Horus Kodi Build: Review & How to Install Guide

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Team Echo’s Horus Kodi build comes in two flavors: regular (aka Horus V2) and XXL.

Horus XXL’s huge size (450+ megabytes) and cool looking intro video that plays when you open it might lead you to believe that you’re about to experience the ultimate big boss Kodi build.  But when I tried it out, Horus XXL was nothing but a big disappointment.

On the other hand, Horus XXL’s slim, low key little brother Horus V2 (aka Horus “lite”) performed quite well.  Weighing in at just under 100 megabytes, Horus V2 is designed to be used with slow computers and Amazon Fire TV USB sticks.  Horus V2 is an ultra quick and lightweight build, yet it still sports a nice basket of addons.  Its menu features easy access to the revamped TBD Wizard (now known as Echo Wizard.)

Scroll down for the full reviews or download the Echo repository at http://echocoder.co.uk/repo/ and try these builds out for yourself.


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How to install Horus

To install the Horus XXL or Horus V2, you first need to set up a file source for the Echo repository located at http://echocoder.co.uk/repo/.  Then, you have to go into the repository and download Echo Wizard.  Once you’ve got the wizard, select which flavor of Horus you want to try out to finish the installation.

New to Kodi?  Follow the instructions below to install Horus in 4 easy steps.

Step #1: Tell Kodi where the Echo repository is

To set up a file source for the Echo repository, navigate to system → file manager add source.  Once you’re at the add source screen, click where it says <none> and then type in the following URL: http://echocoder.co.uk/repo/

Be sure to name your file source so that you’ll know what it is later.  Something like “echo repository” is fine.

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

Step #2: Install the Echo repository

Now that you’ve got a source for the repository set up,  back out to Kodi’s main menu and then navigate to system → settings → addons → install from zip file → echo repository.  

The zip file that contains the Echo repository is repository.echo-x.x.  Click that and Kodi will install the repository for you automatically.

Step #3: Open the Echo repository and install Echo Wizard

Now that you’ve set up a file source for the Echo repository, you can access it by navigating to system → settings → addons → install from repository → echo repository.

Once you’re in the repository, install Echo Wizard by navigating to program addons → echo wizard.  

Step #4: Open Echo Wizard and install Horus

From this point on, the rest of the installation process is straightforward.  Once you get Echo Wizard installed, navigate to programs → echo wizard → echo builds.  From there, you can can choose to install either the full or lite version of Horus.

Once all the necessary files are finished downloading, you’ll be able to use Horus without rebooting Kodi.

Horus XXL

At the end of September, team TBD (the developers that created Horus XXL) turned all their Kodi projects over to team Echo.  This recent change could explain why Horus XXL is currently not up to snuff.

Horus XXL pros and cons

Horus XXL is supposed to be team Echo’s flagship build.  But other than a few interesting settings page widgets, there aren’t many good things to say about it.

The main colors (orange/yellow and blue) don’t really match.  The TBD Wizard menu page is out of date and doesn’t work at all.  The TV Guide doesn’t work, either.  Also, this build contains several now-defunct addons that went offline months ago.

Pros

  • Lots of geeky settings widgets.  Via the settings menu, you can find out how long you’ve been using Kodi, check your network link status, see your video frame rate stats and view info about your CPU (usage, temperature, etc).

Cons

  • Out-of-date menu.  The old TDB Wizard menu page needs to be replaced with an Echo Wizard menu page.
  • Disorganized layout.  On most pages, the widgets and submenus seem randomly slapped together.
  • Ugly color scheme.  The black and blue menu bar is basic but fine, but it doesn’t match the creepy angel background.
  • Random crashes.  My MacBook Pro froze when I tried to stream a TV show and I had to force quit.
  • Old, abandoned addons.  UKTV Again and the old version of Evolve don’t work at all anymore, but they’re still present in this build.

A build that’s deeply in need of TLC

For whatever reason, in the background of all the pages on Horus XXL lurks a creepy angel of death.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-2-14-12-pm

And sometimes, the interface presents overlapping fonts that are impossible to read.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-1-46-09-pm

If you go into the menu and take a look at the list addons included with this build, you’ll see that it’s incredibly long.  But that doesn’t really matter because many of them don’t really work.  Also, the poorly designed menu and interface makes this build nearly impossible to use.

Clearly, Horus XXL isn’t ready for primetime yet.

Horus V2 

After experiencing nothing but frustration using Horus XXL, I nearly scrapped this entire review.  But after noticing some recent positive feedback on Twitter about Horus V2, I decided to give this minimalistic build a try.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-3-06-32-pm

Horus V2 Pros and Cons

Unlike Horus XXL, Horus V2 feels like a finished Kodi build.  It sports fast performance, a well-organized interface, up-to-date links and a solid selection of apps.

But Horus V2 can also use some work in some areas.  Echo’s TV Guide addon doesn’t work at all.  Also, quite a few of the submenu links generated errors when I tried to click on them.

Pros

  • Fast performance.  Horus V2 is one of the fastest, smallest builds I’ve tried out so far.
  • Solid addons.  This build contains all the addons you’d expect to find on a minimalist Kodi build, plus a few cool new ones like Channel Pear and The Pyramid.
  • Logical menus.  You won’t get lost or confused while flipping through Horus V2’s menu system because everything is laid out in a way that makes sense.
  • Echo Wizard.  Echo Wizard boasts access to community builds and unique advanced settings.
  • Memory usage bar.  The thin bar above the main menu displays information about your system resources.
  • Small size.  This build is less than 100 megabytes, making it one of the best builds to use if you want to use your USB stick to run Kodi.
  • Echo support.  Because this build is maintained by an entire team of Kodi developers and not just one guy, you have a better chance of receiving a quick answer if you ever need to ask a question.

Cons

  • Echo TV Guide is still a work in progress.  It didn’t work at all when I tried it out.
  • Some Kodi users may dislike Horus V2’s stark, widget-free menu pages.

Interface & Menu

Unlike Horus XXL, Horus V2 sports an up-to-date, well-organized interface.  The static background image is plain, but it does match the green and black menu.  The menu consists of 13 main pages.  Most of its main pages have 5 submenus.

Here’s the current layout:

  • Live TV
    • Cosmix
    • Channel Pear
    • MetallIQ
    • CCCloud TV
    • Freedom IPTV
  •  Movies
    • Cosmix
    • Channel Pear
    • MetallIQ
    • CCloud TV
    • Freedom IPTV
  • TV Shows
    • Exodus
    • MetallIQ
    • Addons
    • Search
    • Favourites
  • Sports
    • DC Sports
    • Zem TV
    • Addons
    • SportsDevil
    • Favourites
  • Misc
    • Documentaries
    • Webcams
    • Stand-Up
    • Fitness
    • Concerts
  • Evolve
  • Kids
    • Vid Toons
    • UK Turks
    • All
    • The Pyramid
    • Super Cartoons
  • Music
    • MetallIQ
    • The Music Source
    • Addons
    • Studiobeats
    • The Pyramid
  • YouTube
    • Popular right now
    • Search
    • Browse channels
    • Live
  • Addons
    • Video
    • Music
    • Programs
    • Picture
    • Upload log
  • Echo Wizard
    • Backup
    • Maintenance
    • Auto clean
    • Addon installer
    • Advanced settings
  •  Settings
    • Addons
    • Programs
    • File manager
    • View log
    • Maintenance
  • Quit
    • Force close

I personally liked that none of the pages have widgets, but this may be a downside for people who like to see movie posters and DVD art appear over the main menu.

Addons

The makers of Horus V2 managed to cram a surprising number of addons into this build.  However, the main menu points to just a handful of the most reliable ones.

The TV Shows and Movies menus rely on Exodus for content– no surprises there.  The Sports menu features SportsDevil, which is also a good choice.   Many interesting handpicked content lists can be found via Evolve, which was awarded a spot on the main menu.

TV Guide

I was initially excited to see that team Echo had developed its own digital TV guide addon, Echo TV Guide.  Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t seem to work.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-3-39-06-pm

In conclusion…

The best version of Horus is clearly the basic version, V2.  Horus V2 was designed for small devices.  However, anyone looking for a fast, basic Kodi build will probably like it.  Horus XXL, on the other hand, is pretty much useless.  Once team Echo revamps their flagship build and updates its menu and addons, though, it might be worth checking out.