Kodi has been a source of unlimited entertainment for streaming fans over a huge range of devices including PC, mobile, Smart TV and streaming boxes. The success of this unique all in one media platform has triggered the development and growth of new apps. We will explore three new alternatives to the acclaimed Kodi (XBMC) media desktop and see which one is the best.
4 Fantastic KODI Alternatives
You will notice a huge selection of apps being touted as alternatives of the overpowered Kodi media desktop, but, seldom does an app match up to that brilliance. Mentioning useless media organizers like Plex and Emby can definitely get blogs a great ranking, but did they actually even test if the app is a substitute for Kodi?
So, we tested 15 of these apps and could come up with only 4that actually fall in the same league as Kodi media desktop.
OSMC– A brilliant Kodi Alternative for Apple TV & Raspberry Pi
OSMC or Open Source Media Center is the only direct substitute for Kodi. It is an open source media desktop built on Linux and is quite similar to Kodi by design. You can playback media from local storage, the internet and from local network storage just like the Kodi Project. The only issue is that OSMC does not work directly on a Windows PC, Mac Desktop or Linux PC. You are required to have one of the official devices to install the service.
OSMC is powered by, Vero 2, the flagship OSMC device manufactured and configured by OSMC developers to ensure users’ get the best video streaming experience. Vero 2 is very similar to the OpenElec box that powers Kodi and has a similar interface. OSMC can also be installed on Apple TV and Raspberry Pi 1 & 2 devices.
Not only is OSMC very simple & easy to use, it offers a library of over 30,000 Debian repositories to add videos, music and other media. The best part of using OSMC like Kodi is that … it’s free! You can download it anytime from their official website over a number of devices & operating systems. Since the project is free & open source the creators encourage developers to use its code and contribute back to the OSMC project.
OSMC is also supported by a huge community that provides immediate support for new comers so do have a browse through the Community section on the OSMC website. All apps on the website are free and updates are constantly pushed to all users.
Verdict –It might be “like” Kodi, but it’s not the perfect streaming solution like Kodi. No compatibility for PC, mobile and tablet devices cancels out more than a million people from using OSMC. That’s a million people who will prefer using Kodi, so they might want to come up with a Windows, Mac and mobile app.
Since I had no way to test it, I will wait for my Raspberry Pi2 to arrive and have a complete review up very soon. Until then OSMC will remain number 4in my Kodi alternatives list.
Media Portal–An Awesome Kodi alternative for Windows PC
A mod of the original XBMC (Kodi), Media Portal is yet another open source media player with brilliant functionality & features. Media Portal offers PVR functions like playback, pausing and recording online TV. In addition to this you can watch online TV, listen to music, download games, and install applications just like with Kodi.
While Kodi is cross platform and can be installed over other devices too, Media Portal is a Windows only app. There are two versions of the Media Portal app now, the feature of both are listed in the image above. Media Portal 1 has been around longer providing more plugins and is considered very stable.
Media Portal 2 was released 4 years ago based on all the strengths of its predecessor while removing all the issues noticed in the first version of the app. MP2 is still in development and offers fewer plugins than the original. You can download the Media Portal apps here.
Verdict –Media Portal is “the” Kodi alternative, lacking only compatibility over other operating systems. Media Portal is also a hybrid based on the XBMC source code but offers functionality of a DLNA server offered by Windows Media Player. We are hopeful new apps will soon be out considering the brilliant features offered by Media Portal, until then it remains number 3on our Kodi alternatives list.
Stremio–A Top Notch Alternative for Kodi
Stremio Media Center is a VoD software specifically designed to facilitate online video streaming, with immense emphasis on ease of use. I was actually fascinated how easily I started streaming Jurassic World as soon as I installed the app. Now although it is a Kodi alternative, Stremio looks and feels more like Popcorn time but the developers were initially inspired by Netflix.
Stremio provides you basic features to organize your local media to enjoy your local entertainment while you have exclusive access to online news, sports, TV series, movies, lifestyle videos and YouTube videos. Not only can Stremio collect all your local media, it can use pre-installed add-ons to easily fetch the most trending and watched TV channels online.
Stremio also offers a superb movie &TV recommendation service providing you official release dates of the entertainment you love. The recommendation service queries your most watched videos and bring up a list of entertainment you will love.
Stremio desktop has a very sleek design and even better memory usage, rarely has my ancient work PC crashed with Stremio running (it crashes even when I run Popcorn time!). The thing I really loved was that the app offers streaming links from official portals like HBO in addition to a free link to stream for all media, unless the movie is still in theatres.
Verdict –Stremio is lush, that being said it is not really a Kodi alternative, just a close compliment. Itis a hybrid of Popcorn Time and Kodi. The best thing is Stremio is available on PC, Mac, Android, iOS and tablet devices, therefore can also be casted to the Google Chromecast. I really loved the app until it actually shutdown by itself several times so I will have a chat with the developers for that. For the time being Stremio ranks a superb 2nd on my Kodi alternatives list.
Movian –The Complete Kodi Alternative for Chrome
Movian, formerly known as Showtime, is possibly the closest relative of KODI you will find available on most operating systems and major devices. Movian is exactly like Kodi but with a much better & easy to use interface.
Movian has been around for a while now and offers quite a few plugins to watch movies, YouTube videos, TV shows, Anime, Twitch, The Pirate Bay and many others Although there aren’t enough plugins to compete with Kodi’s massive library, there are just enough to give you the complete dose of video, music and online TV entertainment. Movian plugins are Java based rather than the complex Python based add-ons on Kodi.
I found it really easy to go around, even easier than Kodi (I hate their add-on installation system). The Movie app is also very light and gentle on your devices and hence provides faster navigation, plugin installation and allows access to media files on a local network. Most plugins come pre-installed with a central repository, allowing you to simply install Movian and go watch.
Currently, Movian is available over Linux PCs, PlayStation 3&4, Raspberry Pi, Mac OSX, Smart TVs and only available using a Google Chrome browser extension on Windows PC. You can get the apps from the official website here and the Google Chrome extension here.
Video playback was flawless and most videos are available in full high definition. Another good thing is that you don’t need a VPN for movies, TV shows and music but you might require one for online TV channels.
Verdict–My number 1 alternative for Kodi, with no other competitor in sight. Movian is not only easy to use and configure but absolutely brilliant for low spec devices. Unlike Kodi, all or at least most Movian plugins are operational so no time waste. The user interface is so simple &sleek you can give it to a new born and they will be able to use it.
Another great aspect is that the service is now available over most operating systems and devices so you can take your entertainment everywhere with only an internet connection required. We give two thumbs up to Movian and rank it as our number 1 alternative for Kodi.
Some Honorable Kodi Alternative Mentions
Now although the top 3 ranked above are actual Kodi alternatives that more or less provide the same features and functionality, there are few more apps that should get an honorable mention in our countdown. Here are some more Kodi alternatives to try out:
- SPMC – Semper Media Center
- Lodi –A premium version of Kodi
- Mobdro –Fetch live streams from the internet
- Media Portal –Transform your PC into a complete media solution
Do have a go and let us know how you liked them.
In a Nutshell
We hope you enjoyed our top 4 Kodi alternatives and will have a ball enjoying the limitless entertainment available on all of them. Do let us know if we missed a good option and comment on the ones we have reviewed.
Do let us know if you need any help with installation or any guides you would like to see for the above mentioned alternatives. Leave us your feedback in the comments section below or alternatively find us on Twitter @VPNBest to connect with us.