Kodi 19 “Matrix” Open-Source Home Theater Released, This Is What’s New

Kodi 19

The long-anticipated Kodi 19 “Matrix” open-source home theater/media center has been officially released today as a major update with numerous new features and improvements.

Dubbed “Matrix” after the well-known Hollywood movie franchise with the same name, Kodi 19 has been in development for the past two years and comes with support for the AV1 video coding format, Python 3 support for add-ons, a new Matrix-inspired music visualization, along with new setting to automatically open the full-screen music visualization window when playback is started.

Kodi 19 also improves the handling of multi-disc CD sets and box sets and handling of album release dates, adds support for changing the subtitle opacity and a new dark grey color for subtitles, adds support for file tags over HTTPS, improve the viewing quality of Pixel Art games, adds support for more OpenGL bicubic scalers, as well as various improvements to user information.

Estuary, the default skin for Kodi, received some noteworthy improvements too, such as a new “Now Playing” view for music playback with details for the currently playing or selected song, a redesigned music full-screen/visualization window to match other full-screen windows and allow for fan art and visualizations to be displayed without colored overlays, and a new widelist view format for the default Playlist view.

Estuary also received support for displaying chapter information for music videos, additional media info flags for the music fullscreen/visualization window, various improvements to the music and video library artwork, a redesigned SeekBar that now automatically hides when pausing video playback, as well as an improved “Next Item” view.

The PVR module has been greatly enhanced in this release with support for reminders, TV and radio channel groups, home screen widgets and dynamic PVR categories for Estuary, enhancements to the Group and Channel managers, support for starting EPG entries as live, the ability to sort channels and EPG by the backend order of channels, performance improvements to the search and guide windows, and guide window navigation controls.

For Linux users, Kodi now uses a single binary for multiple windowing systems, such as X11, Wayland, and GBM, which means that you no longer have to select a different binary based on the target environment. Also, Kodi 19 uses Python 3 add-ons as Python 2 reached end of life in January 2020, and new Python scrapers for music, TV and movies were added too.

For Android users, Kodi 19 introduces static HDR10 support for all source types and Dynamic Dolby Vision HDR support for streaming services, if the device supports them. On iOS, Kodi now supports Bluetooth game controllers from Xbox, PlayStation, etc.

How to get Kodi 19? Well, the software will soon be included in the next releases of the CoreELEC or LibreELEC distributions, but if you can’t wait until these new versions will be available, you can either download and install Kodi 19 from your distro’s repositories or compile the sources.

Image credits: Kodi.tv

Last updated 2 years ago

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