The final release of Kodi 17.0 (Krypton) is out for Windows, Android, macOS and iOS. Kodi is a full-featured media center app for playing, recording and streaming videos, music, pictures, games, and more. It is a free and open source application with lots of features.
I am using Kodi on various devices including my Android tablet, my Windows PC, my Linux PC and even on a few Raspberry Pi boards. Everywhere, it works like a charm and allows me to browse and use my DLNA server.
First of all, Kodi 17 has got a new look. The new skin, called Estuary, is optimized for displaying on modern large TVs.
For touch screen devices, the app now has a skin named "Estouchy" which is nice and adaptive.
A new web interface, Chorus2, to control Kodi remotely using the web browser has also been added to version 17. It looks as follows:
Besides new control options, it allows the user to play content using his web browser using HTML5 video and audio tags or using the VLC web plugin. This is a really useful addition to the browser.
A refined video engine has been added to Kodi 17. It improves the stability of the app, makes audio/video synchronization better and allows the user to switch the refresh rate and decoding/encoding of video on-the-fly on all supported platforms.
Kodi 17 also has new inputstream add-ons which extend support for streaming protocols like RTMP, MPEG-DASH, SmoothStream and NXMSL. Other new additions include hardware-accelerated DVD playback and OpenGL dithering when performing color conversion. Kodi on Linux can now use 3DLUT and simple ICC profiles to color-correct displays. Audio sinks on most platforms have also been refined.
Kodi for Android now requires at least Android 5.0. According to developers, this is because the app is now standards-compliant with Android’s official Audio API.
Kodi 17.0 is now standards-compliant with Android’s official Audio API and requires Android 5.0 or higher as the minimum version. DTS-HD, DTS-X, Dolby TrueHD, and Dolby ATMOS passthrough are now supported on devices that implement AudioTrack v23 or higher. Devices with firmware that does not follow this standard will not support passthrough. Support for 4K video and output and improvements to refresh rate switching and HEVC, VC-1 / WMV 9, and VP9 playback on supported hardware are the icing on the cake.
Besides these changes, Kodi 17.0 has numerous improvements to Live TV and PVR functionality, including a performance boost, new PVR addons and improvements to recordings.
Finally, Kodi 17 is the first version of the app which has a UWP counterpart in Windows Store. Actually, it is not a true UWP app. It is just a wrapper made with Project Centennial. It won't work in Windows 10 Cloud, the successor to Windows RT.
Kodi is the best Windows Media Center alternative available for Windows 10. As you may already know, Media Center was removed from Windows 10 and discontinued by Microsoft. It is hard (but possible) to restore the original app working in Windows 10, so Kodi can be a really good replacement if you need to play your media content from your local or remote collection.
Do you use Kodi? What do you think about this release? Tell us in the comments.
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