XBMC (name) is definitely dead, as developers of the popular open source “entertainment center” project have announced the first stable Kodi release – the new name of XBMC – with XBMC 14.0 Helix.
Key changes and new features include:
- Update to FFmpeg 2.4.4 – Adds H.265 / HEVC and VP9 video codecs support. Software decode only.
- Library Improvements – Scanning speed greatly improved, better UPnP support including with PlanOn and MediaBrowser servers.
- New Configuration features – Add-on update controls, choice of virtual keyboard layouts for tablets and remote control users in order to support multiple languages.
- Android, iOS and Embedded – 4K support for Amlogic S802, more ARM SoCs are now supported in Android, fast forward/rewind improvements. Airplay support fixed, except for Android. Freescale i.MX6 support for Kodi Linux.
- Windows, OSX, and Linux – Audio playback improvements. DXVA video playback has been improved for Windows too. A critical Kodi Linux bug has been fixed by Intel, and hardware de-interlacing is now supported thanks to VAAPI video post processing implementation for Intel graphics.
- PVR – PVR windows in Kodi have been rebuilt, and ATSC sub-channels are supported in Kodi 14. I understand PVR is currently not supported in Android.
Kodi 14.0 is available for download for Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, Android (ARM and x86), Raspberry Pi, iOS, ATV2, and there’s also KodiBuntu, a Linux distribution pre-installed with Kodi. There’s still no announcement of a release of Kodi on Google Play Store, but you should be able to install SMPC 14 from the Play Store, a fork of Kodi with some patchsets for H.265 hardware decoding, and more.
Important! If you update from XBMC 13.2 to Kodi 14.0 make sure you back your setup first, for example with XBMC Backup add-on, because there’s no easy way to revert from Kodi 14.0 to XBMC 13.2 in case you change your mind. There may also be issues with skins resulting in a blank software keyboard, in that case try a new skin.
There will soon be minor releases Kodi 14.1, 14.2, etc.. for bug fixes, and Kodi 15 will be the next major release, whose name has apparently been chosen from that long list of suggestions, but not announced yet.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.