutions so as to help each other. It is available as both free and paid versions and you have to pay $25 for using the premium paid version.
Serviio allows you to stream your media files like music, videos or images to renderer devices like TV, Blueray players, game consoles or even your mobile phone, on your connected home network. Serviio works with many devices from your connected home such as TV, PS3, XBox 360, smartphones, tablets etc and it supports profiles for particular devices so that it can be tuned to maximize the device’s potential and minimize lack of media format playback support by transcoding. You can also access your files on the go from anywhere with the Pro edition. You can also control Serviio with your voice and Alexa.
13. TVersity Pro
TVersity Pro is a new Kodi replacement that is on the rise and works by mirroring media from PC televisions and smartphones. It is getting more and more popular due to its smooth interface, efficient and fast navigation and search system and many of the other features. You can avail the service of a single PC license at the cost of $24.99 and you can get the unlimited PC licenses in one household package by paying $39.99. It is a very good service and most preferred for streaming media on iPhone with ease. It supports a list of platforms like iOS, Android devices, Sony PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Chromecast etc.
TVersity Pro is ad-free and your entire music and video collection and video and photo libraries are available on your fingertips. All you need is the TVersity Media server which is available for free on the TVersity website running on your PC and ready to serve your personal media to your devices. This free version of TVersity will allow you to view photos, play MP3, M4A and most of the MP4 files and within the Pro version, you will be able to play virtually any file formats. The TVersity Pro app, unlike the free one, also allows you to save the photos to the camera roll, sharing to social media sites and to save photos, music or videos locally on the phone so that you can access it anywhere even when you don’t have a network connection.
MythTV is a free open source home entertainment application with a simplified user interface design perfect for the living room TV. It turns a computer with the necessary hardware into a streaming digital video recorder, digital multimedia home entertainment or home theatre personal computer. It runs on various operating systems like Linux, Mac OS X and FreeBSD. MythTV is also capable of capturing HDTV streams from any source that will provide unencrypted video. It has completely automatic commercial detection and optional skipping feature which is great.
MythTV interfaces with non-profit subscription listings service Schedules Direct in the United States and Canada. The service supports everything supported by LinuxTV and the allows multiple frontend client machines to be remotely served contents from one or more backend machines. You can play recordings at an accelerated or decelerated rate and schedule and administer various system functions using a web browser-based interface. The software runs and is officially supported by Microsoft Windows but as of 2013, no official executable version was available but there are detailed instructions regarding compiling for Windows.
SPMC stands for Semper Media Center and was developed by the former developers of Kodi and thus has a very similar interface. This app is only available for Android devices and Fire Stick and is unavailable for Windows and iOS which is a major drawback of the service. In fact, SPMC is a clone of Kodi and was forked from the Kodi Github repository and developed on top of it. Any Kodi add-on that is available for Kodi can also be downloaded and viewed in SPMC and in most of the sense.
It is possible to use SPMC on Mac and Windows using an Android emulator but it not a practical way to run SPMC because emulators tend to consume a lot of CPU power. If you have Nvidia Shield, you will love this one as the developers of SPMC uses Nvidia Shield to test it. It has a built-in voice recognition feature which is pretty great and runs smoothly on even on the lesser Android phones. If you have a surround sound stereo system, you should definitely use SPMC instead of Kodi. It has a built-in pass-through audio feature which allows you to reduce the number of cords needed to set up your surround sound system.