Cable programming is quickly becoming a thing of the past. This can be attributed to the development and acceptance of cord-cutting devices like Roku and services like Kodi. Actually, these two are arguably the best in their specific categories, and now you can combine the power of both and take your entertainment to another level.
What is Roku?
Roku is a highly rated set-top box that is used for streaming popular services such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, HBO etc. This brilliant piece of tech gives you superb entertainment of both music and videos through the internet, and you can even stream in 4K! However, to use Roku, you will need to subscribe to various streaming services. This is where Kodi comes in.
What is Kodi?
Kodi is a free and open source streaming media center software that allows you to stream music, videos, live TV shows, and sporting events from all over the world. The software has grown wildly popular over the recent years especially due to the fact that it offers content completely free. This is made possible through the addition of third party add-ons, though this may be illegal in some countries. Nonetheless, it is the most popular media center and it offers a whole world of entertainment.
Combining the power of Roku and Kodi is therefore an attractive fete.
Roku and Kodi Compatibility
Unfortunately, though Roku is super powerful, it doesn’t support the installation of Kodi software. This is mainly due to the fact that many Kodi users install 3rd party add-ons that are then used to stream copyrighted content illegally. Roku doesn’t like that idea.
Further, Roku OS has no official documentation and its root files can’t be accessed to enable the creation of Kodi for Roku. This means that it’s technically impossible to install Kodi on Roku.
However, you can still use Kodi on Roku.
How to Use Kodi on Roku
Though we can’t really install Kodi on Roku, we can still use Roku’s casting feature to get Kodi on the big screen. For this, we will need a third device that supports Kodi. The most preferable are Android and Windows devices.
To get Kodi on screen, we will need to mirror Kodi from the small screen to the big screen in your house using Roku.
To use Kodi on Roku:
- Turn ON Roku
- Go to Roku Home, by pressing the ‘Home’ button
- Go to ‘Settings’
- Go to ‘System Update’. You need to make sure that you have the latest Roku software.
- Go back to ‘Settings’
- Go to ‘Screen Mirroring’
- Select ‘Enable Screen Mirroring’ and click ‘OK’
Kodi on Roku Through Windows
It’s easy to use Kodi on Roku via Windows. However, you need to ensure that you are using windows 8 or 10. You will also need to install Kodi and any preferred add-ons to your Windows device. You can then follow the following steps;
- Click the “Start Menu” and go to “Settings”
- Select “Devices” to open
- Click “Connected Devices” or “Bluetooth and Other Devices”
- Click “Add a Device” or “Add Bluetooth or Other Device”
- Windows will now scan and find your Roku device.
- After connecting, your Windows screen should now be mirrored on Roku.
- You can then Start Kodi on Windows and enjoy it on the big screen.
Kodi on Roku Through Android
Android can also be mirrored on Roku. The Android version of the device you want to use must however be 4.4.2 or higher. Since Android devices are from many different manufacturers, the screen casting feature’s name varies from device to device. Some of the common names for the feature include:
- Quick Connect
- HTC Connect
- Smart View
- Wireless Display
- Display Mirror
- All Share Cast
- Smart View
- Screen Casting
You can do the following procedure to mirror your Android device on Roku.
- Navigate to “Settings”
- Go to “Display”
- Here, scroll down and look for the Cast Remember it may be under a different name depending on your device. After identifying it, tap to open. If you have enabled mirroring on your Roku, you should now see it here. Click to connect.
After connection, your Android device’s screen should now be on the big screen.
Can You Jailbreak Roku to Install Kodi?
Roku uses a customized operating system known as Roku OS, and this OS can’t be jailbroken. As earlier mentioned, it is closed-source, and therefore there’s no way the system can be rooted in order to allow installation of unauthorized applications. Further, no Kodi app has been developed to be installed on Roku. So even if you were to jailbreak Roku it wouldn’t help you. The only way to use Kodi on Roku is through screen mirroring, as illustrated above.
Is Kodi Legal?
Kodi the software is completely legal. However, third party add-ons that the software allows do blur things. Many of these add-ons are used to stream copyrighted content for free, something that is illegal. Using Kodi third party add-ons can therefore get you in trouble. You can end up getting a DMCA notice from your ISP or even face legal charges. Quite a number of people have been arrested in the UK in a crack down by the government to curb illegal streaming of pirated content.
The Need for a VPN
Whenever you use Kodi with third party add-ons, you should always make sure that your VPN is running. A VPN is an online subscription service that encrypts your traffic and then sends it over through a secure tunnel to a server in a different location. Through the connection to a VPN server, you get a new IP address which gives you a new online identity. You no longer connect to the internet using your ISP server, but rather through the VPN server.
Your ISP therefore can only see that you are connected to a VPN, but they can’t tell what you are doing online. This will help you stay private and anonymous while streaming Kodi on Roku. It also helps in unblocking geo-restricted content that is only available in some regions as well as overcoming ISP throttling.
If you haven’t done much research regarding the VPN that you should use, a good place to start is Private Internet Access. The VPN keeps zero logs, is super-fast and has 3100+ servers all over the globe to let you stream content from any region.
Though both are designed to be super compatible with other devices, Kodi can never be installed on Roku. This however doesn’t mean that Kodi can’t be used with Roku, and we have discussed exactly how to do that. Combining Kodi with Roku gives you all the entertainment flexibility that you have always yearned for and the perfect solution for cord-cutting.