How Do I Stream Kodi to my TV? A Quick Step-by-Step Guide

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Tired of watching Kodi on your computer screen?  If you’d rather use your big living room TV to watch Kodi, you can.  Getting setup is cheaper and easier than you think.  Read on to find out how to stream Kodi to your TV.

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



How does computer-to-TV streaming work?  

First, the streamer “grabs” your device’s screen and compresses it.  Then, it beams a mirrored copy of the screen right into your TV wirelessly via WiFi.

What do I need?

In order to stream Kodi to your TV, you need:

  • A TV.  For best results, we recommend that you use a high definition TV that has an HDMI port.
  • Some type of streaming device.  Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Chromecast are the leading computer-to-TV streaming devices right now.
  • A computer or smartphone.  Any type of laptop or PC can stream to TV, but some are easier to setup than others.
  • An internet connection.  Unless your streaming device has an Ethernet port, you’ll need WiFi.
  • An HDMI cable.  You’ll need this to connect your streaming device to your TV.  Most streaming devices come with an HDMI cable.

Does my computer/phone support direct-to-TV streaming?

If your device fits into one of the categories listed below, there’s a high chance that it has built-in streaming capability.

  • PCs running Windows 8.1 or greater.
  • Airplay compatible Mac computers.
  • Recent iOS devices.
  • Some Android and Amazon Fire OS phones and tablets.

If you’re not sure if your device supports TV streaming, check your settings.  If you see an option for “screen mirroring” or “display mirroring,” then you can easily stream to your TV if you have a compatible TV streamer.

Step #1: Choose a TV Streaming Device

As mentioned above, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku are the 4 most popular TV streaming devices out there right now.  For most Kodi fans, Chromecast will most likely be the best choice.  On the other hand, if you happen to have a lot of Apple devices you may want to check out Apple TV.

Chromecast

If you’re not sure which streamer to get, Chromecast is a safe bet.  Chromecast is the most flexible option out of the four because it works pretty well on just about any device that can run the Chrome web browser.

Apple TV

If you want to stream Kodi via your Apple desktop or laptop, you may want to think about getting an Apple TV.  Device-to-TV streaming is easy to setup on any Apple device.  However, Apple TV is expensive.  Also, it’s very hard to install Kodi on an iPhone.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Unless you have an Amazon Fire tablet, you will probably run into compatibility issues when setting up Amazon Fire TV for device-to-TV streaming.  There are workarounds available for other devices, though.

Note: Officially, mirroring only works on Fire HD/HDX tablets, Fire Phone and Android devices running Android OS 4.2 or higher.  

Roku Streaming Stick

Unfortunately, none of Roku’s new streaming boxes support screen mirroring– so there’s really no easy way to use a Roku box with Kodi.  However, the Roku Streaming Stick and the earlier Roku 2, 3, and 4 models all support mirroring.

Note: Roku Streaming Stick can mirror many different types of Android mobile devices, but mirroring only works with Windows powered desktops/laptops.

Why we recommend Chromecast

  • Cheaper
  • Easier to use
  • Uses up less memory

Like most TV streamers, Chromecast can perform screen mirroring.  Screen mirroring allows you to stream a copy of whatever you’re looking at on your laptop or smartphone directly to your TV.

However, Chromecast has a key feature that other devices lack.  Most TV streamers require you to stream your entire screen if you want to watch Kodi.  But if you use Chromecast with an Android device, you can opt to stream only one app.  Opting to stream only one app to your TV saves memory and improves playback, plus it allows you to do other things on your phone while you use Kodi.

Another thing that’s great about Chromecast is that it’s significantly cheaper compared to the competition.  For example, both Roku and Chromecast feature “ultra” versions that you can get if you want to watch 4k streams.  Chromecast Ultra is roughly half the price of Roku Ultra, and we think it’s a better device-to-TV streaming solution for Kodi fans.

Chromecast vs Chromecast Ultra

  • A basic Chromecast supports HD (1080p) streams
  • Chromecast Ultra supports 4k HDR enhanced streams

The main difference between the base version of Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra is the fact that Chromecast Ultra supports 4k.

It’s not worth it to get a Chromecast Ultra unless your TV also supports 4k.  But if your TV is 4k compatible, it makes sense to spend a bit more and get the Ultra version.

For best results…

Here are 2 things you can do to improve your experience when you stream Kodi to your TV from your device:

  • Get an HDMI compatible HDTV.  If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI port, you can still use a converter to connect your streaming device to it.  However, the picture will look much better if you have a TV that has built-in HDMI support.
  • Upgrade your WiFi router.  Because it takes a lot of bandwidth to stream video, you may want to consider upgrading your WiFi router to get the best performance out of your internet connection.  Most older routers use 802.11n.  If you upgrade to an 802.11ac router, you’ll experience less lag time when you stream.

Step #2: Connect your streamer to your TV

If your TV has an HDMI port, setting up your TV for streaming is easy.  Basically, all you have to do is plug the device into your TV’s HDMI port.  Most streaming devices can draw power from your TV, but they tend to work more efficiently when plugged into a wall outlet.

Chromecast

The older version of Chromecast looks like a USB stick, but the new version is round like a hockey puck.  Even though Chromecast can draw power from your TV, Google recommends that you plug it into a wall outlet.

If you plug it into a wall charger, Chromecast will stay on after you turn off your TV.  This allows Chromecast to download updates when you’re not using it.

Apple TV

Setting up a Apple TV is also pretty simple.  All you have to do is connect your Apple TV to your TV via the included HDMI cable.  Unlike most streaming devices, Apple TV isn’t designed to hang from your HDMI port.  You’ll need to set it down on a flat surface.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire TV Stick comes with an HDMI extender that gives it better reception.  However, if your WiFi router is close and/or if lack of space is an issue you can also plug Amazon Fire TV directly into your TV if you want.

Roku Streaming Stick

Like Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick can draw power from your TV set.  However, Roku recommends that you plug your Roku into a wall instead.

Step #3: Connect to your WiFi network

Once you’ve plugged in your streaming device, you have to login to your WiFi network.  Here’s what the WiFi setup screen looks like on Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Roku.

Note: If you have an Apple TV you can opt to skip WiFi setup and plug directly into your router via the Ethernet port.

Chromecast

To setup your Chromecast’s WiFi, you have to visit https://www.google.com/chromecast/setup/.  From there, you can either download the Chromecast app or click where it says “setup your chromecast using this computer.”  Once your device detects your Chromecast, you can enter in your WiFi password via the menu depicted above.

Apple TV

If you opt to plug your Apple TV directly into your router via Ethernet, you won’t have to configure WiFi.  However if you don’t connect via Ethernet, Apple TV will prompt you to login to your WiFi network as soon as you turn it on.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

To reach Amazon Fire TV Stick’s WiFi configuration screen, open the settings menu and navigate to system → network.

Roku Streaming Stick

After you plugin your Roku Streaming Stick, you’ll get a language selection prompt.  After that, Roku will ask you to login to your WiFi network.

Step #4: Enable screen mirroring on your computer

Once you plug in your device and connect it to your WiFi network, all you have to do is tell it to mirror your computer screen.

Chromecast

If you want to activate screen mirroring with a Chromecast, just download the Chromecast extension for Google Chrome.  Then, open the extension and choose to cast your entire screen.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the entire process.

1. Setup your software

  • Install Google Chrome.  Chrome has native support for Chromecast, so download and install Chrome if you don’t already have it.
  • Install the Google Cast Chrome extension.  Just open up Chrome and then hop over to the Google webstore to get the Chromecast extension.  Google Cast gives you the ability to cast your entire computer screen to your HDTV.

Note: If you’re running Windows, you may need to install a few extra files to get the Cast Chrome extension working on Windows.  Fortunately, Google has a Chromecast Windows installer that has all the files you need to get started.

2.  Open the Google Cast extension

  • After you’ve installed the Google Cast extension, click the button on the top right side of your screen that reads cast this tab to…
  • Then, select cast screen/window (experimental) 

3.  Choose to cast your entire screen

The Chrome Cast extension will prompt you to choose what you want to cast.  Select entire screen.

4.  Play a video on Kodi and enjoy your movie

With screen sharing on, your HDTV will mirror whatever is on your computer screen.  Just pull up Kodi and play a video to watch it on your TV screen.

Note: For best results with this method, disable your computer’s screensaver.  If your screensaver switches on, it’ll interrupt your movie.  If you run into performance issues try closing out all your programs except Kodi to save memory.

Apple TV

If you have any recent Apple computer, you’ll be able to activate screen mirroring with just a couple clicks.  Here are a list of Apple computers that are screen mirroring compatible:

  • iMac (2011 or later)
  • Mac mini (2011 or later)
  • MacBook (2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2011 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (2011 or later)
  • Mac Pro (2013 or later)

To setup screen mirroring, just select the AirPlay icon from the top menu and click your Apple TV device.

Note: If you have a Linux or Windows computer, you may still be able to activate screen mirroring.  Read these articles for more information: 

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to mirror your computer if you have Amazon Fire TV.  Officially, Amazon Fire TV only supports mirroring on Fire HD/HDX tablets, Fire Phone and Android devices running Android OS 4.2 or higher.

There are, however, a few unofficial workarounds you can try if you want to stream to Amazon Fire TV Stick from your Mac or PC:

Roku Streaming Stick

You can only use your Roku Streaming Stick to mirror your computer screen if you have a Windows PC running Windows 8.1 or greater.

In order to enable mirroring on Roku Streaming Stick, you have to first enable it via settings → system → screen mirroring.  Then, swipe in from the right or press Windows Key + C on your PC. Select devices and then project.  Next, select “Add a wireless display” and add your Roku.

Optional: Enable screen mirroring on your smartphone / tablet

If you have a recent smartphone, you may be able to use it to stream Kodi to your living room TV.

Chromecast

There are two main ways to your Android phone to stream the Kodi app to your TV.  The first way is complex, but it saves battery power and CPU usage.  The second way is easy, but it requires you to stream your entire screen.

For a step-by-step guide to both methods, read: How to Setup Kodi on Chromecast

Apple TV

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can use AirPlay to mirror your screen via Apple TV.  The problem is that getting Kodi onto an iOS device is extremely difficult and time consuming process.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Like Apple, Amazon doesn’t like Kodi very much.  In order to get Kodi onto your Fire HD/HDX tablet or Fire Phone, you’ll have to sideload Kodi using a lengthy workaround.

You’ll have much better luck mirroring Kodi if you have an Android device running Android OS 4.2 or greater.  Just download the Kodi app on your Android device, then enable screen mirroring on your Amazon Fire TV Stick via settings → displays and sounds → enable screen mirroring.  Next, pick up your Android device and enable mirroring on it via its settings menu.

Note: Different versions of Android refer to screen mirroring in different ways.  Common terms include: Smart View, Quick Connect, SmartShare, AllShare, Cast Wireless display, Display mirroring, HTC Connect, Screen casting and Cast.

Roku Streaming Stick

In order to enable mirroring on Roku Streaming Stick, you have to first enable it via settings → system → screen mirroring.  From there, you can activate mirroring on your Android device via the settings menu.

Note: Different versions of Android refer to screen mirroring in different ways.  Common terms include: Smart View, Quick Connect, SmartShare, AllShare, Cast Wireless display, Display mirroring, HTC Connect, Screen casting and Cast.