Kodi - Media Centre on Raspberry Pi

Kodi was know as XBMC. It is probably the most popular media centre system in recent years. Kodi can run on many platforms such like Windows, Linux, Mac and Android etc. But on raspberry pi I think it is the most economic solution for normal users. It is cheaper but faster (for playing a 1080p movie) than a lot of Android boxes.

What do you need to buy?

Essential List

  1. Raspberry Pi 2 or the latest version
  2. MicroSD card 8G or above
  3. HDMI Cable
  4. 2A Power Supply with MicroUSB cable
  5. Ethernet Cable (Internet Cable)

Optional List

  1. Case
  2. Heatsinks
  3. Remote Control or Wireless Keyboard
  4. Wifi Dongle

Raspberry Pi Kodi Kit

For Enthusiasts

  1. Cooling Fans
  2. Bluetooth dongle
  3. DAC Sound card

Most people think the Raspberry Pi board is very important for the speed but in my opinion, I think the MicroSD card is more important than others. Slow or fake MicroSD card can drive you crazy when using Kodi cause Kodi will download many thumbnails into the SD card and a slow card will slow down the whole progress.

Another important thing is the power supply. The raspberry pi official website recommended using a 1.8A+ power supply for the raspberry pi; for many peripherals will use up the power from a little current PSU. So you'd better to select a 2A power supply for your pi.

The heatsinks is useful but not necessary I think. But if you want to use your Raspberry Pi for a longer time you may want to consider it. The copper heatsink is better and more expensive than the aluminium one. There are three chips on the mainboard. 2 are larger and 1 is smaller. So please select the correct heatsinks for the chips. Most cases are not big enough to contain three heatsinks in the box but we have one kind of case which has enough room for the third heatsink.

How to install the software?

There are two main ways to install Kodi onto your MicroSD card. One is to download Kodi directly from the website similar to OpenElec or XBMC. Or you can install Raspbian first and then install Kodi from the command line. There is a third alternative method. You can install Kodi (OpenElec) when you are using NOOBS and your pi can access the internet.

After downloading the img file you need to use some software to "burn" the file into the card. I like to use ApplePiBaker to 'bake' the file onto the card in Mac OS. If you are using Windows, Win32DiskImager is a possible choice.

But if you feel that it is difficult to do the above, we can provide the Installation Service for you.

When you finish the installation. You can find more add-ons here.

20 Best Kodi addons in 2015 to help you cut the cord

You will find detailed instruction of how to install the add-ons.

After all the work has been done you will possess a media software that literally has more add-ons than a television has channels.


Q: Is the ethernet cable faster than the WiFi dongle?

A: When watching a video there is no difference. However I find the WiFi dongle to be more convenient.

Q: How much capacity should the SD card that I use have?

A: In most cases 8G is sufficient. But if you want to copy more music or video files onto the card you should use a bigger one. If you want to install more than one system onto one card. You will need a 16G+ card.

Q: How much will the speed of the card affect the speed of the system?

A: Greatly, the speed of the card is the key factor of the whole system. Try to use a class 10 micro sd card.

Q: Do I need a cooling fan?

A: I do not think that it is necessary. Although you may want to consider heatsinks.

Q: Do I need a remote controller?

A: If you can accept using your cellphone as the remote controller you won't need it. Otherwise you may want to buy one as it is more convenient to use something for what is made for. Note: If your TV set supports HDMI-CEC function then you can use your TV remote controller to navigate the menus.


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