I first heard about Kodi around 2013 back then it was known as XBMC. I downloaded and installed it and my first impression was it sucked, lol, I couldn’t get it to play anything. I deleted it and never gave it another thought for a few months. My curiosity got the best of me and I did some research and reinstalled Kodi knowing this time around I would need to provide some content in order for it to work.
After a year or so of playing with third party addons and Kodi itself, I felt that it was time to cut the cord and use Kodi as my prime source for TV. The first Kodi setups I ran were 2 Zotac Mini PC’s with Windows 7 using Harmony 650 remotes. These setups worked out fine but I was always looking for alternative setups. I came across LibreELEC and installed it on both of the mini PC’s. This would be the main setup I used till 2018, LibreELEC was fast and I had absolutely no issues.
For whatever reason, I felt I needed to update my system, after a bunch of research I decided on an Nvidia Shield TV along with a new Harmony Companion remote. On my previous set up I was also using a 3TB My Cloud NAS for my local content, I thought it might also be a good time to upgrade my NAS, I ended going with a Qnap TS-251A. I removed the 3TB drive from the old NAS and installed it along with a new 3TB in the new NAS in raid 1.
Kodi 3rd party addons come and go changing all the time, I think with all the loaded boxes that were being sold it took its toll on addon developers and free sources. I came across a service a few years back called Real-Debrid, it’s basically an unrestricted multi hoster which means you get largely perfect sources with no buffering. There are other options like Premiumize, AllDebrid, etc but I personally have only used Real-Debrid since 2016 with no real issues. Nowadays some addons only work with a paid debrid service using torrents, there is a lot of controversy as to whether you need a VPN with a debrid service or not. From what I have researched they recommend you use a VPN with Kodi. Personally, I don’t use a VPN and never had an issue, not sure but maybe it has a lot to do with your ISP.
As far as my setup goes I use the official Kodi software from Kodi, I stay away from builds as I just install what I need. As far as addons go I use Seren, Venom, The Crew, a custom skin Aeon Nox Silvo and I also use Trakt TV to scrobble all my movies and TV shows. You need to spend a lot of time researching Kodi and how to add repos install addons, go through all the Kodi settings and understand what they do. You also need to know what to do when Kodi doesn’t work and where to go to find help if you need it. Kodi isn’t just a piece of software you install and forget about it needs constant love. Over the years there have been issues with Trakt, Real-Debrid, tvdb, ISP, etc that have left me without anything to watch, that’s where my NAS comes in I’m still able to use Kodi to play my local content till everything else gets sorted out. The following pictures are screen captures on my 60″ flatscreen.
The following is a list of links I have found useful over the years.
In conclusion, the Shield TV might seem overpriced but it works flawlessly. Kodi has saved me thousands over the years but that’s not the best part, the best part is I can watch anything I want at any time without commercials.