Kodi 14.0 “Helix” nearing beta release

Posted By: Martijn Kaijser on Oct 18, 2014 in Pre-Release

As we already mention in last alpha4 release post, the first beta release is nearing pretty fast. At this moment we are only waiting for one more final change to happen and then we are good to go. We are only talking a week or two at most. About three weeks have past since but, yet we haven’t sat still. The list of changes and improvements continues to grow.
Although we also said feature freeze was in affect, we still found some things that were worth including in the upcoming release. These changes had little impact on stability or have been tested quite thoroughly

Localised keyboard support
Although the changes are small the effects for user can be quite big as they can now use a localized keyboard. Thanks to several non team members the list of available keyboard keeps growing. Due to the growing list we now also list them alphabetical using the English language names.

DXVA-HQ scaling for videos (Windows)
Since this feature might cause some issues for certain video cards, it was decided that users who actually want to use this feature, you will have to enable this through the advancedsettings.xml file. Of course this is for the more advanced users to worry about. Though it’s worth mentioning this changes as it could affect some of you.

Faster channel switching for PVR
For those that use the PVR capabilities have experienced that channel switching not always is as fast as you want it to be. This should now be some what improved and will switch channels a bit faster. Although there is likely still some gain to be made for the future.

Raspberry Pi audio resampling
The Pi’s GPU supports high quality re-sampling, format conversion and up/down mixing.
This PR creates a factory for different re-sample implementations, moves the current one into ResampleFFMPEG, and adds a ResamplePi GPU accelerated implementation.

Add MMAL decoder and MMAL renderer for Raspberry Pi
DVDs with menus do not work well with omxplayer (the main R-Pi internal player). For this the R-Pi uses the normal internal player from Kodi which offers better support for software decode for SD codecs like divx3, msmpeg, sorenson spark etc. Also omxplayer doesn’t support alsa, so can’t be used with USB and I2S sound cards. Internal dvdplayer may behave better with dodgy timestamps and packet loss, e.g. with live TV. So for this support was added to dvdplayer using the MMAL api. This offers hardware acceleration, saves the processing cost of YUV->RGB conversion, saves the memory cost of the RGB textures for video frames and allows high quality (cubic) scaling.

iOS 8 runtime fixes

Due to the release of iOS 8 some new problems showed up up the new Apple OS. Some of these issue are listed below and have been fixed

  1. Orientation of our layer is borked when compiled against ios8 sdk and running on ios8 runtime (apple finally fixed the 90° based coordinates)
  2. Because of 1 orientation on external screen is messed up too when compiling against ios8 sdk and running on ios8 runtime
  3. On ios 8 runtime (independent of used SDK) the textfield above the native keyboard is hidden
  4. On ios 8 runtime (independent of used SDK) VTB HW decoder crashes on seek
  5. Several fixes concerning Airplay. It might still be possible that not all function like you want it to. Please know that our main developer for this part tries his best. Hopefully you understand that we are limited in both manpower and capabilities due to Apple constraints.

Update Windows power management functions
Our code still contained some functions that dated back to the Windows XP release. Now that we have dropped support for that OS a while ago it was also time to update the function. It is most likely most of you won’t notice it on normal usage. Due to these changes the support for the newer Windows version has improved a bit. One extra function has been added. When you have pending Windows updates that requires a reboot, it now gives you the possibility to  install them if you reboot from within Kodi. Do note it will not force install any updates that you haven’t enabled.

Improvement in file handling system
This is really under the hood code changes that has greatly improved the code handling for several of the file systems we handle. Mainly stability and possible error handling.

Dolby Atmos surround sound
For the users who own the Transformers – Age of Extension Bluray (to name one), would have noticed that TrueHD playback didn’t work. This is caused because the Bluray includes the new Dolby Atmos sound for the TrueHD track. Our devs backported a fix from FFMPEG to at least retrieve the normal audio channels for playback. The actual Dolby Atmos functionality is of yet not supported.

Extending JSON-RPC even more
JSON-RPC is a remote procedure call protocol encoded in JSON. It allows any program to communicate to Kodi by sending certain commands and possibly retrieve data back. This is the main method that remotes like our official iOS remote uses to connect to Kodi. With these additions, these remotes become even more capable of controlling your favourite in house media center.

Several other fixes done:

  • * Fixed T9/SMS text input
  • * Updated several PVR add-ons to include fixes done
  • * SSA Subtitle fixes
  • * Added settings for preferred Bluray playback method. “play main movie”, “show disc menu” or “show simplified menu”
  • * Fix non loading of external subtitles for ISO files and Bluray directories
  • * Fix for importing some add-on modules that depended on other modules
  • * A lot more small fixes and tweaks.

Past changes since Gotham 13.x

For a brief list of other features and improvements you can read the following:  alpha2, alpha3, alpha4


As for this Helix release, so far there have only been small things changed in regards to add-ons. So we are happy to say that almost all add-ons that worked in Gotham, will also work in Helix. There are of course some exceptions, however this should be only be a minimal amount.


Helix compatible skins in our repository at the moment are: Aeon Nox 5, Transparency!, Conq, Nebula and Black Glass Nova.
As of this release all other skins that have not been updated, will become incompatible. We hope that our dedicated skin developers will find the time to update these when we near final release. A big thank you them all for their continues effort.


Due to the fact that we are nearing the beta release, we have stopped publishing new alpha release. However it is still possible to try out the latest changes and fixes we have mention over the past months. Through the entire year we daily build a bleeding edge version for users and developers to download and try. These so called “nightly builds” should normally considered somewhat unstable and not recommended for daily use. However since we are nearing beta they are actually the most stable version you can find for the upcoming 14.0 version. Should want to download and install the most recent build, please visit our download page as mentioned below. You will notice that you can still see “XBMC” in certain areas as we are still in transition to the new name, which takes time and needs to be done carefully. Enjoy.

Get involved to the community

Getting involved is quite easy. Simply take the plunge and start using these 14.0 Helix builds. If you use these builds, we encourage you to report problems with these builds on our forum first and after 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 in our Forums where you can, or donate to the XBMC Foundation if you like. For a current FAQ on Kodi 14, visit our Helix FAQ. You can of course also foll0w or help promote Kodi on all available social networks. Read more on the get involved page.


http://xbmc.org or http://kodi.tv is the only official place anything XBMC/Kodi related. This includes news, announcements, information or XBMC/Kodi downloads. There are of course manufacturers who also provide support with customized XBMC/Kodi versions, tailored for their devices. Should you have purchased from them it would be wise to first check, if it’s a known issue with that specific version. Any other third-party websites, offering you XBMC/Kodi installations, or people offering you pre-installed devices, are not officially supported by Team XBMC and may contain unwanted and unsupported additions, changes and add-ons. Installing these versions is at your own risk. XBMC/Kodi does not provide any media content on it’s own and comes with no add-ons installed regarding this. Should you have problems please contact the correct add-on developer or website should you experience any issues.


Discussion - 74 Comments

  • rd1979 Oct 18, 2014 

    Great to hear! Can’t wait……..

    Oh, about Dolby Atmos, it’s TrueHD, not HD-DTS (which would be DTS-HD btw).

    • A chisholm Oct 26, 2014 

      When is kodi going to ready

  • Juan234 Oct 18, 2014 

    “For those that use the PVR capabilities have experienced that channel switching not always is as fast as you want it to be. This should now be some what.”


    • Martijn Oct 18, 2014 

      bad c/p from draft text. fixed now

      • jeff Oct 31, 2014 

        hey anyone know when I live will be working I even updated it and its still not working all im getting is error?

  • paulpoco Oct 18, 2014 

    Is a there any sharing features like to share to G+ or Twitter or Facebook? This would be for videos found on sites like Youtube, trailers, other video addons, etc to be built into Kodi.

    • paulpoco Oct 18, 2014 

      Is there a better on screen keyboard? Have some symbols on the main keyboard like . @ .com etc

      • Ned Scott Oct 18, 2014 

        I’m not sure what the defaults are exactly, but there’s a new keyboard system in v14 that allows alternative layouts to be made very easily.

        As for sharing, there’s a couple of add-ons that link to Trakt and those push to twitter and facebook.

  • Xbmcuser546 Oct 18, 2014 

    Will Helix also include the boost centre channel on downmix feature? This is super important, especially on the Pi!

  • AleXY Oct 18, 2014 

    Please! Add ability to load sound track from external file with the same name as movie file

  • Etharr Oct 18, 2014 

    WoW. Great news!!!
    I see a big difference at channel switching.
    That was what I was waiting for. I can’t wait for final release.
    Thank you all for your hard work.

  • Jay Oct 18, 2014 

    So any fix on memory leak? And crash problems on ATV2

  • DerekJason Oct 19, 2014 

    Thanks for again allowing DXVA-HQ scaling for videos via the advancedsettings.xml file. I have a GeForce GTX 660Ti and never experienced any issues using this scaling, and it does make a difference (to me) when viewing 480p content. Excellent work, gentlemen.

  • derty Oct 19, 2014 

    Awesome u guys! Keep up the good work. :)
    Excited about seeing the new Kodi label on my screen :D

  • vmix Oct 19, 2014 

    Any chance to get the annoying keyboard loop bug fixed?

    • Martijn Oct 19, 2014 

      What keyboard loop? We know nothing of this as no one has mentioned it on the forum.

  • Cedric Oct 19, 2014 

    Sounds great, keep up the good work guys!

  • Scott Oct 19, 2014 

    I would love to see added in to the settings area where the user can select that drive / path where they would like to have the cache stored along with a settings that will allow size settings All available space or so many gig/mb and a check box that would state when cache reaches max clear and auto reset for continued use. This would allow a revolving cache usage ability and eliminate the Cache full issues.

  • BigJRM Oct 19, 2014 

    Fantastic! Awesome! Brilliant!
    This is my opinion of all the programmers who work on KODI. You young folk truly impress me and I just love the work you do. I’m usually a day or three behind in using the latest nightly build. I hardly ever find a problem, so although you say there may be breakage, I seldom see that.

  • Richard Oct 19, 2014 

    chromecast support??

    • topfs2 Oct 20, 2014 

      There exist no library to communicate the chromecast outside Android and iOS. And even if we use those APIs we would only be able to send content to a chromecast, not receive.

      Noone on the team is interested in doing it only on Android and iOS and as just a sender, however if anyone steps up and does the code I’m sure we would consider and if well implemented, merge it in.

  • TV ADDONS Oct 20, 2014 

    Very excited for this to be stable soon enough!

  • Les Oct 20, 2014 

    Does anyone know why videos keep closing while viewing? The problem seems to be getting worse. Rarely can I watch a full movie without the stream randomly closing

    • Scott Oct 21, 2014 

      Might be similar to a problem when watching live streams from say Eenetertainment hub after a while it seems the program switches on it’s own to the next stream channel in the list.

      I think the system still has some memory leaks in it which is contaminating the data flow and even causing un needed buffering.

  • paul Oct 20, 2014 

    I think this is being rushed a bit to much, the keyboard is broken in the latest nightlies for windows and there on about it is getting close to beta? gulp.

    • Martijn Oct 20, 2014 

      Fixed tomorrow. Forgot to rename a setting

  • Joe D Oct 20, 2014 

    Many streaming videos stutter or quit playing, need to disable video “sync to refresh..”(changing audio settings does not fix) Deal breaker for me. I like my local HD content playback to be smooth.hate going back to settings to enable/disable depending on what i want to watch Back on 13.2

  • johnny Oct 20, 2014 

    i personaly wish I could disable the version checker altogether, the worst idea
    you guys have put on here. first the programmers who program aren’t going to be around forever to update their plugins, secondly since gotham was released 89% of your plugins are listed broken or incompatible including most of the skins. huge time waster including using many of the addon installers to find the program wont install because its listed as broken.

    all your incompatible version checker does is frustrate people browsing plugins. im not going to waste time installing plugins if 89% of them are incompatible or will be by next version. cheers, love xbmc/kodi still my favorite pc program other than voxcommando.it would also be nice to have a complete buffer or percentage buffer play (say at 50% buffer start playing) such as the youtube plugin tube enhancer (if I remember correctly). buffering on a public wifi such as library really sucks.

    • milton Oct 22, 2014 

      Have you tried

      Addons / services / xbmc version check

  • yeah Oct 20, 2014 

    How do i activate DXVA-HQ, will it be useful for x264 1080p material? Should i create a advanced.xml and then what? Im a noob at this!

  • Gianluca Oct 21, 2014 

    There will be support for dts and ac3 for hifiberry digi+ toslink out?

    • fritsch Oct 21, 2014 

      Has absolutely nothing to do with xbmc.

  • Michael Oct 21, 2014 

    Will the references to XBMC be removed from this release? If not when will they be? Perhaps after the logo is finalized?

    • forcedalias Oct 27, 2014 

      How come you haven’t announced the logo poll results?

      Are you hoping to surprise us by waiting until final release? I bet out of the 60 images, one of the three that I loathe ends up being chosen.

      I know I’m supposed to be grateful for unpaid user contributions and all but boy do I feel strongly about this.

    • forcedalias Oct 27, 2014 

      Sorry, that wasn’t supposed to be a reply. Forgot to cancel the reply option.

  • Tommy Oct 21, 2014 

    Awesome, but

    The ac3downmixgain setting still does nothing on android?
    Volume gets really low.

  • Sonn Oct 22, 2014 

    Any Idea when Dolby Atmos will be included? Thank You for all your hard work!

  • paul Oct 22, 2014 

    I am glad to see the keyboard fixed but, installing addons not listed as incompatable only to find out once installed they will not run is quite frustrating, take the universal addon by the one for an example, installs fine then crashes after install, perhaps its a windows thing who knows, but I am getting rather confused about what works and what does not, and it is so time staking trying stuff that installs, just to fail after.
    Keep up the good work guys, atleast dxva is now fixed in helix on my NVidia card, thanks :)

  • paultsb Oct 22, 2014 

    An old chestnut maybe, but are we any closer to seemless Netflix integration? I’ve used the various hacks and workarounds, but it would be epic to browse and stream Netflix content natively as if it were locally stored files.

  • Mou Oct 22, 2014 

    Great work guys!!! Looking forward to try it :-D

  • NakedG4m3r Oct 23, 2014 

    Love this software. It could use a Chromecast option though.

  • gg Oct 23, 2014 

    When will the name be changed back to XBMC?

    • Kib Oct 23, 2014 

      Never. We were under legal obligation to change it, and can’t use it anymore.

  • Carlos Batalha Oct 23, 2014 

    Hello. Will KODI be completely supported at windows 8.1, without freezing and shutting down the program like it happens sometimes in xbmc 13.2? and not having sound/video issues also at windows 8.1? You have been doing an amazing job and you have many fans here in Portugal

    • fritsch Oct 23, 2014 

      Not really an idea. Depends on your hardware. In the past – especially AMD drivers – have had a lot of issues … open a thread on the forums and post your relevant logfiles.

  • Ryan Oct 23, 2014 

    Would it be possible if you could include the feature to speed up sound while fast forwarding? Of course, only sound for 2x speed would be necessary.
    This is extremely useful for those of us that use XBMC for more than movies and TV; I have an entire library of lecture notes and videos that I watch more than frequently. Trouble with them is that they can be slow paced, and watching it at twice the speed is easily done, but with no sound, it is pointless doing this on XBMC.

    Instead I often have to jump on the PC with VLC player when I get frustrated. Most times I would rather sit in my living room, on the couch, watching them while eating food.

    Heck, I could name more than a dozen people that watch tv shows in twice speed on other media players, just to save time. Not my thing, but I get it.

    • nickr Oct 26, 2014 

      Try mythtv, it does this for 5 years or more.

  • Stefan Oct 24, 2014 

    Will look forward to it, I Installed the latest Alpha and what a nice suprice it was when I saw that everything from my XBMC still there in Kodi….My Skin,MY Add-ons my settings well Everything worked so I am a happy camper :) oh and I am on Windows 8.1 and a Nvidia GeForce GT 640 ,Intel i7 3770 and 8GiG Ram plus some readyboost memory and it all flows beautiful and so Thank you for a wonderful work….plus I have to say that the Kodi sign or name do not bother me at all because it is the program that counts and as everything is working it is perfect so keep up the good work and again thank you for this fine work Guys & Gurls ;) :)

  • Guilherme Oct 25, 2014 

    please, drop this name
    or at least make a better logo

  • Stephen Oct 26, 2014 

    Since we’re nearing us the beta phase: what would you say is a realistic timeframe for the release of 14.0? December? Still in 2014?

    Also, does somebody know how long it takes for Kodi-based projects (e.g. OpenELEC) to release their final builds (OpenELEC 5.0), once the Helix released is published and final?

    Keep up the great work guys!! XBMC rocks.

    • kib Oct 27, 2014 

      If I were to hazard a guess: within the next couple of weeks.

  • M LaScola Oct 27, 2014 

    Is there a way to include somewhere in the settings to adjust both audio and video settings across the board. I notice that in xbmc, I have to amplify volume for every video individually. I would love to be able to amplify the audio output of Kodi itself, rather than each video. I would also like the option to adjust video levels via the options menu rather than the video menu. Just suggestions. Thank you for all your hard work on developing such a great product.

  • Michael Oct 28, 2014 

    The last few nightlies haven’t been very stable for me at all. I know they are development builds, but it’s scary that the beta is due any day now and the latest nightlies are crashing on a high spec windows 7 build.

    • Martijn Oct 28, 2014 

      this is not a support section. provide enough information on the forum else no dev will know or look at it

  • Tenchu98 Oct 28, 2014 

    Wish they could integrate ‘add to library’ into kodi, instead of each plugin needing it.

  • Steve Oct 29, 2014 

    I wish someone would change the XBMC logos under “System/Settings” already to Kodi. LOL. Looking forward to the Beta! Cheers

  • Bend3r Oct 29, 2014 

    How long (approx.) will we have to wait until a Release Candidate or Stable Release?

  • dazed Oct 29, 2014 

    So….. 12 days later (after the poll deadline), and no mention of the logo voting? And no one is able to see the results of the voting?

  • Jojumy Oct 30, 2014 

    Nice job team, i appreciate a lot your work.
    The logo is not important.
    People be patient they are working to have a perfect system to us.


  • Paulie Oct 30, 2014 

    ive jail broken I’m iPad Air via pangu and installed cydia, I have used the source http://mirrors.xbmc.org/apt/ios/ and installed XBMC. It’s showing up as installed in cydia but I don’t have any icon on my iPad! Am I doing anything wrong?

    • adam Oct 31, 2014 

      Reboot your ipad. Does the same thing for me every time. Don’t see the icon til i reboot.

  • dj chevy Oct 31, 2014 

    still having problems with apollo sound card when ever i turn on sound card movie and audio playing to fast .i have been checking the nightly with no results .here is a cue last work on 3.2

    • dj chevy Oct 31, 2014 

      13.2 “Gotham”

      • kib Oct 31, 2014 

        Please post this on the forums, together with a debug log.

  • Manuel Oct 31, 2014 

    Why my keyboard Logitech k400r is not working with gotthan 13.2?
    Befo te update was working properly.

  • Darren Rollason Oct 31, 2014 


    Would it be possible to record the audio amplification levels so when I watch music videos I can enhance some and drop others, thus every time they are played they have their own settings and retain my prefers levels., saving the settings would make such a help when I have a party !

    Keep up the great work, looking forward to the next release

    Cheers Darren

  • m&m Nov 03, 2014 

    Any idea when “beta” get startet ? Its been more than two weeks since the announcement …. cant wait :-)

    • Shingtu Nov 03, 2014 

      Yes, next week, November [email protected]:32:46 AM.

  • Steve Nov 27, 2014 

    Thanks for all your work.

    Are there any plans in the near future to add Dolby Atmos support? All the big films seem to be coming out with Dolby Atmos and seems a shame it can’t be used.

  • Mads Jan 18, 2015 

    Love your software :-)

    Looking forward to use it with Dolby Atmos.. but when?

  • Jonathan Feb 03, 2015 

    I seem to be having this problem on jail broken iPad 1. Kodi used to work fine and I was able to watch movies with out any problems and now when I try to watch anything at all it crashes and shoots me to my regular springboard or as I like to call it my desktop/main menu… Anyone know why I’m having this problem and how to fix it?

About Kodi

Kodi is a free and open source media player application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. Kodi is available for multiple operating-systems and hardware platforms, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.