Although many new Kodi users first install Kodi for on-demand movies and TV shows, it’s Kodi’s ability to stream live TV that really shines. On Kodi, IPTV is far easier and far more interesting than with almost any other option out there. So what are the best IPTV addons for Kodi? Here’s our list of the ones we think you’ll love.
We also offer up some tips on the best way to keep your streams up and running and provide a news update on Kodi TV boxes.
Before We Proceed
We highly recommend you install and run a VPN anytime you stream content through Kodi. On occasion, Kodi users received copyright infringement notices after streaming movies and tv through different addons. To best keep your streaming habits private, our recommendation is IPVanish – a fully-featured privacy solution for Kodi users.
Best IPTV Addons for Kodi
Below, you’ll find our list of addons which we believe offer the best experience for watching IPTV on Kodi. When making our list, we focused on the following:
- Number of IPTV channels offered
- Reliability of streams
- Number of countries/languages offered
- Ease of menu navigation
- Variety of options (e.g., sports, news, weather, etc.)
There are a very large number of IPTV and live streaming addons out there. But the biggest issue you’re going to deal with is quality and functionality. With that in mind, our list is whittled down to only the ones that provide an easy, high-quality experience without minimal frustration.
We’re big fans of cCloud TV here at AddonHQ. This wonderful live TV addon has one of the largest libraries you’re going to find for any addon, hands down. cCloud TV gives you access to tens of thousands of channels from across the world. This includes popular channels like HBO, CBS, AMC, and ESPN, as well as a fairly large number of local US network channels and networks from the UK, Japan, Korea, Germany and more. We often turn to cCloud TV when we’re suggesting an addon for different live sports.
One of the best features for cCloud TV is just how well organized this addon is. You can search by language or genre, such as News, Sports, Documentary, Family, Movies, and even Music. Interestingly, cCloud also has on-demand TV and movie sections, although these are not particularly well organized and only have limited content available. Still, if you’re serious about trying to watch IPTV on Kodi, you’ll add cCloud TV to your addon library.
BBC iPlayer (iPlayer WWW)
If you’re into BBC content (of which there’s a vast amount) and you’re looking for good quality, the BBC iPlayer addon is going to be the one you want. Indeed, if your primary goal is just UK channels and content, this would be the only addon you need. However, to access the BBC iPlayer addon’s content, you’ll need to access a UK server through a VPN. Once you’re in, you’ll find that the BBC iPlayer addon has an incredibly large quantity of IPTV options, and the crisp, clear quality of the videos is hard to beat.
Made in Canada IPTV
Made in Canada IPTV is probably the most misleading addon on our list. Yes, the addon focuses on Canadian channels. No, that’s not the only thing you’ll get when using this addon. In fact, Made in Canada IPTV has a large selection of US and Canadian channels, as well as a good selection of UK channels. You won’t use this option if you’re into any channels outside of those regions, but what it does offer, it offers well. Made in Canada IPTV could use some sprucing up of its menu organization, but its separation of channels by country is passable.
Goodfellas is one of the OGs of live TV on Kodi, and the 2.0 version vastly improves on the original. With Goodfellas 2.0, you have access to a large number of US and UK channels, with a fair smattering of other options mixed in there as well. Perhaps the main reason you’ll want to add Goodfellas to your library is that it is one of the best IPTV addons for Kodi. The quality of the streams are good, the menu layout is easy to navigate, and the addon, in general, is very reliable. It’s also highly popular. The developer does a good job of keeping the addon updated and in good working order, which is important for a Kodi addon of this kind.
Goodfellas 2.0 also has some very interesting streaming categories, such as “Vaping”, “Fitness” and “Motor Headz”. It also has two sections that I find personally enjoyable – Webcams from random street corners around the world, and NASA live feeds.
Outside of having a great name, Sylvr is also a good option. However, we won’t recommend this one as your go-to, premier choice. The variety is simply too lacking. As far as organizational, ease-of-use and quality of the streams go, Sylvr is great. However, there’s only a few dozen channel to choose from. You’d be wise to add it to your repertoire as a back up for some core live TV streaming, but don’t count on making it your #1 choice. Still, it’s a good program, and it deserves the slot we gave it.
To install Ultimate IPTV, do the following:
- If you do not already have it, Install the Fusion/Indigo addon (click here to read our Fusion/Indigo installation guide)
- Go to Fusion/Indigo under Program Addons
- Go to Addon Installer
- Click on Live TV Addons
- Click on Ultimate IPTV
- Click on Install IPTV, then click Install on the confirmation screen
Ultimate IPTV is a fairly new addition but comes out of the block relatively strong. Delivered by developer Whitecream (don’t ask), this addon barely scrapes by on the list due to having such a high-quality functionality. As far as layout goes, however, the navigation on this one is somewhat irritating, to say the least. The organization is overall relatively lacking, although this is somewhat mitigated by having folder names that rather clearly state the intention of each one. Still, it’s hard to say that this one is on the same level as something like cCloud TV or Goodfellas, but considering how well the streams work, that weakness can be excused.
How to Fix Streaming Issues: Taking Care of Buffering
Here’s a common scenario for new Kodi users:
You’ve just loaded up your favorite new IPTV addon (say, cCloud TV), and you’re trying to load up your favorite sports channel. After a while, however, you’re getting nothing but buffering. What gives?
There are a few potential problems. One, which you can’t fix on your own, is bandwidth. If you’re trying to watch a popular game and other people are also connecting in at the same time, there’s a good chance you’re going to get buffering, and even broken links.
However, if you’ve never increased your cache size for Kodi, you may just be experiencing buffering issues because Kodi’s cache has filled up.
What’s the cache?
The “cache” is the software function that exists in Kodi to store data so that future requests, such as those from certain streaming sources, can be processed faster. While cache issues are more common with on-demand streaming where some data is stored and then loaded while more data is streaming, a full cache can still cause problems for anyone streaming IPTV as well. Even live TV streaming will still need some space in the cache.
There are two things you can do here: either clear the cache or expand it so that you can store more data.
IPTV vs Live TV: What’s the Difference?
You may see both of these terms – IPTV and live TV – thrown around. We use both here at AddonHQ as well. Are they the same, or different concepts?
Fundamentally, IPTV and live TV streaming are essentially the same things. As Geoff Daily from Streamingmedia.com explains:
“IPTV theoretically wants to have a set-top box and be viewed on a television set. Streaming is an almost identical server-side technology that ends up on your computer.”
Functionally, IPTV and live TV streaming are the same. The only difference is that IPTV was more specifically designed to play on an actual television. The result will be how that video is rendered on the receiving end. As “live streaming” was intended to be displayed on computers, you may get situations where you have live TV streams that don’t fill the whole screen, for example.
Daily also goes on to explain the fact that IPTV was designed to be controlled by the provider, while live streaming goes through multiple sources before getting to the user. That means IPTV sources are more likely to be locked down and have security measures in place to prevent outside access, while live streaming may be used to circumvent such measures, but will also come with more bandwidth issues.
This is why an IPTV option like BBC iPlayer (iPlayer WWW) requires a VPN to access while outside of the UK, and why the streaming quality is superior to most other options you’ll find. It also helps explain why some options you find on addons like Goodfellas 2.0 and Made in Canada IPTV don’t always have the best quality possible.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to tell which stream you’re getting from many IPTV addons is purely designed for IPTV or simply a live TV stream, although usually the quality of that stream is a good indication of which. That said, running Kodi through a TV box is a good idea for anyone trying to watch IPTV on Kodi. You’ll get excellent results, as the stream was designed to be delivered to by a television set through a TV box.
Fully-Loaded Kodi TV Boxes and UK Crackdown
One of the biggest issues rolling around in the Kodi world these days has to do with preloaded Kodi TV boxes. We’ve written about this issue one a few occasions (here and here). All of our research and data leads us to say that the issue with preloaded Kodi TV boxes is complex, to say the least.
For most Kodi users, however, the answer is pretty simple. Buying any Kodi TV box is perfectly legal, and buying a fully-loaded Kodi TV box is still legal, although it does come with some risks. In particular, fully-loaded Kodi TV boxes often come loaded with less-than-stellar third party addons that either don’t work, or are not completely trustworthy. In some instances, those selling the fully-loaded Kodi boxes are even working with or part of criminal gangs looking for “low-risk” ventures. This is not to mention the potential for data-stealing viruses and malware that might be installed on these devices as well.
Simply put, you usually know what you’re getting with an empty Kodi TV box, but fully-loaded boxes carry a lot of risks. Fully-loaded boxes have started getting such a bad reputation that even Amazon and Ebay are removing them from their stores. Considering how rare it is that either of those companies to remove anything from their stores, this should give a good indication of why fully-loaded TV boxes are a bit of a problem.
To be clear: only fully-loaded Kodi boxes are getting the ax. Regular Kodi TV boxes or TV boxes that can be used to install Kodi or even come with the base Kodi program installed are not getting targeted.However, in the UK, Kodi streaming, in general, is getting focused and negative attention, especially when it comes to Premier League games. The Premier League itself is cracking down on online streams, while the UK government is starting to arrest fully-loaded Kodi box sellers.
Nevertheless, many news outlets (including Wired, linked just above), are still misreporting on the issue, going as far as labeling Kodi itself illegal and much of Kodi streaming illegal as well. This is not true. Kodi, and has always been, legal. What some users choose to do with it, and the selling of certain fully-loaded Kodi TV boxes can walk the fine line, and at times fall onto the illegal side. That said, most streaming through Kodi is legal. Still, all of the bad press is what gives us XBMC Foundation blog posts like this one.