XBMC

Estuary, the new skin for Kodi is available for those looking to download the latest nightly build of the Media Center. Starting with Kodi 17.0 Krypton Estuary, the more TV-centric skin will become the default skin for the multi-platform program. Estuary for Kodi may make the program easier for new users to grasp by providing a cleaner interface with new icons for key functions.

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When Kodi version 17 becomes the official current version of the program users will find the media center has a very different look. The folks at the XBMC Foundation are rolling out a new skin designed with TV viewers in mind called

The new Estuary has a vertical menu more akin to mainstream media boxes like Roku or Fire TV.
The new Estuary has a vertical menu more akin to mainstream media boxes like Roku or Fire TV.

Estuary. The new skin will replace confluence, the skin that many people have come to think of as the standard bearer for the program.

The new look feels like something that could be easier for new users to learn. While veteran Kodi users may know where to find all of the settings and menus needed to set up the program to their liking new users especially less tech savvy ones could struggle mightily as they navigated videos and video addons and music and music addons etc. There are drop-down menus that are redundant to menus found by selecting headings and so forth. This new skin attempts to solve those issues.

New Changes
First of all there is a distinct difference between local or network based media and addon’s. Where before a user kodi Estuary 2would click video to find both and basically navigate a number of windows to find either their media or find their way to the addons section now TV Shows, Movies, Music etc are set up separately from add-ons, wich is now its own category. In fact, Music and Video add-ons are accessible from the same menu.

Set against third Party Downloads
Much like an Android-based box the Estuary skin is set initially to not allow users to download apps and builds from third party URLs using file manager. As with Android boxes this can be disabled easily in settings but it adds a layer of differentiation that did not exist before.

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New icons make finding important menus much easier.

Intuitive Icons
In this skin the shortcut settings is a gear just like you find on a number of platforms, favorites is still a star, the file manager looks like a folder and power settings retain the universal circular button. This may help users more easily find the relevant menus. For instance if you have to walk someone through a set up process it will be much easier to say select the folder at the bottom of the screen than to explain how to find the file manager on the confluence skin.

There will likely be a bit of shock as people begin to update their Kodi builds but the new look lends itself to more mainstream adoption. It is far easier to navigate, there are fewer menus and sub menus to accidently click on and get lost in and the clean vertical headings are easy to explore. But if you find yourself unwilling to change with the times you can always change its appearance by click the gear, selecting appearances and get more. See wasn’t that easy to explain?

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In response to the ongoing situation regarding the use of third-party add-ons which allow users to access media that is under copyright protection using Kodi, a group of developers has decided to go its own way on the issue. The new software-based apparently on kodi’s open source is called FMC. According to XBMC foundation member Keith Herrington, by taking all Kodi branding out of the package the new fork would meet with the trademark policy guidelines.

In addition Herrington says the concern of the XBMC foundation rests with consumers and rights holders feeling that the foundation supports third party add-ons that get their content from sources other than the rightful owners. When they do not. They have no interest in repairing problems caused by unsupported apps or even addressing them in any official capacity.

The Streaming Advisor will continue to Monitor this story.

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Chrome Launcher For Kodi is touted as a solution for browsing through Kodi. The program is free as most Kodi apps are but, unfortunately, it does not work the way many have let on.

The Main Chrome Launcher problem appears to be based on what platform you are utilizing. We tried it on three. We used Chrome Launcher for Kodi on a Windows computer, we used Chrome Launcher for Kodi on Minix Neo Android Player running Android 5.1.1 and we installed the Chrome Launcher for Kodi on a 2nd gen Fire TV.

Each device had the most current Kodi build as well as the Chrome browser installed. The only platform that supported the Chrome Launcher was my Windows Laptop.

This was a disappointing discovery but one that we felt should be shared. If you have been frustrated with the same problems and found a solution please share that with us via our contact page. If there is a solution we are unaware of we will verify it and make a new video to demonstrate the fix.

 

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We were able to load Kodi on to our current gen Apple TV last night. It took some trial and error but we took notes step by step so that we could share how to do it with you. In the end we are now running Kodi natively on the Apple TV and are proud to share this video with you today. To see our full step by step guide click here

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The new speed test app for Kodi is simple to use and returns helpful information about the strength of ones high speed network in a little more than a minute. Caution though, you may find that your high speed network is not has high speed as you are paying for. The new Speed tester is available for all kodi users and could prove to be a very helpful tool in general whether you are an installer or just a customer wondering why your streaming options keep buffering. See the video here.

Download Speed Test here

Kodi Speed Test Video

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How many times have you found that playback of certain apps in Kodi has stuttered and buffered. A common solution to repair a problem such as that is to clear the cache the system but it may be because you are not getting the internet speed that your cable provider promised. This can be frustrating and a reliable app to test it may well be hard to find. There are a few for Android but there is a new app made specifically for Kodi called Speed Test. Speed test is installable via a repository and is available to the entire kodi community.  I tested my own internet and was hardly shocked to find out that it earned a D. Unfortunately the D does not stand for “Dang Good”. The tool is fast and easy to use. If you would like to add the program to your Kodi build the repository is available bellow.

Speed Test Repo Download here

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For a number of people Kodi is Confluence. What do I mean by that? Confluence is that standard blue and black look that typically is the default for any download of Kodi or XBMC. But one of my favorite things about Kodi is that you can change the look up and give it more of a personality.  The easiest way to do that is to download new skins. This guide will teach you how to get set up with the new Mario skin. It has video game sound effects and wonderful animations. Follow theses steps and you should be good to go.

Download the skin file here

Go to Your Downloads Folder on your browser

downloads Folder

Click the option Show in folder

Mario Skin Show In Folder

copy the file

Mario Skin Zip Download

Create a folder on your desktop call it Mario

create new folder

Paste the file in the Mario folder you created

Open Kodi

Navigate to Systems

Navigate to Add-ons

Install From Zip

Follow the pathway In the case of my computer it was C:/Users/Owner/Desktop/Mario

See Video for setup tips

 

The Mach 10 is a very powerful new set-top box media center from the Pure Linux line of ARNU Box products. Pure Linux devices are designed exclusively around Kodi and typically perform faster and more powerfully than Android based boxes. Take a look at the device unboxing and see it in action.

 

ARNU Box Mach 10 Pure Linux Unboxing Video and Review