Amazon Fire TV XBMC Kodi How to Get Free Movies and TV
I am always looking for the most value I can get, but to still have things work properly or it is not worth it. Lately I have been experimenting with the new suite of Amazon FireTV boxes. Fortunately, I can say both the FireTV and FireTV stick are awesome value with some added benefits over using other devices to run media. This guide will explain the differences between the FireTV and FireTV Stick, then show you how to extend functionality to play local media, stream anything from the web, integrate native android apps (Netflix, Hulu, VEVO, for example), use your mobile device as a remote, and other really awesome applications. All by installing Fire TV XBMC Kodi. FYI – Kodi is the new name for the long time rock solid free media center software formally known as “XBMC”. If you are the type that does not have the patience or comfort to do this yourself… Get a fully loaded Fire TV or Fire TV stick from us!
What is the FireTV?
The FireTV is Amazon’s response to the Google Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV.
We now sell fully loaded units here if you are not comfortable unlocking, installing, and configuring the unit yourself. See them here!
They come in two flavors:
New Fire TV 2 4K priced around $100
- Quad core processor with 75% more processing power than previous generation
- Lan Connection
- Capable of playing 4K resolution
The First Generation FireTV – Which is priced around $100. (Obsolete)
- Quad core processor
- Lan connection
- Optical Audio
- Can be rooted on older firmware (who cares)
The FireTV Stick 2nd Generation which is priced under $40.
- Quad core
- Voice Remote
- Cannot be rooted to this point (who cares)
Both flavors seems to work really well. If you have an older audio receiver that only has optical and not HDMI, then I would get the full legacy FireTV to take advantage of that. For the difference in price you don’t have to upgrade your audio receiver which will save you $200 to $300 and you will still get Dolby and DTS sound. If your house has wired network then the full FireTV might also be a better solution since wired is always better than wifi in my opinion. If you just want to plug into your TV or existing HDMI audio receiver then I would consider the FireTV Stick.
Some huge advantages to the Amazon FireTV/Stick offerings
- They run a flavor of Android which lets you integrate the actual android apps with Kodi
- They do not have to be rooted to extend the functionality (no cat and mouse game)
- The native functionality works really well (Amazon Prime video/Music, Netflix, VEVO, Hulu)
- They are more powerful with more memory than Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV.
So that is some introduction things to consider. Now I want to walk through how to get it loaded up where you can extend the functionality greatly.
Should I Root this Device?
*In this guide I will touch on how to root and/or keep your FireTVs on the lowest possible version so it could be rooted in the future*. With that being said, I would just let Amazon update the damn thing and not worry about getting to fancy with custom ROMs etc. It turns into a cat and mouse game that isn’t worth it. Amazon allows you to load Kodi without root. I’ll show you how to make it where you can launch Kodi from the Amazon homepage and you will want the Amazon updates as they come out because the box native functionality itself is very nice. So to recap: I think rooting is not really worth it in this instance since it is not needed to get everything I line out below.
So let’s get started.
Here is the video walk through showing the setup below and the functionality.
In the box
- FireTV unit
- Remote and Batteries
- Power Cable
- HDMI extender with the FireTV Stick
To Keep your FireTV and FireTV stick on the lowest possible firmware for potential rooting.
Again, I would just let it update and not worry about the root. Your are buying this thing because it works and you can sideload Fire TV XBMC Kodi without root so why not get the full update and functionality from Amazon? Skip this section (Move to “Initial Setup” if you don’t care about root and want to keep Amazon updates.
If you want to however…
For FireTV Full version:
- Power on your Fire TV without an internet connection.
- Stop where it asks you to select a wifi connection.
- If the light on the front of the Fire TV (full version, not the stick) isn’t orange, wait for it to turn orange.
- It is recommended to use a wired ethernet internet connection because you will not have to mess with your router. Essentially we need to let the internet temporarily connect then kill it at the right time so it bypasses the required updates.
- Connect the Fire TV to the internet via plugging in the ethernet cable and keep a close eye on the orange light. The instant it turns white, unplug internet connection.
- After a short while of trying to update, the Fire TV should get past the update check and stop on the registration screen where you can reconnect the internet and proceed through the setup.
For the FireTV Stick:
- Power on your Fire TV Stick
- Stop where it asks you to select a wifi connection and read the rest of these steps first.
- Be ready to pull power to your wireless router
- Enter your wireless credentials
- As soon as it says “connection successful” you will need to disconnect the internet power. You only have about a 1 sec window so have your hand on the power plug when you hit connect and be ready. Might be a team effort if your router is not near where you are setting up the FireTV stick.
- It should ship the updates and eventually get to the registration screen.
- Connect to the internet via wired or wireless
- Use you existing or create a new Amazon account.
- Watch the 4ish min intro video to get familiar with the FireTV – You can push the right direction on remote and foward past the video
- You will now be at the Amazon home Screen
Loading Fire TV XBMC Kodi
This process only takes like 10 min and you only have to do it one time. The steps are straight forward so do not get overwhelmed.
Preparing Your FireTV
First thing we need to do is enable some settings on our device
- Settings -> System -> Developer Options
- Enable both boxes
- Turn on ADB Debugging
- Apps from Unknown Sources
- Enable both boxes
Next we need to get the IP address off the FireTV
- System -> About -> Network
- Take a picture or write down the IP Address
Sending/Installing Kodi and FireStarter FireTV
Now you will need to leave your FireTV running on the network and head over to a PC/Laptop in the house running on the same network.
Download these two files
Click “Skip Ad” in the top right hand corner after the 5 sec wait
Download the application
So we now have everything we need to for Fire TV XBMC Kodi.
The first thing we need to do is extract the FireTV Utility App to your C drive root. It is very important to extract it to C:\ as it will not work if you do not.
When done you will see it on your C drive as “FTV”
In the FTV folder you will see the “Amazon FireTV Utility App.exe”, launch it by right clicking and selecting “Run as Administrator”.
Alright so let’s do this… First we need to connect to the FireTV or FireTV stick by using the IP address you got in the earlier step.
Save and Close.
It will take you back out to the main application where you will press File -> Connect. It will open a dos type screen and show you connect successfully.
Side note to Root: If you want to root the FireTV (not the stick) and did the network trick above so it did not update you can do that now by simply pressing “Root your AFTV”. After it roots you will want to “Disable OTA Update” to prevent the FireTV from updating and erasing your root. Again this is not necessary to get all the functionality nor would I do it.
Now let’s install Kodi XBMC.
- Click the “Select” button and find where you downloaded the ARM version of Kodi
- Select the apk file where it shows up in the field next to select
- Click “Side Load 3rd Party Application”
- It will open a prompt screen and take a couple of min. You will know it is complete when it shows “C:\FTV”
After this completes go ahead and click the “FireStarter” button. This will allow us to launch Kodi from the quick launch page later. You are done on your PC and the FireTV is now loaded up ready to configure.
Configuring Fire TV XBMC Kodi
Back on your FireTV let’s go ahead and launch Kodi for the first time. It will initially be location at Settings -> Applications -> Manage all installed applications
In the list you will be able to launch Kodi “XBMC”
Loading llama is no longer necessary since we will use the
FireStarter AppStarter launch application you already installed above! Skip this section! I know you will want to dive right into Kodi and start configuring, but there is one more step we need to do back on FireTV that will enable us to launch Kodi from the home page. If not, it will be buried in the Settings -> Applications -> Manage all installed applications like before. That is not wife or kids friendly. Exit Kodi and go back to the Amazon home page. We need to install a free application called “iKono”. You will find it under the search or in the apps section. We will not use iKono, other than have that picture on the homepage launch Kodi. (They used to use an app called Classic TV, but have since moved to iKono) So again, install “iKono” Once downloaded and installed go back out to the home screen. We now are going to get a way to boot Kodi directly from the homepage. Go to Settings -> Applications -> Manage all installed applications. Find and launch “Llama” Accept through the first couple of notification screens Go to “Events” at the top then click the “+” sign at the bottom right Click “Add a condition” Click “Active Application” Click “Choose and Application” and Select “iKono” Accept then Click “Add an Action” Click “Run Application” Find and select Kodi Click “Test Action” if will boot into Kodi and you are now set. Once installed go back to your pc and the Amazon Fire Tv Utility. Press the button called “Switch ikono tv icon to kodi icon”. This will put Kodi on your home page with the proper icon. At any time simply select “Kodi” from the Amazon home page to get back to Kodi.
Launching Android Applications Directly from Kodi/XBMC
A huge advantage of running Kodi on a flavor of Android like on the FireTV and FireTV stick is that you can launch the actual Android applications native from Kodi.
Let’s go through setting up VEVO together which will allow you to stream music videos. The principles will be the same for any other Android application you have on your Amazon Fire TV such as Hulu for Netflix.
First, from the Amazon home page find and install VEVO (through search or in the apps section). Once it is installed launch Kodi.
Go to Programs on the Kodi home screen
Select Android Apps
Here you will see all the Apps you have installed on your Amazon FireTV. For testing, select VEVO
You will see it launches the actual application instead of some backdoor video addon.
When you exit VEVO you will see it goes back to Kodi. Totally Awesome.
Where to go from here?
Really where ever you want. Now you have a fully functional Kodi device will all the added functionality of Amazon behind it.
Here are a couple of other guides that will get your Fire TV XBMC Kodi configured so you can watch literally anything.
- Buy a fully configured Fire TV from us and get every Movie or Tv Show Free!
- Setup your mobile device as a remote control including airplay
- Free TV and Movies with Genesis 1Channel XBMC Kodi Library Integration
- Navigating FireStarter
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