Kodi 16 “Jarvis” Release

This morning, I saw Kodi installed from Google Play get an update in one of my Android device, and that means that Kodi 16.0 “Jarvis” has now been released. As usual it’s available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android, and iOS, with specific Linux ports for Raspberry Pi boards, and several Freescale/NXP i.MX6 boards such as Wandboard or EzeeCube.

Kodi_16You can get the full Changelog in the Wiki, but some of the main changes against Kodi 15 include:

  • Various new features for Live TV and PVR (Personal Video Recorder)
    • Added RDS Radio, FM radio, scheduling recordings of TV shows…
    • Various improvements such as speeding up EPG database access.
    • Added, updated, and improved PVR backend clients addons for all popular third-party external PVR backend platforms: FilmOn, HDHomeRun, Enigma 2, Tvheadend HTSP Client, and so on.
  • Add-ons Framework, API, and Manager improvements
  • Platform Independent Playback improvements : software DTS-HD decode with libdcadec, better stereoscopic 3D and Blu-ray support, ffmpeg upgraded to version 2.8.5, etc…
  • Android Specific changes
    • Added experimental pass-through support for Dolby Digital (AC3), Dolby TrueHD audio, DTS audio, DTS-HD Master Audio (if supported by underlying hardware &  firmware), as well as software decode support of Dolby Digital Plus (DD+/E-AC3/EC-3) to PCM audio output
    • Added proper implementation of Surface Rendering going thru EGL for video decoded with Android’s MediaCodec API
    • Added proper implementation of handling MEDIA keys support on Android
    • Improved MediaCodec API video decoding implementations support for Android 4.2 (API level 17) and later
    • Improved automatic refresh rate switching support for video playback on Android 5.0 and later (>= API 21), inc. Android TV
    • Improved support for UltraHD decoding / 4K resolution output when HW supports it
    • Improved playback of HEVC, VC-1 / WMV 9, and VP9 hardware video decoding when using Android’s MediaCodec API
    • Improved audio output by decouple Kodi and system volume which removes double audio volume slider
    • Improved NEON (Advanced SIMD instruction set) CPU acceleration support for ARM architecture
    • Removed support for hardware video decoding via Android StageFright library (libstagefright)
  • Some Linux Specific changes
    • Added multi-touch support, and improved touch and gesture support on Linux
    • Added support for HEVC hardware video decoding via VAAPI and VDPAU API when the VPU and drivers support it
    • Improved rendering GUI (including OSD) at a different resolution than video playback plane
    • Improved automatic refresh rate switching support for video playback
    • Improved EGL rendering on Amlogic by implement 480cvbs/i/p and 576cvbs/i/p modes
    • Improved SQLite file access performance on Raspberry Pi using MMAP acceleration
    • Improved support for UltraHD decoding / 4K resolution output when hardware supports it
    • Improved video accelerated decoding on Freescale i.MX 6 based devices
    • Improved ARM processor architecture  and OpenGLES / EFL support using WeTek Play and Raspberry Pi as reference devices
    • Improved VAAPI (Video Acceleration API), VDPAU (NVIDIA), XvBA (AMD/ATI), OpenMAX, and AMLCodec hardware video decoding.
    • Improved AMD/Intel x86-64 64-bit (AMD64 / IA-64t CPU architectures) support under Linux
  • And more..

If you have installed Kodi Android via Google Play it should have already upgraded automatically, or will do so soon, and for other platforms, you can get Kodi 16 from the download page. Kodi 16 Jarvis  source code now has its own branch with will get bug fixeds with 16.1 and maybe 16.2, and development (master branch) has now switched to Kodi 17 (Krypton).

Another recent development is that Kodi developers have taken a harder stance against companies abusing Kodi trademark, either by making money selling “Kodi” devices with pirated movies, misrepresenting Kodi (e.g. “Kodi box” with custom firmware), or violating the GPL license. You can report companies that misbehave here.

Thanks to Harley for advance notice.

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