Kodi is a versatile tool that comes in very handy for watching movies, TV shows, live TV, sports, or playing retro games online. You can also use it to manage offline content that you already own. The best part about Kodi is that it is open-source and supports third-party add-ons that augment its utility in a large number of ways. However, getting to learn and use Kodi can be taxing on some users, especially those who are not very keen on DIY. So, if you are looking for a more refined media consumption experience, we have listed out Kodi alternatives that will offer you nearly the same amount of flexibility in terms of content discovery, management, and viewing.

Best Kodi Alternatives to Use in 2020

For easier navigation, we have enlisted the 10 best Kodi alternatives in a particular order. If you happen to know some of these media centers then you can comfortably move to the new ones by clicking on the link below.

  1. Plex
  2. Emby
  3. OSMC
  4. Jellyfin
  5. Stremio
  6. MediaPortal 2
  7. Universal Media Server
  8. JRiver Media Center

List of Best Kodi Alternatives (Updated June 2020)

In our recent update to this article, we have added three new Kodi alternatives and we hope that you find a suitable pick from the list. For better coverage, we have included media centers like Kodi which bring local content management, online viewing, live TV, and also some client-server apps like Plex. With all that said, let’s move to the list, shall we?

1. Plex

Undoubtedly one of the best Kodi alternatives that you can get, Plex is loaded with a truckload of features. In fact, it is perfect for streaming locally stored digital media to multiple devices (e.g. smartphones, set-top boxes) over the network, thanks to its client-server architecture.

However, Plex also has a home theater software application, which still lets you view/manage your media library through an immersive user interface. And just like the add-ons that make Kodi so great, Plex has quite a collection of channels, that let you watch streaming content based on a variety of topics, such as news and technology.

Plex

What’s more, since Plex’s media server module takes care of transcoding media for streaming to different devices, it can even run on low powered PCs and optimize bandwidth usage. Other notable features include availability on a diverse range of platforms, and a premium level subscription, which gives you even more features, such as movie trailers, and wireless syncing of photos to the media server.

Wanna know how Kodi and Plex compare with each other, in detail? Read here.

Platform Availability: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux (Desktop); iOS, Android, Windows Phone (Mobile), Android TV, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox, PlayStation (Others)

Price: Free, Paid subscription starts at $4.99/month, for additional features.

Download Plex

2. Emby

If you like the media streaming approach of Plex, but not the fact that it comprises proprietary software components, then the open-source Emby might just be the Kodi alternative for you. It’s also built on the client-server approach and makes streaming locally stored media to network-connected devices super easy. Emby also includes a bit of live TV functionality and lets you manage DVR recordings as well.

But more importantly, Emby comes with features like parental controls and web-based tools to edit metadata, search subtitles, and more. Emby can also transcode media files according to different target streaming devices, and supports streaming to DLNA compatible devices as well

Emby

Emby even has a Kodi add-on that gives Kodi library management features of Emby. Also, the premium subscription unlocks features such as cinema mode and backup/restore of server configuration. While it’s nowhere near as powerful as Plex or Kodi, if you are looking for a simpler Kodi alternative, this will serve you well.

Platform Availability: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux (Desktop); iOS, Android, Windows Phone (Mobile), Android TV, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox, Samsung Smart TV (Others)

Price: Free, Paid subscription starts at $4.99/month, for exclusive features.

Download Emby

3. OSMC

OSMC (Open Source Media Center) is perhaps the best looking Kodi alternative that you can find among the score of media centers. It’s based on the same Kodi project but brings a new and modern user interface that is best suited for TVs and larger screens. Similar to Kodi, OSMC is also open-source and brings the identical tabbed-layout UI.

However, the UI elements are quite polished and clean as opposed to Kodi. And the best part is that you can even use some of the popular Kodi addons on OSMC. How awesome is that? In addition, OSMC offers its own app store where you can discover new addons and plugins to get content of your preference.

3. OSMC

Not to mention, OSMC can play almost all the major media formats out there with a powerful built-in transcoder. Apart from online content, you can also use OSMC as your media center just like Kodi. You can manage your library of movies, TV shows, music, pictures and more.

Best of all, OSMC scraps movie posters, synopsis, and other relevant information from the web for you. I must add the media player on OSMC feels much more cohesive and in control than Kodi which is an added advantage. So, what are you waiting for? Just go ahead and install OSMC on your device and see if it can replace Kodi for you.

Platform Availability: Windows, macOS, Raspberry Pi, Apple TV

Price: Free

Download OSMC

4. Jellyfin

Jellyfin is a new media center, but it has gained quite a reputation among the erstwhile Kodi users. The software is open-source and completely free, just like Kodi, but that is not its selling point. It allows you to manage your library of content locally, but at the same time, you can host a server and access your content over the web.

Basically, Jellyfin is a blend of Kodi and Plex which is just the best combination one can ask for. And that is not all, the UI is super slick having dark mode and modern UI elements. Further, the media player is feature-packed and has options like fast forward, subtitles, full-screen controls, separate volume panel, and more.

7. Jellyfin

As for the local library, Jellyfin can automatically organize movies and shows with posters, their seasons, synopsis, etc. And if you have a music library then you can make playlists and listen on the go by using its server.

Having said all of that, the best part about Jellyfin is that it supports live TV and you can even record the stream using the built-in DVR feature. That’s just great and this feature makes Jellyfin a suitable Kodi alternative. All in all, Jellyfin is a media center built by the community and you must give it a try for its sheer number of features that can even dwarf Kodi.

Platform Availability: Windows, Linux, macOS, Web Browsers, Android, iOS, Xbox One

Price: Free

Download Jellyfin

5. Stremio

Stremio is an all-exclusive media player using which feels a lot like a super-charged version of Kodi. But unlike Kodi, you don’t have to individually list or link sources as Stremio does all this automatically. It lists top-rated movies, TV series, YouTube channels on its own and also shows you a list of sources from where it can stream media. The available options include sources such as torrents as well as paid ones.

Stremio allows users to create a personal library of things they want to watch on the service. In case any particular movie is not available online and is exclusive to theaters, Stremio will also inform users. I really like the fact that the media player lets you stream movies directly from both – premium services such as Netflix as well as from free torrents portals, also showing the current number of seeders for a particular movie or TV show.

kodi alternatives stremio

There is a slew of add-ons which enable access to a variety of content. Some of the available options include Popcorn Time, Vimeo, Twitch, etc. Besides displaying a healthy library of content, Stremio also notifies you when a new episode is added to the TV shows in your library. Overall, the highly interactive and modern interface, as well as automatic add-ons, make Stremio one of the best media players and Kodi alternatives.

Platform Availability: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

Price: Free, paid host servers for certain content

Download Stremio

6. MediaPortal 2

MediaPortal 2 is an open-source media player that is primarily designed to work with – and improve the utility of – hardware such as a DVR, Blu-ray player, or a TV Tuner. Besides playing media from a connected player with greater ease, MediaPortal 2, also fetches information related to DVD movies and TV shows from IMDb automatically as well as saves this information so that it can be retrieved and readily displayed when you watch the same movie or listen to the same album again.

Apart from supporting a wide range of TV cards – including the analog ones like ATSC and DVB, as well as DVR and disc players, MediaPortal also organizes your image files. Like Kodi, MediaPortal supports a variety of plug-ins which will let you listen to online radio, check the weather, read the news, or use a mobile device to control the media center over Wi-Fi.

kodi alternatives mediaportal

The developer behind MediaPortal 2 claims that it has been built ground up and is much better than the first generation of the software. The only limitations of MediaPortal 2 are that it is dependent on external hardware if you want to utilize better and is currently only available on Windows. Still, when it comes to managing offline media it is one of the best if not the best Kodi alternatives on the market right now.

Platform Availability: Windows

Price: Free

Download MediaPortal 2

7. Universal Media Server

If no-fuss media streaming via DLNA-compatible devices is all that you want, Universal Media Server is going to serve you just fine. It has an extremely simple UI and can be set up fairly easily. It supports streaming to a huge variety of devices and can transcode most of the audio, video, and image formats without any configuration. Among its many features are bit-rate adjustment according to network speed, and a web interface to work even with devices that don’t have DLNA support.

kodi alternatives universal media server

To set up Universal Media Server, just add the location of the stored media in the Navigation Share settings. Now, open a web browser (or DLNA browser app) on any device connected to the same network which is used to host the server and enter the IP address of the hosting device followed by “:9001“.

In my case, the URL was 192.168.1.6:9001 and to check yours, you can click on the “Web Interface” button above. Once other devices such as smartphones, TVs, tablets, gaming consoles, or other computers on the same network are connected to the server, they can display and play all the media contents such as images, videos, music, etc.

kodi alternatives universal media server
Browsing the hosted Media Server on iPad

The beauty of Universal Media Server is that it works on any device having Java support. To make sure it works properly on your Windows, Mac, or Linux PC, you might need to download Java on your machine.

Platform Availability: Windows, Mac, Linux

Price: Free

Download Universal Media Server

8. JRiver Media Center

If you want a media center for your computer and not for TVs or larger screens then JRiver is an apt alternative to Kodi. Similar to Kodi, it allows you to organize all your local library of movies, TV shows, music, images, and more. It can even collate information about all your content and neatly categorize them in a tabbed-layout.Unlike Kodi, you don’t have a huge collection of addons here but JRiver brings a handful of services and plugins for scheduling, downloading, and managing cloud-based media networks. As for streaming, JRiver offers built-in support for YouTube, RadioTunes, BBC, and some more radio channels.

8. JRiver Media Center

The best part is that through its Cloudplay server, you can upload tons of lossless music that you can play using its client on any device. That’s really cool, right? Coming to video playback, it can play popular media formats like Blu-Ray, MPEG4, AVI, MOV, etc. Basically, you are covered on all fronts with JRiver Media Center.

That said, keep in mind, JRiver is not free and it only offers a 30-day trial to free consumers. After that, you will have to purchase the premium plan. So considering all the points, if you want a local media center to manage your library then Jriver can be a decent replacement to Kodi.

Platform Availability: Windows, Linux, macOS

Price: Free Trial for 30 days, One-time purchase of $59.98

Download JRiver Media Center

Slow Streaming or Facing Buffering Issues? Here Are Some Tips

If the primary reason you are looking for Kodi alternative is slow streaming or intermittent buffering issues then you must look into how much video cache memory has been allotted to Kodi. Sometimes, users allocate too little memory for Kodi to work properly. To fix that, you can install Ares Wizard (Free) addon and customize the video cache size. As a rule of thumb, you should at least provide 500MB of RAM for no buffering on Kodi. You can follow our article on the best Kodi tips and tricks to find more solutions to Kodi issues.

Best Kodi Alternatives You Must Try in 2020

Kodi is far from beatable when it comes to offering versatility in content and impressive customization options. But if you want to utilize only a specific type among the great features of Kodi, these alternatives will serve you well. You may also try these out alongside Kodi to have a wider variety of entertainment possibilities.

If you mostly rely on online content, we would recommend you to start with Stremio as it has many free video sources and then (maybe) and then move to Plex or Emby if you wish to enjoy more premium content. Alternatively, if you want to manage your TV and DVD/Blu-ray hardware, you can start by choosing OSMC while Jellyfin will come in handy for hosting files stored on a single system to be played on others.

Depending on your need, we hope some of the above-listed Kodi alternatives fulfill your expectations. Do you think any other media player can complement or even completely replace Kodi? Tell us below in the comments.

Comments


  1. So in this article, the main interest of Kodi is its media library streaming capability . I was under the impression, reading a lot of review on it, that it’s capability to take stream from different, free or not, source on the web and bring it in an orderly manner to your TV so you can cut the cord was now it’s main interest and uniqueness. And of course it’s much more common function of managing your own library. So only the 2 forked app and specifically OSMC are a real alternative to Kodi and in a lesser manner, mediaportal. Am I correct?

    • Kodi is not on iOS devices because the Apple app store rules go against the open source nature of kodi.tv kodi have always said there will not be an ios app because their open source licence conflicts with the app store rules.
      Nothing to do with it being legal or illegal; the developers just won’t make it for it, other than jail broken devices where it doesn’t need to be installed visas the Apple app store

  2. SPMC is better and faster than kodi on a android shield tv box and all repo’s work that ive tried and its not even on this list.

    • but SPMC is just KODI dev’d specifcally for Android i dont think it merits its own spot in an article like this. as its not an alternative it just is KODI

  3. Try not to use wi-fi instead connect the internet cable from the router to your box you can get the cable 4 a good price at amazon

  4. I have a x96 a9095x android box with KODI it has 2gb of ram and 16gb of storage the box seems to have enough power to run very smooth but for the life of me I cant get any of the streaming addon (Exodus, Phoenix, etc) to stream without constantly buffering. I have 100meg internet and have checked the speed several times and it is always working great so that shouldnt be the problem. I have tried tweaking the setting to even just stream 480 video and still get buffering issues. Anyone know of another program or app I might be able to install and use that doesnt buffer so much or any suggestions that might fix the buffering issues

    • Do you know about the advancedsettings.xml file and how to modify the Kodi cache? It will help a little. Try using cCloud add-on for tvChannels and Navi-X for news channels with 100 percent result, I use Gobble Gobble for international channels.

  5. Message me on my Facebook page UK Static Solutions with your requested features you’re seeking for your Kodi & I can send over info on how to configure.

  6. Kodi is not user friendly – I am confused who are those blessed souls who are using such a confusing thingy.
    After deleting and reinstalling 3 times, I am still thinking ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,What the helllll

    • If you’re using the Kodi 17 it will take a little come to familiarise yourself with the new positions for installing add ons & repos. Google Kodi 17 install add ons & it will help. I find the new Kodi much more efficient. Make sure you’re using add ons that are still active to use.

    • Sammy, it is new technology for and took some time to figure it out. It is similar to Linux, robust, mind blowing options but not very user friendly. May be in future version it will become user friendly.

      • Honestly, the user interface of Kodi is shit. No matter what skin, it‘s confusing when you get into the settings of some settings as well as if you end up with a dialog-box that asks you to Exit while the second option is Leave for leaving the exit, or probabla exit the leaving menue, who knows. But other than that, Kodi is a really nice piece of software, running on so many platforms and a big community on top of that.

        • Forgot to mention: There are even settings of some settings, having extra-settings! Haha I shit you not 🙂

    • Kodi is very easy once you understand specific locations within the system such as file manager, pvr, addons, etc. Installing addons is grade school. Troypoint is a good source for learning, also trial and error works.