Best Kodi Builds for January 2017 – New Years Edition

0
54251

UPDATE: For the latest Kodi build news, check out our February 2017 Best Kodi Builds Roundup.

Happy New Year and welcome to AddonHQ’s first Kodi build roundup of 2017!  This edition of our build roundup features a hands-on look at a good looking build that’s been making waves on Twitter lately– Mega’s Wookie Build.  Additionally, we’ve collected some exciting news from the makers of the best Kodi builds around: Ares Project, Wookie, Top Tutorials, KodiUKTV and Echo Coding.

Before you proceed

We highly recommend using a VPN anytime you use Kodi.  Kodi streamers have been known to receive copyright infringement notices for watching movies, sports, and TV shows through various addons.  If you would like to keep your streaming habits private, our recommendation is IPVanish – a complete privacy solution for Kodi users.

kodi security



AddonHQ: your place for Kodi build reviews

Back in October of 2016 we noticed a problem in the Kodi community: lots of people were promoting builds, but nobody was independently reviewing them or testing them out.  So to see how each build really performed, we decided to take a few popular builds for a spin ourselves.  The first edition of our build roundup was so well-received by Kodi fans that we decided to continue bringing you updates every single month.

This New Year’s edition of our Kodi build roundup begins with news from the Ares Project– the group that hosts my personal favorite Kodi build, CellarDoor.

Ares Project

Last month, we covered a few popular kids’ builds and builds for families.  Shank’s Build turned out to be pretty much the only build out there that comes equipped with parental controls.

At the beginng of this month, Shank added some interesting new features to his build including opensubtitles.org functionality, mp3 streaming and more.  It also looks like he may have changed the build’s visual design and menus around a bit as well.  For more info about Shank’s Build, check out our Christmas 2016 build roundup.  

Also, the makers of CellarDoor TV have created a new wizard that allows you to easily switch between different flavors of their popular build.  Watch the embedded video below to learn more about it.

How to get Ares Project builds and addons

  • Go to http://areswizard.co.uk and download the Ares Wizard file script.areswizardx.x.xx.zip to your desktop.
  • Open script.areswizardx.x.xx.zip from inside of Kodi via system → settings → addons → install from zip file.
  • Now you can browse all of Ares Project’s Kodi software by navigating to programs → ares wizard.

Wookie

A few days ago, the Wookies started giving another of their popular community members some publicity.   Screenshots of the brand new Ezzerman’s Build look pretty snazzy.

A screenshot of the sports menu page of Ezzerman’s Build
A screenshot of the movies menu page of Ezzerman’s Build
A screenshot of the free TV channels menu page of Ezzerman’s Build

At the end of last month, a quirky Wookie community build called Mega’s Wookie Build came out.  Scroll down to the bottom of this article for an in-depth look at some of its most interesting menus.

How to get Wookie builds and addons

  • Go to http://wookiespmc.com/wiz/ and download the file named Click me – succumb to The Wookie.zip
  • Open Click me – succumb to The Wookie.zip from inside of Kodi via system → settings → addons → install from zip file.
  • Now you can browse all of Wookie’s Kodi software by navigating to programs → wookie wizard

Top Tutorials

Top Tutorials is always churning out updates for their flagship build, Ultra TT.  Last month they added a very cool IMDB integration feature.

This month’s update was more of a maintenance patch.  It was mostly just bug fixes, performance upgrades and other small tweaks.  Check out the YouTube video below for more detailed info.

How to get Top Tutorials builds and addons

  • Go to http://toptutorials.co.uk/kodi/builds/ and download the Top Tutorials Wizard file plugin.video.ttwizard.zip to your desktop.
  • Open plugin.video.ttwizard.zip from inside of Kodi via system → settings → addons → install from zip file.
  • Now you can browse all of Top Tutorial’s Kodi software by navigating to programs → top tutorials wizard.

KodiUKTV

After a long wait, a Nemesis update is finally out.  According to KodiUKTV, Nemesis 2.0 is a lot faster than its predecessor and features a lot more sports related addons.  Nemesis 2.0 also comes equipped with a sharp looking TV guide that tells you what’s currently on the tube.

A screenshot of the sports menu page of Nemesis 2.0
A screenshot of the tv shows menu page of Nemesis 2.0
A screenshot of Nemesis 2.0’s TV guide addon

When I reviewed Nemesis back in October of 2016 I concluded that it was one of the best Kodi builds for beginners.  But from the looks of things, the KodiUKTV team seems to have ditched the simple streamlined design that made the original version of Nemesis so easy to use.  Next month, I’ll revisit Nemesis to do an in-depth review of all the changes.

How to get KodiUKTV builds and addons

  • Go to http://kodiuk.tv/repo/ and download the file named repository.kodiuktv-X.X.X.zip to your desktop.
  • Open repository.kodiuktv-X.X.X.zip from inside of Kodi via system → settings → addons → install from zip file.
  • Navigate to system → settings → addons → install from repository → kodiuktv repo → program addons → kodiuktv wizard → install.
  • Now you can browse all of KodiUKTV’s Kodi software by navigating to programs → kodiuktv wizard

Echo Coding

Lots of build makers have been incorporating the new Echo TV Guide addon into their builds since it came out several weeks ago.  For example, both The Beast and Mega’s Wookie Build have Echo TV Guide now.

Another addon from Echo Coding that gained popularity in December is a sports addon called Find My Game.  Find My Game searches through all your addons to see which one has a working feed for the game you want to watch.  I tested out Find My Game when I tried out Mega’s Wookie Build and I liked it a lot.

In addition to cool new addons, Echo Coding has also been busy churning out brand new builds.  The group recently came out with an interesting Kodi Krypton (aka Kodi 17.0) build called Crystal.

Right now Crystal is still in beta, but I’m looking forward to giving it a full review when the final version arrives.  If you want to give Crystal beta a spin yourself, be sure to upgrade from Kodi Jarvis to Kodi Krypton 17.0 before you install it.

How to get Echo builds and addons

  • Go to http://echocoder.com/repo/ and download the file named repository.echo-X.X.X.zip to your desktop.
  • Open repository.echo-X.X.X.zip from inside of Kodi via system → settings → addons → install from zip file.
  • Navigate to system → settings → addons → install from repository → echo repository → program addons → echo wizard → install.
  • Now you can browse all of Echo’s Kodi software by navigating to programs → echo wizard

Featured Build Review: Mega’s Wookie Build

Last month, team Wookie started promoting Mega’s Wookie Build on Facebook and Twitter.  To find out more about this build I decided to download it, try it out for a few days and share my thoughts about it in this edition of our build roundup.

Who is Mega?

Mega isn’t an official Wookie developer– but he does get a lot of social network love from Wookie fans.  On the day that the Mega’s Wookie Build update dropped, he immediately started racking up positive feedback.

In addition to its “tealy” good looks and splashy wallpaper background designs, Mega’s Wookie Build has tons of sports addons and a strong set of streaming TV software.  It also comes equipped with a quirky feature that I’ve never seen in a build before: an alert that pops up every time any major football team scores a goal!

This build is definitely unique, but it suffers from two problems that often plague lone build developers: uneven attention to menus and broken buttons.  Menu pages that Mega seems to be passionate about (like the sports page, for example) are very well made.  Other pages that Mega probably didn’t care much about (music and fitness in particular) are thin and contain submenu buttons that trigger errors or lead to empty folders.

Overall, I liked Mega’s Wookie Build.  However, it’s definitely not for everyone.  This build is a bit buggy and it is thin in some places.  Also, its confusing menus will throw off Kodi noobs.  But if you’re a sports nut with a passion for soccer and the color teal, you’ll probably enjoy it.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most interesting menu screens on Mega’s Wookie Build.

Sports Hub

This build’s sports section contains just about every notable sports addon under the sun.  The submenu has a total of 22 tabs, all of which link out to various popular sports addons.  My personal favorite sports addon Pro Sport is present and accounted for.

I especially liked the fact that Mega decided to include a very cool new addon from Echo Coding called Find My Game in this section.  I had never heard of Find My Game before I tried out this build.  When I looked it up, I found out that Find My Game is a new addon from Echo Coding– one of the groups of Kodi 3rd party developers that we follow here at AddonHQ.

Find My Game contains a list of sports games that’s updated every day.  When you click the game, Find My Game looks through all your sports addons until it finds a working feed for the game.  Via Find My Game, I was able to quickly find a working feed for a Pelicans / Cavaliers NBA match.

The main complaint I have about Find My Game is that you can’t configure its time zone.  If you live outside of the UK, you have to do some math to figure out its schedule.  Also the menu looks somewhat frumpy with its huge, bold orange-and-white font.  Still, it does a pretty good job of searching through addons and locating live feeds.

A screenshot of Find My Game

Echo Guide

Mega’s Wookie Build’s second best menu features Echo Coding’s awesome Echo Guide.  Echo Guide is not as good as a real cable TV menu yet, but it’s probably the overall best TV guide emulator for Kodi that I’ve seen so far.

Giving Echo Guide its own menu page was a good decision.  I also liked that the submenu bar contains a quick link to Echo Guide’s configuration page.

I got a chance to use Echo Guide yesterday when I tried out The Beast build, but it works even better on Mega’s Wookie Build because it comes with a lot more live TV addons.  The huge selection gives you lots of options when setting up Echo Guide TV channels.

I like how flexible Echo Guide is.  Its intuitive configuration screen allows you to easily setup individual channels the first time you open them up.  If an addon stops working, all it takes is a few clicks to switch to an different one.

Freeview TV

This page is also pretty good and it contains several IPTV addons that I had never heard of before.  After trying out a few of the 14 submenu buttons, I was able to discover a working HBO feed.

Screenshot of a working HBO live feed that I found via Freeview

If you want to find a live HBO feed to watch Game of Thrones, you may be able to find one via this menu page.

Fitness

There are some workout videos available via this page, but it does seem a bit thrown together.  Both the insanity and keep fit tabs in the submenu don’t work at all.

Movie Hub

The Movies Hub page is pretty disappointing.  Most new Kodi builds feature IMDB database integration and movie widgets, but Mega’s Wookie Build does not.  As a result, there’s no way to read plot info and other facts before you watch a movie.

Music

I don’t understand why this menu page needs to exist.  Pretty much any video you’d ever want to watch is available on YouTube, so why would anyone use any of the low quality music addons featured on this page?  Video jukebox looks ugly and its selection of videos is very thin.

UK Turk

UK Turk is an okay addon, but I don’t think it deserves its own menu page.  The stand up section of UK Turk is particularly messy looking.  It’s not in alphabetical order and its selection of comedians is very thin.

TV Shows

Like Movie Hub, the TV Shows menu is also weak compared to similar menus on other builds.  There’s no widgets or movie information database integration.

The addon featured in the submenu called Series Addict looked promising at first.  But when I tried to pull up an episode of The Walking Dead, it delivered a low quality, subtitled stream of the show.  Also, the submenu button entitled Openload TV is totally broken.  SALTS is pretty much the only good addon featured on this page.

Paragon

Paragon is a movies addon with a very cool list called “Box Sets.”  Content on the list is sorted into interesting categories like DC Cinematic Universe, Stephen King Collection, James Bond Collection, etc.  This menu is a good place to start if you don’t know what to watch and you’re in the mood to browse.

Unrestricted

This menu page should really be named after the movie/TV addon BOB because all of the submenu buttons lead to BOB lists.  The addition of IMDB integration and a few movie widgets could spruce up this page.

Sanctuary

I don’t understand the theme behind this menu page.  Sanctuary is a somewhat mediocre movies/TV addon.  BOB and Paragon are both much better.  Below the big Sanctuary button is a collection of submenu buttons leading to a seemingly random bunch of addons.

Final thoughts

Mega obviously doesn’t care as much about movie and TV addons as he does about sports, so rebranding this build in a future update would make a lot of sense.  This build is really a sports build for experienced Kodi geeks and soccer fans, but it’s trying to be a general purpose build for everyone.

If you mostly use Kodi to watch sports or live TV feeds and you have a thing for the color teal, you might like Mega’s Wookie Build.  But if you use Kodi to stream movies or watch TV shows, there are much better options for you out there.

Pros

  • Nice colors and fonts
  • Soccer goal notifications
  • Deep selection of sports addons
  • Lots of streaming TV addons
  • Echo TV Guide isn’t perfect, but it’s probably the best Kodi TV guide right now
  • Find My Game gives you a quick way to search all of the sports addons

Cons

  • People who are unfamiliar with popular 3rd party Kodi addons might get confused
  • No movie database integration
  • Some obvious submenu buttons are missing (like “play video from file” and Wookie Wizard buttons for example)
  • Some menus seem like afterthoughts
  • Some of the submenu buttons don’t work

How to install Mega’s Wookie Build

If you want to install Mega’s Wookie Build, just get the Wookie Wizard.  Mega’s Wookie Build is available via Wookie Wizard’s community builds menu.  If you don’t have Wookie Wizard yet, check out the step-by-step guide below for detailed installation instructions and links.

  1. Go to http://wookiespmc.com/wiz/ and download the file named Click me – succumb to The Wookie.zip
  2. Open Click me – succumb to The Wookie.zip from inside of Kodi via system → settings → addons → install from zip file.
  3. Now you can browse all of Wookie’s Kodi software by navigating to programs → wookie wizard → community builds → mega’s wookie build