Although this change was announced last August, it was only a few days ago that the first stable version arrived of Kodi, the new name for the popular multimedia player XBMC from its version 14.0 onwards on all the platforms that officially support it. This version, dubbed Helix, also includes several new developments in terms of compatible formats and speed.

At the codecs level, the FFmpeg libraries have been updated in their version 2.4.4 so that the player supports the H.265 format that’s essential for viewing videos beyond 1080p, as well as the VP9 compression format, regardless of the characteristics of the hardware running it. The update also brought improvements to the program’s interaction with external hardware via UPnP, as well as the update system for plug-ins and add-ons (which you can now customize so that, for example, certain updates don’t always download automatically).

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The mobile versions also have specific improvements. On iOS the interaction with AirPlay has been enhanced, while Android has seen an expansion in its hardware compatibility to support playing of 4K videos on several new architectures. In both cases the virtual keyboard, so indispensable to touch control systems, has been improved.

We’ve discussed here before how many things you can do with this media player, which can run just as well on smartphones as on obsolete PCs and is also the ideal complement to microcomputers like the Raspberry Pi. This versatility makes Kodi a must-have for your home entertainment system.

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