How to install Genesis alternatives on Kodi
Kodi is one of the finest applications for watching digital media in your home. Originally known as XBMC (Xbox Media Centre), this open source software can be installed on a variety of devices, such as PCs and the Raspberry Pi, and offers an attractive and easy-to-use interface for playing digital media on your TV from various devices on your home network.
One of the best things about Kodi is that it’s open source – which means not only is it free to download and use, but it has also built up a community who have created a number of add-ons that further expand Kodi’s functionality.
One of the most popular Kodi addons was Genesis, which allowed you to easily find and stream movies and TV shows. The legality of this wasn’t straightforward, and earlier this year Genesis was discontinued. However, if you’d like to install a Genesis alternative on Kodi, or any of the other brilliant addons – then read on for our step by step guide on how to install Genesis alternatives on Kodi.
1. Select a repository
You can extend virtually every aspect of your HTPC by adding a number of plugins and extensions. To do this, head to System > Settings > Add-ons > Get Add-ons. This displays a list of repositories (repos), including the official OpenELEC and Kodi repo.
Select the repo you wish to install from. There’s also the All Add-ons option, which displays plugins from both these repos.
2. Select category
Once you’ve selected a repo, you’re shown a list of add-on categories. The Kodi repo includes a lot more categories than the OpenELEC one.
The OpenELEC repo mostly includes drivers for various devices, while the Kodi repo includes well over a dozen categories. The Programs Add-ons category is particularly interesting and houses plugins that turn your HTPC into a seed box.
3. Select the add-on
When you select a category, you’re shown a list of related add-ons. For example, if you select the Music Add-ons category, you’re shown plugins for various online radio stations. Similarly, the Video Add-ons category houses plugins for popular video streaming websites, including YouTube, Vimeo and TED Talks.
When you find a plugin you wish to use, select it and click the ‘Install’ button.
4. Configure the add-on
You’re returned to the list of plugins while Kodi downloads the one you selected. Kodi also installs and enables the plugin with the default options. Some plugins have optional configurable elements.
To view these, click the ‘Configure’ button associated with the plugin. The installed plugin is accessible from under its category, eg video plugins install under Video on the main page.
Must-have Kodi add-ons
1. BBC iPlayer
You can use this video add-on to watch content from the BBC iPlayer service on your HTPC. The add-on enables you to watch all BBC channels live or find content by browsing genres. The add-on also enables you to browse through popular and newest content, and brief highlights of the shows.
Because BBC iPlayer is available only to UK residents, the plugin doesn’t work with non-UK IP addresses.
2. Browse images
You can find lots of interesting pictures on websites such as Flickr and PicasaWeb. Head to the Pictures Add-ons section, which lists plugins that enable you to pull in images from these websites, and others such as the Hubble Space Telescope.
Once enabled, different websites give you different options, eg Flickr includes a list of interesting Images of the Day and runs a slideshow of them.
3. Watch online video
Similarly, there are lots of video streaming websites, such as YouTube, Vimeo, NASA TV, TED Talks etc. You can find add-ons for each of them and others inside the Video Add-ons section.
Each addon lists videos according to the service it supports. For example, TED Talks lets you browse talks by topics or speakers, while both NASA TV and YouTube show live streams in addition to recorded videos.
4. Control MPD
Besides remote-controlling content on the HTPC, you can control playback on other machines as well. So if you have an MPD server running on a computer (or a Raspberry Pi) somewhere on the local network, you can install the MPD Client Audio add-on on your HTPC.
Once installed, configure it to point to your MPD server and you can use a nice interface to browse through music and control playback.
5. Monitor downloads
There are other things you can control remotely, eg you can connect to, monitor and control downloads on a remote computer. The Transmission Client add-on available under Programs can connect to another Transmission client on the network.
For this to work, you need to enable the Remote Control feature in the Transmission client on the desktop, under the Edit > Preferences > Remote tab.
6. Play classic games
Another interesting add-on under the Program is the ROM Collection Browser. Once enabled, the add-on takes you through a wizard to set itself up according to your environment. It then imports your ROMs, scrapes metadata about them from online sources and allows you to play your classic games.
Setting it up is quite involved, so go to the ROM Collection Browser website to get it to work.