Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Kodi v18 'Leia'

The new Kodi is here! Keep in mind that, although Kodi looks and works mostly the same, there are some differences between the different platforms, and these may throw you a curve-ball when trying to play movies stored on a local (Windows) server.


The short version

You may have to enable SMB v3 via Add-ons, or UPnP DLNA via Services.


Plex

Keep in mind that you can also setup and use Plex. Pick the one you prefer. Unfortunately sometimes Plex doesn't want to play something which Kodi does, and the other way around, so it is good to have a fall-back scenario.


Clients

I'm running Kodi as a client on the following platforms, with a separate Windows 10 home server:

  • Windows 8 - Kodi
  • Windows 10 - Kodi
  • NVidia Shield - Plex and Kodi
  • XBox One S - Plex and Kodi
  • PS4 - Plex

(More about setting up a Windows and / or DLNA server here.)

There is, unfortunately, no Kodi client for the PS4. (But the regular media player works with a DLNA server, see bottom of this post.)

Make sure you are familiar with (the right version of) Kodi. I prefer to get a PC client / PC server combination working first. I may abbreviate some steps below, but it should get you on your way.

The NVidia Shield is the only box to support audio pass-through, as required for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro3D. (It just might work on a PC / HTPC, but I've never tried. It certainly doesn't work on an XBox One or PS4.)


Kodi: scraping

... frankly stinks. Kodi makes too many mistakes, and I don't want to get caught in the quagmire of specifically formatted folder and filenames as in Plex, so I don't use it. My advise is to keep your folders and files well organised, then you don't have to rely on the fancy features of your player.


Kodi: RMB

RMB does not return from a playing video, but the stop button does, not very consistent is RMB acts as 'escape / return' everywhere else.

Anyway, let's get going...




Windows 10 client / Windows 10 (SMB v3) server, logged in

1. Make sure all user rights are properly set on client and server and you're logged in.
2. Then, on the client:
3. Start Kodi
4. Videos / Files / Add Videos
5. Browse
6. SMB server should be listed, select it
7. Change server name if required, then Ok
8. Set content window pops up, pick 'none' if you don't want to use a scraper
9. Ok

An entry for Media6 has now been added to the Video menu in Kodi


Windows 10 client / Windows 10 (SMB v3) server, not logged in

1. Videos / Files / Add Videos / Browse
2. Add network location
3. Enter server name
4. Kodi will ask for user name and password
5. ...


Windows 10 client / UMS (DLNA) server

DLNA is off by default. If you want to use it (as a last resort fall back scenario, because nothing else wants to play a specific file) then:

1. Settings / Services / UPnP / Enable
2. Then go back to top menu and add a source using:
3. Videos / Files / Add Videos
4. Browse / UPnP devices
5. Pick your DLNA server
6. ...

There's no fast seek feature when using DLNA in Kodi on Windows (though seek does work on the Shield and on the XBox One). Also note that loading a preview window can be painfully slow.




XBox One S / Windows 10 (SMB v3)

Let's not talk about the horrible GUI of the XBox One. I like the console, but I just can't understand why things have to be so complicated and ugly. Things look so much easier on the PS4... Okay, just to remind myself how bad it is (and I own both a PS4 and an XBox One, so I do know):


Brrrr... Regardless...

On the XBox One you need to use an add-on which isn't enabled by default.


1. Start Kodi
2. Settings / Add-ons / My add-ons / Virtual filesystems / SMB support
3. Enable

Now you can add sources. Note that you cannot add a complete server and after that add some folders. You will have to add a complete path every time.

4. Videos / Files / Add Videos / Browse

If you would select Windows Network here you might see the servers listed, but you can't access any content on them. So don't 😀 Instead continue...

5. Add network location
6. Change Protocol to 'Windows network (SMB)' if necessary.
7. Enter Server name, name of the shared folder, username, and password
8. Ok
9. ...

You need to repeat steps 4 to 9 for every shared folder. You cannot (as on the Windows version) share a complete server, then later select folders.


XBox One S / UMS (DLNA) server

You may have to switch on UPnP support (UPnP is required to access DLNA servers):

1. Start Kodi
2. Settings / Services / UPnP DLNA
3. Enable

And again you're ready to add sources.

4. Video / Files / Add Videos / UPnP devices

Pick your DLNA server. Note that it may take some time before a DLNA server shows up (UMS came up almost immediately, but it took a couple of minutes before Kodi detected TVersity).

Also note that it may take some time before Kodi detects content on a UPnP DLNA server. Even though it showed the UMS server almost immediately it did not show any content until a few minutes later. (This might be my setup or a general quirk, I don't know, but it happened more than once.)




NVidia Shield / Windows 10 (SMB v3)

The older versions of Kodi and / or the Shield didn't support SMB v3. Fortunately v18 Leia does.

On Kodi v18 on my Shield SMB support was switched on by default (it wasn't on the XBox One, but it was on the Shield, and the situation was reversed for UPnP DLNA, weird). If switched off then check Settings / Services and Settings / Add-ons.

1. Video / Files / Add Videos
2. Add network location
3. Change Protocol to 'Windows network (SMB)' if necessary.
4. Enter Server name, name of the shared folder, username, and password
5. Ok
6. ...

If you want to add a complete server instead of a shared folder, use '/' as the Shared folder name.

The NVidia Shield is the only box to support audio passthrough, as required for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro3D.

1. Settings / System / Audio / Enable pass-through


But notice a Dolby Atmos file may not always be identified as such:


The file is identified as 7.1 but actually is an Atmos file 5.1.4.


NVidia Shield / UMS (DLNA) server

You may have to switch on UPnP support (UPnP is required to access DLNA servers):

1. Start Kodi
2. Settings / Services / UPnP DLNA
3. Enable

And again you're ready to add sources.

4. Video / Files / Add Videos / UPnP devices
5. ...

See also the notes above for setting up Kodi on an XBox One for DLNA.

There is NO audio pass-through when using a DLNA server.

Here's how my Shield looks after adding several SMB v3shared folders, as well as a DLNA server:



PS4

Yeah, no Kodi on the PS4. Unless you jailbreak it, which I think isn't such a good idea. But you can always use the PS4 Media Player and play movies served by an UMS DLNA server.

It supports seek forward / backward, but no audio pass-through.

No comments:

Post a Comment