Best Kodi Build Roundup: November 2016

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Thinking about trying out a new Kodi build?  Before you commit to a lengthy download, check out our latest Kodi build guide first– that way you’ll know what you’re getting into before you install.

For our first Kodi build roundup last month, I took a critical look at 5 popular Kodi builds that were heavily promoted in the month of October: Nemesis, Apollo, Wookie, Ultra TT and Horus.

This time around, I revisited our October picks to see if any improvements have been made.  I also scoped out an excellent new build that popped up in my Twitter feed this November: CellarDoor TV.

If you’re totally new to Kodi, be sure to check out the quick guide at the beginning of this article before you scroll down to the reviews.  It’ll show you how to install any Kodi build in just a few easy steps.

Please read our disclaimer before proceeding.


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A quick-and-easy guide for installing any Kodi build

Kodi builds are fairly easy to install.  All you have to do is download and install the wizard that goes with the particular build you want to try out.  Some wizards come in stand-alone packages, but others can only be found in Kodi repositories.  Once you’ve got the wizard, just open it up, pick a build and click install.

For detailed info and screenshots, follow the 3 step process outlined below.

Step 1: Point Kodi to the installation files

A repository is a publicly accessible place on the web where Kodi users can go to find and download addons and builds.  Kodi developers often post links to their repositories on Facebook, Twitter or on their personal websites.

Once you’ve got a link to a repository that contains a build installation wizard, you can point Kodi to the files by navigating to system → file manager add source.  At the add source screen, click <none> and then paste in the repository’s URL.

Under “Enter a name for this media source” type in a name that you’ll remember later on.  For example, if you were installing the Nemesis build you might name your media source “Nemesis Repository.”

screenshot-2016-09-13-10-47-16

Step 2: Install the repo

After you set up your file source, go back to Kodi’s main menu.  From the main screen, navigate to system → settings → addons → install from zip file → [SOURCE NAME].  

From inside the repository, look around for whatever zip file you need to install the repository.  For example, the zip file that contains the Nemesis source files is named repository.kodiuktv.x.zip.

Next, click the repository zip and Kodi will install it for you automatically. A popup will appear in the bottom right corner of the screen to let you know that the repo installation is complete.

Step 3: Install the wizard

Now that you’ve got a repository installed, you can go into it and look for build installation wizards.  From the Kodi main menu, go to system → settings → addons  → install from repository to see what’s inside.

Currently, the Nemesis installer is located in KODIUKTV Repo → program addons → KodiUK TV Wizard.

Once you’ve got a wizard, just open it up and pick the build you want to install.  Most wizards allow you to install several different flavors of the same build.  There’s usually a “light” version for people with slower computers, for example.  Once the wizard downloads and installs your build, Kodi will automatically reboot.

What’s new with our October picks?

In the Kodi community, the only constant is change.  Let’s check out what’s new with the builds we investigated last month and find out if they are still up to snuff.

You can play retro games on Apollo now

My personal favorite build last month was Apollo.  Apollo looked cool and it featured a huge catalogue of addons plus lots of extra menus for power users.

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After checking out the Ares Project’s Twitter feed today I found out that the Ares Project recently released a retro game addon for Ares Wizard– yet another reason to check out one of the team’s most popular builds.

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Wookie finally got an update

My second favorite build of the October bunch was Wookie.  I liked team Wookie’s sense of humor, which has helped earn it an enthusiastic community of followers.  The build itself featured a lot of solid addons, plus a unique skin switching feature.

When I wrote about this build last month, my main complaint at the time was that it hadn’t been updated since March.  As a result, some of the addons and menu links didn’t work.

But now that the new update is out, those issues should be resolved.

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This is what retro Wookie looked like last month

Judging by the positive feedback the Wookie developers have been getting on Twitter, the Wookie community seems to love the new version of this build.  Both the New Look version and the Retro version of the Wookie build received stylistic updates and bug fixes.

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Here’s what retro Wookie looks like now

Horus V2’s Echo TV Guide has been fixed

Though it was a little plain looking, this build was the smallest, fastest build of the group last time.  Team Echo designed Horus V2 specifically for people with Amazon Fire TV sticks.

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I was cautiously optimistic when I saw Echo TV Guide listed on the main menu.  But then I was let down when it didn’t work at all when I tried it out.

But according to this recent update from Echo Coding’s YouTube channel, the problems with Echo TV Guide seem to have been resolved.

New live TV addons for Ultra TT

Ultra TT is designed for Kodi users who just want a basic, good looking build with a nice set of hand-picked, fully functional addons.

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At the very end of October, Top Tutorials gave Ultra TT a small update.  The fixed some of the live TV addons that weren’t working and added Oblivion, Cypher and Suicide TV 2.

It’s good to know that Top Tutorials is still doing an excellent job of weeding out broken addons and replacing them with ones that work.

No news on Nemesis 

Developer KodiUKTV hasn’t updated its Nemesis build since September.  Because of that, you’ll miss out on using addons that have come out since then if you download it.

But I would still recommend Nemesis to people who are new to Kodi.  Nemesis’s streamlined, simplified main menu is probably its best feature.  Hopefully, the KodiUKTV team will give this build the tidying up it deserves soon.

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The hottest Kodi build right now: CellarDoor TV by Ares Project

A few weeks back, Top Tutorials asked the Kodi community on Twitter to vote for its favorite Kodi build.  A new build from the Ares Project won the contest by a landslide.  So, I decided to check it out for myself and add a review of it to this month’s Kodi build roundup.

How to install CellarDoor TV

All you need is the Ares Wizard to get this build, which is available as a standalone zip file.  Get that here and download it to your computer.  Then navigate to system → settings → addons → install from zip file.  Wait for the “installation complete” popup to appear and then open up Ares Wizard.

From the Ares Wizard main page, go to the builds section and select CellarDoor TV.  It’s a 300 MB download.  When it’s complete, Kodi will reboot into CellarDoor TV.

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CellarDoor TV comes in many different flavors.  I tried out the Xonfluence skin, which I thought looked great.  Several other cryptically named skins are available as well:

  • CDTV Fusion Hybrid Dev Skin
  • CDTV Athena Madnox Skin
  • CDTV Envision MQ7 Skin
  • Athena Fire Hybrid CDTV Mod Skin

First impressions

CellarDoor TV’s main menu consists of 9 pages: System, TV Pro, Sports, Kids Zone, Movies, TV Shows, Music, Android, Tools and System.  Each page has 5 different submenus.

Overall, CellarDoor TV’s menu system is slick, fast and nice looking.  Some builds’ pages are crammed full of widgets that you’d never use, but CellarDoor TV’s widgets blend in well and might actually come in handy from time to time.

Most interesting menu pages

Here’s what the TV Pro page looks like:

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All the widgets on this page point back to the newly revamped cCloud TV.  Last time I used cCloud TV, I didn’t think it was all that great.  This time around, though, all the links I tried were live– even the TV links.  The TV guide, however, was still in beta when I tried it out and didn’t work at all.

This is the somewhat mystifying Android page:

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The widget on the left promises to let you access all your Nvidia shield games and Android APKs, but it didn’t do anything when I clicked on it.  The widget on the right doesn’t seem to do anything at all except take you to an empty menu.  I’ve never seen a page like this one on a Kodi build before, so maybe it’s a work-in-progress– or maybe you have to use Kodi on an Android device to make use of it.

This is the excellent movies page:

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The widgets on the movies page point to MetalliQ– yet another addon that has gone through a recent transformation.  It didn’t seem to work very well a few months back.  But when I tried it out this time, it looked impressive.

Here’s the page that MetalliQ fetched when I clicked on the Doctor Strange movie poster:

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I liked this feature a lot because it allows you to read about the plot of the movie and learn some basic facts about it before you watch it.  With most movie addons, a picture and the title is all the info you get.

Addon selection

This build relies on a small handful of addons to deliver content, primarily: MetalliQ, cCloud TV, Castaway, Zen, Exodus, S.A.L.T.S. and Release Hub.

When I first saw this build’s addon bundle, I wasn’t all that impressed.  But after I tried out the build, I discovered that many of the addons that I didn’t like so much before (cCloud and MetalliQ in particular) have received big revamps in recent weeks.

Final verdict

With the exception of Nemesis, all the builds we covered last month got better this time around.  Wookie, Horus and Ultra TT all got updates.  But probably the biggest news was that Apollo got a new retro games addon.   Nemesis still looks nice, but a fix for its buggy TV guide would do it some good.

The new build in our roundup– CellarDoor TV– is another very good build from the Ares Project community.  It’s popular because it looks good and does two things very well: stream TV channels and movies.  Its main menu is concise, good looking and doesn’t seem to contain any broken links.  All the pages seem thought out with the exception of the Android page, which seems to be a work-in-progress.

  • Mustafa, Niagara, NY

    Thanks Alex for update…Although many of the builds out there are basically good but resource hogs crammed with non-working addons and bit worry some for family with kids; especially backgrounds, fanarts and some links…Trying on cellardoor right now…will update the experience…