New to set-top streaming boxes - need to ask a few basic questions.

SumGuy

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May 29, 2017
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I'm new to set-top media boxes, and have been asked by some family relatives to look into this and see what it's all about. I'm refering to the "Kodi Fully Loaded" (or KFL for short) thing. I have some basic questions that I haven't seen asked or answered in the general media or on other web sites. My questions are this:

1) How close does a KFL box simulate having a working cable-tv service? What channels or networks are available? Would I, for example, be able to stream my local network affiliates (ABC, NBC, PBS, etc) ? What about specialty channels (CNN, HGTV, Weather network, etc) ? I'm not asking what kodi addons I'll need, where to get them, etc. I just want to know what's possible to stream if I obtain the right addons.

2) Will I need a VPN? I'm not concerned about exposing my actual IP while streaming. I want to know if I will NEED a VPN to do some, most or all of the streaming that I'm thinking about in question (1) above. My desire to dive into this at all will be greatly reduced if a VPN is needed, and even more so if we're talking about a PAID vpn. And one more thing, since I'm in Canada, does that impact on this VPN question if I'm talking about US channels / networks?

3) I remember years ago when watching hacked satellite TV required all sort of gimicks that had to be updated every so often. Does the KFL experience also require hooking into or connecting with third parties for codes or passwords to stream some or most content? If so, are we talking paid or free access to these codes / passwords?

I'm trying to understand what the full KFL experience is like in order to decide if it's worth it. I appreciate any comments / answers in this regard. Thanks.
 

RavRob

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1 - Long answer: It is possible but Live TV is not something you can rely on. It is hit and miss at best. There is some IPTV you can pay for but even then, it is not reliable. Short answer: don't count on this for your viewing.

2 - In Canada we don't need a VPN other than to mask our IPs. No content is Geo-Blocked. In the UK and some other European countries, it is almost a must. If you do get a VPN, I would suggest you get a Paid one. You get what your pay for.

3 - When using Kodi and addons from TVAddons, the content is free. The addons auto-update. The Kodi software will require an update from time to time but it is not a big deal to do it and it is always free.

About your KFL. I would recommend against it. A lot of box sellers will charge extra to get the addons on the box. More often than not, the addons are not fully configured, some do not work at all and others will just interfere with otherwise good working addons. I would suggest you get a box from Walmart (in Canada they sell a MyGica). It has Kodi installed on it but not KFL. You get to add the addons you want or you can use our Wizard to auto-install some commonly used addons.

The rest you can ask as you go. Some people cut cable but frankly, I see Kodi more as a hobby than a cord cutting device. As for your live channels you were asking in #1, this is not like the FTA days. It is better as a "On Demand" device than a Live TV device. Live sports is normally pretty good but, again, don't fully rely on it for all your sports need. Movies and TV shows can be watched on demand. TV Shows normally auto-update anywhere from within an hour or two to 24 hours after they have aired. It depends on how popular the show is.
 

SumGuy

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I did pick up a MyGica 495 from a local retailer for $130. They were very careful to tell me in the store that they couldn't answer any questions about Kodi. Regarding the KFL stuff, I was under the impression that some smart people had figured out a way for these boxes to access the various "high-value" streaming content directly from the legit servers that are authorized to stream them. Is this the case? Or is the content really coming from third-party servers that have managed to get their hands on it and are serving it up to these "special" Kodi add-ons? If the content is coming from third-party servers, then what's in it for them? I'm just trying to understand this whole KFL ecosystem.
 

RavRob

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There are some legit servers that streams legit content. That content is someting like the free content on FTA. Nothing to sneeze at but also nothing great in most cases.

If you are familiar with downloading movies or music or even pirated software, then you will understand. The content we streams is from hosters such as Putlocker, Gorrilavod, and other such hosters. The upload to server similar to Torrents but using HTTPS instead of Torrents.

These hosters make their money with users who purchase a premium account. Kodi users are in fact free users. We are therefore capped in speed on many of those hosters. Also, the more users are on those servers, the slower it gets. This is still OK for most of us with a good STB and good internet speed. But my speed doesn't mean that my stream won't buffer, I can only stream as fast as the hoster will allow me.

Live sports is even more demanding. Getting content live means quality will be sacrificed. So many sports streams in Kodi are SD at best....even when advertized as HD.

At $13, your MyGica sounds overpriced. You likely paid for the labor your seller put installing our FREE addons. Note that if your run in a problem later on and it is found that you have build or addons from ill repute devs, you will be asked to delete all your content or seek help elsewhere. We only deal with addons from this site.
 

SumGuy

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For about 5 or 6 years I downloaded from lockers as free user, finding the links on sites like avaxhome. I used Jdownloader. About a year or so ago avax changed the hosters they allowed in their links and went to all pay - no free access. I recall that it was possible to stream directly from file lockers - so you're saying that, essentially, this is what KFL is doing. That's lame, especially since free users almost always have slow access. Accessing lockers wouldn't require VPN, unless an ISP was messing with the routing to the locker, or was messing with DNS (which is easy to fix). The MyGica 495 was $130 (CAD) and was new retail box, no mods. Canada Computers. I don't think you can buy it for less than that anywhere, even ebay.

Downloading as free user from file lockers always started with a delay (count-down) 30 seconds to 1 or even 2 minutes, and you had to answer a captcha. How does KFL deal with that?
 
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Meep

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Downloading as free user from file lockers always started with a delay (count-down) 30 seconds to 1 or even 2 minutes, and you had to answer a captcha. How does KFL deal with that?
Some providers have captcha others don't, and yet others have 'pairing'... The pairing was a compromise between this community and some providers, you visit their page of ads with a web browser on the same network (same Internet IP) click a pairing confirmation or do a captcha then it lets you then watch content for generally 4 hours before you have to pair again... Kodi addons that use providers that use captcha will generally allow you to do the captcha within the addon...

And last but not least you can get a Premiumize or Debrid account for a few bucks a month that gives you 'paid' status at many file hosting sites so you have access to content and better speeds then normally available for free... Not all addons support a Premiumize or Debrid account but most of the popular on demand addons do... It's not necessary to get one of these accounts but some people find it beneficial...
 

SumGuy

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So, to ask this question another way, KFL is like watching movies on your pc on a site like Viooz? But where Viooz wants to put up a lot of stupid advertising, the KFL set-top box is streaming from file lockers that will give you low-quality (for free) but really want you to pay a few bucks a month for premium access?
 

Meep

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So, to ask this question another way, KFL is like watching movies on your pc on a site like Viooz? But where Viooz wants to put up a lot of stupid advertising, the KFL set-top box is streaming from file lockers that will give you low-quality (for free) but really want you to pay a few bucks a month for premium access?
No...

The boxes do access the streaming sites you would go to on the computer, but they skip all the ads and access where ever the file is hosted directly, assuming the site hasn't blocked this from happening with pairing or blocked it all together for Kodi as sometimes happens...

You can watch pretty much all HD 720 or 1080 videos for free with no premium accounts in many addons, the premium accounts will just give you more options for 1080 and possibly even some 4K content that won't generally be found for free...

If you already have the box, spend the next 30 minutes (it should only take you about 5-10 minutes for a basic setup) setting it up with Fusion/Indigo and then install an addon like Ex**us and SA*TS and have a look around yourself at what is available on demand for free, you will likely be quite surprised...
 
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SumGuy

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I think the box has Jarvis version of Kodi. Should I first update it to (I guess) Krypton before doing anything else?
 

Meep

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I think the box has Jarvis version of Kodi. Should I first update it to (I guess) Krypton before doing anything else?
Yes, uninstall that version of Kodi, launch the Play store app, tie the Play store account to an existing one or create a new one and then download and install the newest stable version of Kodi (17.3) from the Play store...
 

SumGuy

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Is it ok if I download Krypton (apk) on my pc and transfer it to the box via thumb drive? (I don't want to interact with google/play store - don't trust google).
 

Meep

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Sure if that is what you insist doing, much easier to use Google as you get automatic updates and the correct version for your device, there is nothing illegal about Kodi or the download from the Play store, so I personally can't relate tot he concerns... But, if you distrust Google as a fair warning the best free sources for on demand videos are almost always found in Google Video lockers...
 

invisable

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Welcome to the forum @SumGuy It's nice to see new members like yourself.

Just quickly I see you mentioned Live TV in your first post.
The replies only touched on IPTV but you can infact run HDhomerum or TVheadheand on kodi (providing you have a supported Tuner) we have free to air TV in the UK and I have this setup on my Rpi it allows me schedule recording and distribute the TV signal around my house via Wi-Fi.
Maybe worth looking into at a later date once your setup.
 

FXB78

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In Canada we don't need a VPN other than to mask our IPs. No content is Geo-Blocked. In the UK and some other European countries, it is almost a must.
Absolutely incorrect, I've never used a VPN in the UK & access all the content I need. "Almost a must" is a well used term on this site usually mentioned only by people who are not actually in the UK. Don't believe everything the VPN profiteers tell you :)
 

SumGuy

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May 29, 2017
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Welcome to the forum @SumGuy It's nice to see new members like yourself.

Just quickly I see you mentioned Live TV in your first post.
The replies only touched on IPTV but you can infact run HDhomerum or TVheadheand on kodi (providing you have a supported Tuner) we have free to air TV in the UK and I have this setup on my Rpi it allows me schedule recording and distribute the TV signal around my house via Wi-Fi.
Maybe worth looking into at a later date once your setup.
Where I live in Canada, I'm anywhere from 60 to 120 miles from any US TV transmitters and would need a very large outdoor antenna mounted to a tall mast (and rotator) to reliably receive them, and maybe then only on a good tropo night. The local OTA channel selection is pathetic. I cut my cable-tv service about 5 years ago in 2012 and played around with an outdoor antenna for the next 2 years but since then I haven't really touched it and don't watch TV myself at home since then. My main TV is a 36" Sony flat tube tv that I bought in 1999. I bought a small 21-inch digital TV in 2009 and was fooling around with that with my cable-tv service and antenna but again haven't turned on either TV for maybe a year or two now.

I have relatives who live in Windsor and they receive MANY OTA tv stations in the Detroit area. Seems every time I travel down to Windsor there's a new TV station. Is it possible to set up a tuner box in a distant city and access it over the internet with Kodi (assuming sufficient internet bandwidth)?
 

Meep

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Is it possible to set up a tuner box in a distant city and access it over the internet with Kodi (assuming sufficient internet bandwidth)?
Sure it's possible, but highly impractical... If you are that desperate for live streams instead of watching a stuff an hour or two after broadcast commercial free on demand and you can't get over the air then it's probably best you seek out an IPTV subscription (they are not discussed here) and pay the few dollars a month for live streams... But, beware there is no guarantees with them... Or use a service like USTVNow that has something like 6 free US streams...
 

FXB78

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Honestly if you want a STB type experience with live streams get yourself a MAG box with IPTV subscription. Kodi is not worth the effort if this is all you're after.