2021-06-19

Kodi 19 released with support for tvOS (Apple TV), AV1, Dolby Vision, more

Kodi 19 (or 'Matrix') is out now as a stable release and it includes official support for tvOS in Apple TV, AV1 decoding on Windows, Dolby Vision on Android, and many other new features.    

Kodi 19 has landed

Kodi, the open-source and free media player solution for movies, music and more, has reached version 19. One of the big developments is support for tvOS in Apple TV. However, like iOS it requires jailbreaking or side-loading, as detailed in this setup guide. - "In the upcoming Kodi 19, tvOS will be added as new platform. It will be fully featured, supporting top-shelf and the Siri remote, with support for both the Apple 4 and 4K. Similar to iOS, it will require jailbreaking or side loading," Kodi said previously. Kodi 19 also supports AV1 software decoding, HLG HDR and HDR10 playback on Windows 10 as well as HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR on Android. Of course, your hardware and display will need to also support HDR.

Kodi 19 released with support for tvOS (Apple TV), AV1, Dolby Vision, more

There are many other new features and changes including dropped support for iOS 32-bit, user interface tweaks, a redesigned music screen, subtitle improvements, integer scaling for pixel art games, iOS support for Xbox, PlayStation and other Bluetooth game controllers, improved metadata handling, new PVR features, security improvements, and more. Kodi was previously known as XBMC and it is a more customizable alternative to media player solutions designed originally for playback of local media. Alternatives include Infuse, Plex, and VLC. Also read: Infuse 6.6 released with 'Theater mode' – Infuse 7 coming this spring Kodi 19 is rolling out now for Android TV, Android mobile, iOS, Mac, Linux, Windows and other supported platforms. The Xbox app will be delayed "and may even be subject to a future point release".

Kodi 19 "Matrix" - new features

Playback For audio and music lovers, there are significant improvements across the board to metadata handling: library improvements, new tags, new displays, improvements to how Kodi handles release dates, album durations, multi-disc sets, and more. There's a new, Matrix-inspired visualisation, there are improvements to display when fetching files from a web server, and several changes to how audio decoder addons can pass information through to the Kodi player. For video, most of the changes are more technical, and may depend on your hardware: AV1 software decoding, HLG HDR and static HDR10 playback on Windows 10, static HDR10 and dynamic Dolby Vision HDR support on Android, and more OpenGL bicubic scalers. For those who combine the two, and have libraries of music videos, you get some goodies as well: database and metadata display improvements mean that Kodi will now fetch and display related album and artist information from the music library, where appropriate. There are also new features around grouping videos by artist (not just album), support for .NFO files that list all performers instead of just the main artist, plus better search links to return related albums and videos by the same director director. And, finally, if your definition of "play" is more game-related, we've implemented integer scaling to improve the viewing quality of Pixel Art games across the board, while iOS get support for Xbox, PlayStation and other supported Bluetooth game controllers. Skin/Look-and-Feel For many people, the interface is Kodi - it's how you find your way around, it's how you interact with the application and your media. As such, it's always getting some attention, and this release is no different: screen redesign, especially for music; new metadata displays; changes to playlist views; a new "now playing" view; artwork and image file improvements; both new and updated GUI controls. Some changes may be subtle, but all are designed to improve your experience. Subtitles An often-overlooked feature, but immensely useful to so many people, subtitles get some attention in this release: timestamp overlays get fixed, plus you can now select a dark grey colour and set an opacity for the captions (particularly useful in HDR - protect your eyes, kids, you'll miss them when they're gone). Addons and Scrapers Python comes in for some major changes in Kodi 19. Because the old Python 2.7 has gone out of support, we've finally made the wholesale move to Python 3 and ported our addons across. Much of the community has come with us, so, hopefully, your favourite addons will still function, but we're at the mercy of third-party contributors to update their work. Kodi 19 replaces the old XML metadata scrapers with new default Python for movies and TV shows; there are also new Python scrapers for music, Generic Album Scraper and Generic Artist Scraper. Binary addons in general get improvements to system documentation, cleaned up settings dialogs, and better help text. PVR and Live Television Another significant part of Kodi that's had a lot of attention in this release. Most new features here revolve around usability: PVR reminders, home screen widgets, group/channel manager enhancements, navigation and dialog controls, context menus, New/Live/Finale/Premiere tags, channel numbering and sorting, performance improvements, API improvements. Security There are a few new security features implemented now in Kodi, to help keep you safe from intentional or unintentional problems. Kodi will now enforce the origin of installed addons and their dependencies, which prevents third-party repositories from overwriting code of unrelated add-ons; broken or deprecated add-ons are now highlighted in the add-on list, so you have to actively agree to activate one; the binary addon system now has higher security around data exchange between Kodi and an addons. In addition, we've added a default requirement to password-protect Kodi's web interface, plus give better information around the security implications of enabling external interfaces if you do choose to enable them. Platform Specifics As a cross-platform application, we try our very best to keep all platforms feature equivalent where we can. However, there are inevitably platform differences, and we also have to make room by dropping old platforms as technology moves on. The big platform change with this release is new support for tvOS, but this means waving goodbye to iOS 32-bit. Beyond that, there are specific tweaks such as specific TopShelf support and fixes on AppleTV, better logging and notch support on iOS, and a move to a single Linux binary for multiple windowing systems (X11, Wayland, and GBM) versus the previous three. That last one will make a big difference to both users and package maintainers, since you'll no longer have to select a different binary based on the target environment. Behind the Scenes Probably too hidden for many users, but there are inevitably changes and improvements that you can't see, but might give more scope for new features later on: API changes to feed subtitle URIs to the player; multiple updates to various core modules; improvements to API calls and actions, and many more. They may not be important to you, but they took real work and I mention them for completeness.
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- Source: Kodi