Kodi 14.0 Helix Release

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.

Kodi_14Key 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.

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4 Replies to “Kodi 14.0 Helix Release”

  1. What percentage of Kodi uploads of streams are now H.265? Also, what monthly/yearly estimates of H.264 streams will be changed to H.265 over the next year or two? What do you guys think?

  2. @NIPSZX
    I don’t have an exact answer to your question.
    But if you are old enough, you may remember transition from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 took many years (for satellite / terrestrial TV). With broadband internet now, H.265 / VP9 might take off faster, especially YouTube is already using the latter.

    So my guess is that traditional TV delivery systems like cable, terrestrial, and satellite may take several years before supporting the new codecs, but online it’s just starting now. Online video services should be able to detect the codecs supported by your hardware, and deliver H.265 or VP9 if your hardware supports it, and fallback to H.264 otherwise.

  3. SPMC 14.1.0 for Android released today

    http://spmc.semperpax.com/

    Koying wrote “Once I’m sure there are no major issues, I’ll publish in stores.”

    http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=201783&pid=1918419#pid1918419

    Those Helix builds will contain XBMC patches which were not accepted, or are not acceptable, in the main XBMC tree.

    14.1.0 (2015/02/07):
    Rebased on Kodi Helix 14.1
    Added BOB de-interlacing
    Fixed Video settings availability
    Removed hardcoded 250ms audio delay on AML
    Auto-3D switching on AFTV
    Add “uhd” (4K) to codec selection in Advanced Settings

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