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Kodi 15.0 Isengard - RC 1

Here it is, the first Release Candidate (RC) built for Kodi 15.0; freshly baked and ready to be served! Although we said that Kodi 15.0 is a “clean-up” edition, we still managed to squeeze in a couple of really nice features. So far we had around 1050 code change requests which were included since Kodi 14.2. This vast amount sums up in a pretty big list of improvements and clean-up being done by various developers for which we should show our everlasting gratitude. As such we will only highlight some of the bigger changes further on. Download link is also provided at the bottom.

Google Play

Without a doubt the biggest news this year has been that Kodi is now available in Google Play. You can download it at the previous link or using the following QR code.

The version currently available on Google Play is Isengard 15.0 RC 1 (could take some time before it’s available as servers update). We’ve decided to go with Isengard instead of Kodi 14.2 as the first release for Google Play, because it is dramatically more prepared for the feature set that modern Android devices like the Nexus Player and the NVIDIA Shield Android TV bring to the table, including support for 4K and HEVC, among other things.

The benefits of installing the Google Play version of Kodi are fairly simple. You always get the most recent stable release without needing to mess with finding, downloading, and sideloading apks. With that said, we will continue to publish apks on our site, so if you’d rather sideload, or if your Android device doesn’t have Google Play, we’ve still got you covered. You should be able to install the Play Store version on top of your current Kodi install without any problems.

Biggest changes in 15.0 so far

Let’s continue with some of the changes that have been done since last stable release. As already mentioned, this is only a very tiny part of the list.

  • • Minimal 10.7 Lion 64-bit required on Mac OSX
  • • Minimal iOS 5.1 required and no more ATV2
  • • Minimum Android 4.2 Jelly Bean MR1 required on Android
  • • Various improvements in PVR section. This includes skin support and new PVR add-ons
  • • Complete video database clean-up session on stored data (no data will be lost). This may take some time on first run
  • • ffmpeg 2.6.2 update which bring better codec compatibility and playback
  • • Improved CC (Closed Captions) support for Live TV
  • • Fix the queuing of music videos
  • • Improvement of FF/RW (fast-forward / rewinding) of videos
  • • Improved logic to make PVR, audio encoders and audio decoders optional
  • • Fix of grouping movie sets when navigating in smartplaylists
  • • External subtitles over UPnP can be enabled through the settings section
  • • Allow scanning of new sources and marking as watched during other library operations such as “update library”
  • • Allow different sort orders for different sort methods
  • Skip steps (step forward & backwards) improvements for videos and music
  • • Add jump to first unwatched in TV section
  • • Fix subtitles showing on top of each other in certain cases
  • • Reworked add-on manager that should give a better overview
  • Chapter selection window that shows thumbs on where to skip to in the video
  • • Easier to navigate audio and subtitle selection list
  • • Show progress for add-on repository update
  • • Addition of language add-ons which allow us to update the User-Interface text outside of regular Kodi releases
  • • Immediately fetch updates from repository after Kodi version upgrade to prevent delay in getting better compatible add-ons or skins
  • • Expansion of international options like time and date format, temperature and speed units.
  • • Improvement of installing new skins selection
  • • Upgrade included webserver which should fix issues with iOS or Android remotes loosing connections
  • • Fix season art scraping on newly added seasons
  • • On Android the system now handles the volume instead of Kodi
  • • Android HEVC H.265 support for some chipsets
  • • Refreshrate switching on Android 5.0 opr higher (your device must have the proper implementation of these features to support it)
  • [email protected]

    playback on the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV

  • • Reworked the storage provider on Android. This fixes several problems with mounting points for storage.
  • • Remove default 250ms audio delay on Android for AMLogic chipsets. You may need to adjust the delay again
  • • Remove certain codecs from our core code and made add-ons out of them. So called Audio encoders/decoders
  • • Removed the need for root/SU on Android. Some hardware/firmware might not like that. Please contact your hardware supplier
  • • Removal of Tuxbox support. Users of Enigma2 boxes can use the VUPlus PVR add-on
  • • Removal of AFP filesystem support
  • • Remove legacy code pre-Frodo 11.0
  • • Vast amount of possible memory leaks, segfaults, crashes and minor issues have been fixed
  • • General improvements regarding code stability and performance in all areas
  • • General code clean-up in all areas to simplify adding future features

The complete technical list can be found on our Github milestones.

Improvements so far in 15.0

The above list is just a very small highlight of all the changes. Some other improvements and more in depth information can be found through the following links

Add-ons

General: So far in 15.0 there are no add-on changes that would impact any add-ons except for PVR. Since our 12.x Frodo release there have been some gradual changes but in general all add-ons, even from that time should still work, of course there are some exceptions. If the add-ons worked in Gotham and in Helix then we are happy to say that all these add-ons should still work.

Skins: As of this moment, all skins that worked in 14.x Helix should still work in 15.0 Isengard. In the PVR sections there are certain changes that might be noticeable and need specific skin changes. These changes are minimal and shouldn’t cause any major problems in usability. There still might be some options still missing which you relied upon first. We’re sure that most skin creators will be updating the skins in due time. Before that happens you should be able to enjoy this beta build without any problems.

DirectX 11 upgrade (not included in 15.0)

DX11Although this release post is all about the upcoming 15.0 version, mentioning the DX11 upgrade for next version is very important. Since switching from OpenGL in 2009, Kodi (and XBMC in the past) has used the DirectX 9 implementation for various tasks of rendering the user interface and media playback. This almost dates back to the XBOX days. With the hardware industry moving and focussing more on the newer DX11 with their drivers, more people have problems with running our outdated DX 9 version. This could range from simply not starting, crashing just after loading, playing videos or having problems with hardware acceleration. One of our developers afedchin took on this task and completely revised our DirectX 9 implementation and upgraded it to the more current standard of DirectX 11. Don’t worry if you still have an older card, we only use low level features so you don’t need to run to the shop for new gear. If you are having problems on Windows you can head to our forum where you can find the most recent build available which is currently based on our 15.0 release. We appreciate all the feedback we can get. Read more: here. Again this will not be part of our final 15.0 release, it will be in 16.0

We need your help

With every release there comes a point where we as a team think we’re ready enough to call it “beta” and work our way to make it a final release. From this point on we need you, the users, to help test the builds we publish and report any problems you may encounter. As we are only a limited group of people who also use Kodi in their spare time, we are limited in the ways we can use and test Kodi to the full extent. We are grateful to the devoted users who have already helped us testing the alpha builds and the first beta build on day to day basis. Having many thousands more running and testing this beta we can hopefully work out some of the remaining issues that lie within our power.

Kodi Protest Collection

We spent some time going back and forth trying to find a shirt to protest Amazon’s removing Kodi from their App Store, but at the end of the day, we decided all our ideas sounded a bit too much like the proletariat protesting the establishment. So instead, here’s a cool, distressed looking shirt that we like a lot. Important to mention is that compared to previous T-shirts, the prices for shipping are far more reasonable. Have fun!

kodiprotestcollection

Conclusion

Should you want to download and install this beta build please visit our download page.

After the beta release you can also install the nightly versions we build each day.

Other Software

In addition to creating Kodi, the members of Team Kodi have created official remotes to be installed on your tablet or phone.

Kore™ (Android) Official Kodi Remote (iOS)
org.xbmc.kore Official Kodi Remote (iOS)

Like Kodi™ itself, both official remotes are free and open source software.

Get involved

Getting involved is quite easy. Simply take the plunge and start using these 15.0 Isengard builds. If you use these builds, we encourage you to report problems with these builds on our forum first and after that, if asked, submit bugs on Trac (following this guide: How to submit a bug report). Do note that we need detailed information so we can investigate the issue. We also appreciate providing support to other users in our Forums where you can, or donate to the XBMC Foundation if you like. You can of course also follow or help promote Kodi on all available social networks. Read more on the get involved page.