First, I want to say, welcome to the world of the Kodi Media Center. A world with free movies, TV shows, live TV, live sports, NES games, SNES games, Genesis games, and much, much, more. This guide will walk you through how to use your new found multimedia freedom.
If you have any questions regarding your Fire Stick, Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Kodi?
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick with Kodi grabs videos from existing online streaming web sites, bringing the online streaming experience to your living room on your HDTV, free of the popups and nuisances associated with watching online. Kodi (formerly XBMC) is a free and open-source media player software developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. Kodi can be installed on Amazon Fire TV Sticks as a media center and is an easy way to enjoy recent movies, TV shows, live TV, live sports, live PPV, XXX videos, depending on your area local news, NES games, SNES games, Genesis games, and much more all for free as long as you have the right plugins installed with it.
Is this illegal?
There is currently no definitive answer to this question. Depending on the site and file type, online streaming may create a full-length temporary copy of the movie on your computer. Alternatively, the program may delete the data as you watch. Some courts have held that even temporary copies may violate the law. However, the Copyright Office contends there is no violation when “a reproduction manifests itself so fleetingly that it cannot be copied, perceived or communicated.” Though the law is unclear, it is useful to note that owners, such as the MPAA, rarely go after individuals who watch streaming movies. Illegal or not, it’s much more difficult to track these users down. Unlike BitTorrent downloads, the MPAA can’t just sign into a program and snag IP addresses. Source: http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2012/04/is-streaming-or-watching-movies-illegal.html
Fire Stick Setup
Now, it’s time to get the Amazon Fire Stick plugged in and set up. This section should be pretty self-explanatory but I will go through it briefly. There is also a booklet in the box that will go through the same thing.
What’s in the box?
Open your box and make sure everything is inside. The batteries may be in the remote already.
Plug it in
Make sure to plug in the USB power cable to the wall outlet and not behind the TV. The TV USB outlet can not give it enough power.
Here is a list of the buttons on the controller.
Connect to your WiFi
A screen will come up to connect to your home network WiFi. Follow the instructions on the screen.
Your home screen
Now, you should be at the Amazon home screen. From here, go down to Apps on the left side of the menu and you will see the Apps Library to see where Kodi is. It has a blue diamond shape with a K in it. If it is not there, then we need to go to Settings > Applications > Managed Installed Apps > Kodi > Launch Application. After you run it a couple times that way, it will come up on your Home screen under Recent.
Get additional apps
In the Apps section, you can add any apps you want like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, iHeart Radio, and much more. I have signed into the Amazon stick with a default free Amazon account that has no billing info installed. If you wish to download additional apps, you will need to sign in with an Amazon account of your own first. You can do so by going to the Amazon home screen, then go down to Settings, then My Account.
Start up Kodi
Now it’s time to start the fun. Select the Kodi icon on the home screen. After a few seconds and a splash screen you should be taken to a screen that looks like this. The screen you will see will be different. The newest version of Kodi will show a bit different, but the navigation should be the same.
Now, for the first few minutes, Kodi will go into update mode. This is where it will search to see if any of add-ons that give you all the good stuff needs to be updated. In the top right corner you may see a few “Updated Add-on” notices. If you start going to other screens other than the front screen at this point, you may be kicked out. For example, if you are in something that is currently being updated, it will kick you back to the front screen.
Navigation in Kodi is pretty straight forward. On your remote you go up/down/left/right with your round Navigation button and you select things with the Selection button (refer back to the remote section if needed). If you need to go back, it’s as simple as hitting the Back button on the remote. Also, the Menu button on the remote may bring up an additional menu with extra options depending on where you are. For example, you would press the Menu button on a TV Show you like to get the option to add it to your personal library (we will go over this more later). If Kodi happens to freeze, you can restart your stick by holding down the Play/Pause button and Selection button together until it says that it is restarting (roughly 10 seconds).
All your movies in this section are ran by an add-on called Exodus It has a large array of websites it checks to see if it can find a movie for you. If it finds it on a site, it lists it so you can watch it from there. Now, select Movies in the menu and it will drop down to a new set of options.
Select All Movies and a screen like this should come up.
As you see, there are a lot of options to find the movie you are looking for. What you don’t see from the above screenshot is that if you scroll all the way down there is also an option to do just a generalized search.
Go ahead and select Most Popular and a screen similar to this should come up.
There is a chance that this screenshot doesn’t look exactly like what you are looking at. The reason for this is that your listing view is different than this one. Press Left on your remote and a new menu should come up on the left with your listing view options. The one pictured above is called Thumbnails. You can try them all and see what you like best.
As you may have noticed at this point, you will have older movies, new movies out on DVD, and even movies still in theaters. The older the movie the better the quality the movie will be. If you select an older movie or one that is already on DVD, it will be in HD. If you pick one still in the theaters, more than likely it will be what is called a cam job. Where someone physically took a video camera in the movies and filmed it. It’s not very good quality most of the time but sometimes you can get a really good one. You just have to try it and see.
In this guide, we are going to select Ant Man. At the time of writing this, this movie wasn’t on DVD yet, but just came out of the theater. So, it was enough time for there to be a high quality cam job up. When you select the movie you want, it’s going to take a little bit for it to come up. A little pop up is going to appear that says that it’s finding sources. At this time, it’s going out to all the websites it knows trying to find everywhere that movie is located. Once it’s done, you would now see a screen like this.
In the top left corner, you can see that it found 277 links to this movie. So, you have lots of choices. The tricky part comes in now, finding the best source. Although it found 277 links, all of them may not work. These websites it looks on just have lists of links going to other places. So, what happens is the links get taken down at the source but the website still lists them. So they come up in this list too. Sometimes, it may take a few minutes to find a good source, but as time goes by, you will figure out what sources are the most reliable.
Look at the links that it gave you, we are going to break it down so you know what you are looking at:
01 | WATCHFREE | MIGHTYUPLOAD | HQ
The “01” is just the number in the list. The “WATCHFREE” is the website that it found the link on. The “MIGHTYUPLOAD” is the server that the movie is hosted on. The “HQ” is the quality of the movie file.
Tip: Over time, I have personally noticed ones that say “GVIDEO” or “STREAMIN” where the movie is hosted seem to stream really well without buffering. I will say that the ones at the top are usually more popular so a lot of people are trying to watch the movies from them and it will start lagging and buffering throughout the movie. Kind of annoying. It’s best to move down the line some to find a more reliable source. Also, if you don’t have a really fast internet connection, move down to the MQ quality movies. They look just as good on a TV and will stream better with slower connections.
Now, pick a source from the list. You will see in the top left corner that it’s “Working…”. It is now trying to load the file. If you stop seeing the “Working” message, that means it couldn’t find the movie and you need to go down the list and find another source. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
Your movie should being streaming by this point. Your Play/Pause, Rewind, and Fast Forward on your remote should work now. If you like to stop the movie, press the Selection button on your remote to bring up a new menu that has a stop option there. It should be like this.
If you are watching a movie, be sure to hit the Selection button to bring up the menu to stop the movie. If you hit the Back button, you will go back to the previous screen and the movie will still be playing in the back ground. At this point, you will have to hit the Back button until you get to the front menu, then hit it one more time to go back to the movie to stop it.
This is a collection of all the movies you have added to your personal library. As you watch movies, you can add a movie to your personal library so you can get to it faster through the My Movies section.
To add a movie, go to the movie in the All Movies section and press the Menu button. It should look like this.
Go to Add to Library to be added to the My Movies section.
This add-on was put in because most of the Hallmark movies that some people like to watch are not in the All Movies section. It should have their latest movies for whatever season it is. When you open it, it should look like this.
Just like the movie sections, you can press Left to get to the different listing views. It’s fairly simple to use, just scroll down to what you want to watch and press the Selection button.
This section is also ran by the Exodus add-on. You can usually get TV shows right after they air, but sometimes you may even be able to get them before they air. The more popular ones could even show up a few days before the air date.
All TV Shows
Since this is all ran by the same add-on as the All Movies section, navigation and usage is exactly the same. The only difference is that after you select a TV show, you are then asked which season you want to watch before you get to the list of episodes. That will look like this.
Now, this section will list everything ever made but sometimes, especially on older shows, it may not be able to find a source for some episodes. For example, a lot of anime episodes won’t be found, but I have added specialized add-ons for that in the Kids Zone section.
My TV Shows
Again, the navigation is the same as the My Movie section, and it’s added the same way. Just go to the TV show and select Add to Library.
Here, it will tell you when new episodes are coming up for any shows in your personal library. For example, if you add in The Walking Dead to your library, it will tell you if and when the next episode is coming on this week. It’s just a handy tool to find out when the shows you normally watch are coming on.
When you select the Channels section you will see there are a lot of options. Some of it is live tv options and some of it is on demand options from the providers. Most of these are direct links to sub categories within main add-ons. I just tried to make it simple with direct links through the menu.
Live TV – Mobdro
To get back to Kodi, just hit back a few times and it will close Mobdro and automatically jump back into Kodi.
Live TV – Shadownet
This is another option for live tv. Mobdro works great, but it doesn’t have every channel. A lot of your other channels are in here.
24/7 TV Shows
These are channels that have a specific show 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is ran by the DexterTV add-on.
This is a list of most public webcams in world. You can watch live webcams in Time Square if you want or even the Eiffel Tower. There are 100s listed for your viewing pleasure.
On demand tv shows straight from ABC themselves.
Ellen Degeneres Show
Clips and shows from Ellen Degeneres. This is stuff you will find on her website. Mostly things she talked about on the show previously.
On demand full episodes as well as clips from shows on the Food Network.
Full episodes of Gordon Ramsey shows past and present.
All this really has is another link to the Hallmark Movies and their Home & Family show but I put this here because a lot of people love their movies and that show.
Navi-X is a large collection of user submitted channel lists. You will be able to find live tv, on demand tv, movies, xxx, and much more. It’s like a media center on it’s own. Instead of writing everything about Navi-X here I found a video on it. Ignore the beginning where he talks about how to get there. To get there, just select Navi-X under Channels. Also, the “Navi-X portal” that he goes to is now the “Start Here” button as soon as you get in.
One thing he does not go over is how to get out of it. If you keep hitting back till you get to the first Navi-X screen you can press left on the remote and it will open up a new menu. Just select Exit and you go back to Kodi.
I’m not really going to go over all of the Phoenix add-on. I put it here so you could check it out and go through it if you like. It has a lot of different things in it to watch and it’s so vast it would take a lot of time to go through it all. It’s better to just let you have fun with it.
This is exactly what it looks like. Youtube! It’s a way to watch youtube videos through Kodi. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Just go in and search for what you want.
Everything in section is geared toward kids. From Live TV to everything they could want on demand.
As you can see, once you select Kid Zone you have a lot of options.
This is a quick link that goes straight to the family movies in the Exodus add-on. It functions just like the all movies section previously outlined.
This is a quick link that goes straight to the family tv shows in the Exodus add-on. It functions just like the all tv shows section previously outlined.
Live Kids TV
This is a quick link that goes straight to the kids section in the DexterTV add-on. It functions just like the Live TV – Dexter selection previously outlined.
Here you will find a collection of Disney movies sorted by year. Just select the years you want, then select the movie. Most of the time, all the movies are there, but from time to time, a few years may be missing. Don’t worry, they will come back.
You you will find on demand shows that you normally find on Disney Junior. These are taken straight from the Disney Junior website so your choices may be limited but they will work great.
You will find on demand shows that you normally find on Nick Jr. These are taken straight from the Nick Jr website so your choices may be limited but they will work great.
A lot of people with kids will recognize the name PopcornFlix Kids. It’s an app you will find on phones and tablets. This brings it to your TV. It has a lot of kid’s movies. Nothing really main stream so to say, but kids seem to enjoy them.
Ever miss the old school Bugs Bunny cartoons? Well, this add-on has a LOT of them. They are sorted by character, most popular, you can even just do random and watch what it gives you.
This add-on is for the anime lovers. It has about every anime ever made past and present. You just get in and search for what you want.
This is exactly what it says. Radio Disney with a graphical interface. It’s simple to use, just press play and give it a few seconds to connect.
Most of your options here are live tv. CBSN is an on demand channel as well as live tv also.
ABC News Live TV
This is a straight link to the ABC News channel. It may take a few extra seconds to come up, but it will go straight into the live stream.
CBSN News Live
This is a great add-on for news. It has on demand options for the latest top stories, as well as, a link to their live news channel. It’s in HD and never has buffering problems.
More Live News
This area is ran by the DexterTV add-on. So, like before, it will tell you if a channel is online or offline, but it will take a good 20-30 seconds for the channel to come up even if it is online. But, it has a lot of options for news, both domestic and international.
As you can see from the screenshot below you have a lot of options for sports. Although, you have tons of options, I’m going to outline this section a little different from the others. I broke it down in to two categories: Live TV and On Demand. The reason is that each add-on is great and horrible at the same time with finding what you want. I’ll go in to that more in the Live Sports section. Here is what the menu options look like:
I’m going to start with an example to explain how this works. Let’s say you are trying to find a specific NFL game or a PPV UFC fight. Now, you can’t start to look for it until the game/fight actually starts. With NFL games, most of them will be played on the NFL Network and with PPV UFC fights, once you find the preliminaries you can usually leave it there until the main fights come on. To find it, you may have to go to all four live sports menu options, but it will be in one of them. I would start with the first option: Live Games/Events.
Once you are in here, let’s go to the Live NFL Games. As you see from the screenshot below, it has the NFL Network and a link to all the games. In this section, the links will start going up the morning of the games, but won’t be active until the game actually starts.
This area is usually your best option for live games/events. Now, if they failed to update the links for what you want, you have other options. Next, let’s go to Sports TV – Dexter. Here, you will find a lot of live tv options. A lot of times, you can catch the live PPV UFC fights on one of the BT Sports channels. It’s a UK channel, but it will have the fight. Also, if the NFL Network in Live Game/Events didn’t work. It will probably work here.
If you still haven’t found what you are looking for, don’t worry, the next two options will have it. The last two, Live Sports – SportsDevil and Sports TV – SportsDevil, have a list of sports streaming websites. Your game/event will be on one of those. Here is what they look like:
The “Cric” options such as CricFree and CricHD will usually have a good selection, also, the iLive.to-Sports is really good too. Your best option right now would be to go through a few of them until you find what you are looking for. After a while you will learn which options are best for the games/events you are looking for.
On Demand Clips
The following options are mostly on demand clips and games: ESPN 3, NBC Sports Extra, NBA (On Demand), NHL (On Demand), RedBull.tv, and Extreme Sports. Some things inside the NBC Sports Extra add-on may require a log in from the NBC Sports site. If you have one, you can enter it in.
A few music options in case you like to listen/watch to music on your TV.
When you first start up Pandora you will need to put your log in information in.
Once you do that, you will be good to go.
This has a ton of radio stations. Sometimes even ones local to you. As you can see from the picture below, you have a few options to find the station you want.
If you are familiar with Vevo than you already know they play music videos. It has a few TV stations that it plays continuously too. Here are the options it has.
This is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a link straight to the Youtube Music site. Just search for what you want.
If you chose to get the install with the games, you will see this selection on the menu too. This is ran by an add-on called Rom Collection Browser. I have already added the emulators, done all the configurations, and added ROM collections to it so you don’t have to. A ROM is a copy of a game that can be played through an emulator. It has every US released NES, SNES, and Genesis game, and even some unreleased ones that were created but never made it to stores.
Important: Before you can play these games, you will need to sync up a Bluetooth game controller first. I suggest getting the official Amazon Fire TV Game Controller. More I know that works are the OUYA Wireless Controller and the Xiaomi Bluetooth Gamepad. If you need help syncing them to the Fire Stick, you can go here: Amazon.com Help: Pair a Remote or Game Controller.
When you first start it up, you will have to wait till it loads the list of all 2600+ games. That’s right, 2600+ games. It takes about 30 seconds to load.
As you see, there are a few doubles in there. That is because a lot of games were made on both SNES and Genesis. As you scroll through you will see a NES, SNES, or Genesis at the top to let you know which system that game is from. Also, not every game has art on it. A lot will, but some don’t. One of the things on the “to-do list” is to add images for all games in a future update.
Now, if you want to narrow your search down, you can press Left on the remote and it will bring down a menu with sort options.
For demo purposes, I selected SNES and S on the far right. After that, I went down to Super Mario Kart.
Now, press the Selection button on the remote to start the game. Once you are in a game for the first time, you will need to configure the keys to the way you want them on your game controller. You will need to do this to one of each system games: NES, SNES, and Genesis. Press the Menu button on the remote to bring up a screen.
Go to Key/Gamepad Input Setup.
Now, you will select your Bluetooth synced game controller then Set Gamepad Keys. From here, you can set the keys however you want to do it. Once done, you can press Back on your remote until you are back to the game. When you are all done playing, press Back on the remote again to go back to the collection browser.
When you go to Quick Weather, this will just give you a quick overview of the future forecast. It should look like this.
When you first start it up, you will need to change it to your location. Press Left on the remote and a menu should come up.
Go to Settings and change your location there.
You will not find an easy way from the front menu to get to these. It’s kind of tucked away so no one can accidently get to it. First, from the front menu, go to System then Video Add-ons.
Now, scroll down till you get to an add-on called Ultimate Whitecream.
From here, it’s pretty self-explanatory. It comes up with a list of websites and you can find what you want from there.
As you can see, there are a few options under system.
The only one I’m going to go over is Maintenance. If you like, you can look around the others, but Maintenance is the most important.
To keep your Fire Stick and Kodi running good, from time to time you have to run a few things in here.
If your stick starts running slow or you start to get an error saying the system’s storage space is low, run both Delete My Cache and Delete Packages. One flaw of Kodi is that it doesn’t proactively delete the cache it downloads. You have to do that manually. As long as you do it from time to time, it will run good.
Well, that’s it. After reading this you will know everything you need to know about your new Amazon Fire TV Stick with Kodi.