Last Updated on June 30, 2020 by Husain Parvez
The ability to run Kodi on Smart TV would solve all of the multimedia entertainment problems for many of us, but is it even possible? Here’s a complete guide on which smart TV brands out there offer support for Kodi media player, and why it is important to safeguard your home entertainment with a service such as ExpressVPN.
Back in the day when the very first Xbox console was tinkered around with to create the Xbox Media Center, it was to bring media entertainment to the big screen, using the processing power of the gaming console. Over the years as Kodi media player has risen in popularity, so has the number of devices and operating systems that support it. As of now, you can get Kodi up and running on almost every major multimedia platform out there. From the desktop operating systems of Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, to the smaller screens of mobile phones with Android OS and iOS, Kodi is available everywhere.
Home entertainment systems have traditionally required the assistance of media player devices right from the start. While the modern living space has denounced VCR and DVD players for entertainment, they have been replaced by smart media streamer boxes, such as Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and many others. However, even the big screen has been modernized lately, with the inclusion of operating systems built right into them, making them “smart TVs”, featuring not just network connectivity, but media streaming apps as well.
Why use Kodi with Smart TV?
There are plenty of reasons why you would want to go through the trouble to install the Kodi media player app on the HDTV screen, and here are the two major reasons for it.
Watching Local Content
While the tens of thousands of Kodi add-ons have bundled together with an ocean of possibilities for the user, the core aspect of Kodi continues to be the same. The media streaming platform was and still is intended to be a way for you to access, manage, and view content that you already have available.
Kodi media player gives you the ability to connect directly to services such as DirectTV NOW, Netflix, and many others, allowing you to legally stream content on Kodi using your premium subscription account. Additionally, if you own the original boxset to a movie or a TV show, you can watch it online using Kodi without any concerns.
The XBMC Foundation hosts a bunch of Kodi add-ons, along with hundreds of unofficial ones available from third-party sources. The official repository for add-ons by Kodi hosts thousands of plugins that can be installed directly from the Kodi media player itself and updated automatically.
You can find a wide range of entertainment Kodi add-ons for YouTube, music streaming through SoundCloud, enjoy open-source emulators for retro gaming, get direct access to the news through official broadcast add-ons as well. The add-ons included in the official Kodi repository are vetted by the developers, so you can rest assured knowing that they are officially made available and legal to use at all times.
Which Smart TVs support Kodi?
The concept of smart TVs began with LG and Samsung and has since caught up, with several manufacturers either adopting Android TV OS as the official operating system for their televisions or crafting their very own apps that allow the large display to stream media. We’ve taken a look at the most popular brands in home entertainment today, to find the ones that offer you support for Kodi right out of the box.
Samsung Smart TV
One of the earliest adopters of the web-connected HDTV space, Samsung Smart TVs have been a big chunk of the South-Korean tech company’s profile. Developing the different versions of the Smart TV operating system on Tizen OS allows Samsung to enjoy complete authority over the apps and features of its televisions, which does limit the official availability of the Kodi media player. While there have been rumors of a Tizen-based Kodi build in the works, it has not amounted to anything official from the XBMC Foundation.
LG Smart TV
The entire range of smart TVs from the South-Korean company is manufactured with its very own webOS operating system. Similar to Samsung, LG holds authority over the apps and services that can be used with webOS, and Kodi media player isn’t part of that ecosystem yet. However, LG has begun to offer some HDTVs with Android TV pre-installed, which opens doors to officially installing Kodi on the big screen.
Panasonic Smart TV
To expand across the consumer market and take on the giants, Panasonic has partnered up with the online retailing giant Amazon to offer a wide range of HDTVs. While these new-age smart TVs are packed with plenty of interactive features such as Alexa-assisted voice controls, you don’t get access to Kodi media player by default.
Sony Smart TV
The Japanese tech company has released a number of variants in the smart TV space over the years, and Android TV has recently become the preferred choice for its Bravia series of TVs. With full and unrestricted access to the Google Play Store, you can simply download and install the Kodi media player app officially.
Xiaomi Smart TV
The Chinese mobile brand has made its way into the home tech space, and the HDTVs are also a part of it. Every smart TV that is sold by Xiaomi comes with official Android TV support, making it the right choice to run Kodi on smart TV the easy way.
How to Run Kodi on Smart TV
Since these different brands choose to showcase their proprietary software with the big screen to support media streaming, one simple process to run Kodi on smart TV may not be enough. We’ve compiled a guide, understanding the unofficial or indirect ways that are out there to run Kodi on Smart TV at home, so you don’t have to go through the trouble.
Use Cast / Miracast / DLNA
While your smart TV may not be as smart as the latest round of HDTVs that are being released with Android TV installed by default, there is one standard feature that very well allows you to cast Kodi media player directly on to the big screen. Using the Cast feature on your mobile phone, you can mirror the display of your smartphone or tablet to the big screen. With Kodi media player available for Android OS, all you need to do is cast your phone screen to the HDTV and enjoy everything that Kodi has to offer.
You can either use the Google Chromecast to hook up your Android device wirelessly to the HDTV and cast everything from your mobile screen to specific apps such as YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, and many others. Moreover, some smart TVs also support screen mirroring without the need for a Chromecast dongle, so here’s how you can make the most out of it.
- Head to the Settings app and search for the Cast option on your mobile phone.
- On the HDTV, head to the Settings and look for Cast under the Connectivity or Wireless
- Once the mobile phone detects the HDTV as a wireless display, press the Cast button to begin.
- The mobile phone screen will be mirrored to the HDTV, so go ahead and launch the Kodi app on your phone to viewing content on the TV screen.
Get an Android TV Box
Apart from taking over the mobile world by storm through Android OS, Google is now turning every home entertainment unit capable of doing more with Android TV. Apart from the ability to bring the best of Android to the big screen, Android TV also allows users to browse the Google Play Store freely and install thousands of apps and games that are tailored to TV screens.
Apart from the official devices, there are dozens of unofficial Android TV boxes that allow users to run Kodi media player without even needing the support of the HDTVs software. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular Android TV boxes that you can purchase right now, and run Kodi on smart TV and pretty much any HDTV out there.
Use Kodi with ExpressVPN
For those who have been using Kodi media player for years now, you must be aware that the service has been under fire for harboring add-ons that are deemed illegal. While there is no shortage of Kodi add-ons to replace the lost ones, they seem to work better when connected to a dedicated VPN service. The easiest way to get past browsing restriction by using a VPN service such as ExpressVPN so that you never hit the pause button when it comes to high-quality streaming entertainment.
Bypassing Geo-restrictions – If you reside in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other regions where there the federal authorities have blockaded access to a Kodi add-on, you won’t be able to access the service through Kodi either. Whether the functionality of the add-on is censored in your region or the service is entirely unusable, ExpressVPN allows you to push forward with hundreds of remote servers across the world for you to connect to.
Avoid ISP Logging – Even if the service is not explicitly banned in your region of residence, the ISP (internet service provider) can still keep tabs on your usage. The online activity that you perform when using Kodi media player can be logged, which poses not only a privacy threat but the problem of the ISP fining you for unauthorized usage as well. With ExpressVPN and its military-grade encryption to secure your online activity, rest assured that your online browsing experience is 100% secure.
High-speed Streaming – Although you can find plenty of free and barely-secure VPN services out there that can help you connect with Kodi and make the most out of Kodi add-ons, most of them offer sub-par streaming quality. When using ExpressVPN for Kodi media player, you are automatically recommended servers which offer top upload and download streaming speeds, so you don’t ever have to sit in front of the screen, waiting for the buffering circle to load up.
Just the way tube-style CRT TVs have become a thing of the past, the online media revolution has pushed the HDTVs to the “smart” age as well. The transition from traditional cable TV, to online streaming platforms of the modern age – smart TVs are the new standard in home entertainment. Unfortunately, not all of these software platforms for the TVs by the manufacturers are not built to run Kodi media player right out of the box. Since you can’t compromise when it comes to quality entertainment and media management, we’ve highlighted all of the ways to run Kodi on smart TV the easy way.
Does your smart TV support Kodi media player by default, or will you have to find a way around it using the methods stated above? We would love to hear your thoughts, so reach out to us in the comments section below.