How to launch Kodi, XBMC, SPMC and other sideloaded apps from the Fire TV homescreen

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Sideloaded apps like Kodi, XBMC, and SPMC are inconvenient to launch since they don’t show up on the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick’s “Home” and “Apps” section. Instead you have to dig deep into the settings menu, requiring over 20 remote button presses, to launch a sideloaded app. I’ve been putting off writing this guide in hopes of finding a universal way to make all sideloaded apps equal citizens to official apps from the Amazon Appstore. That hasn’t happened, so this is a comprehensive guide of all the different ways to launch sideloaded apps faster. Each method is presented with its pros and cons for you to decide the best option for your needs. The guides concentrate specifically on Kodi, XBMC, and SPMC, but will work for any sideloaded app, unless otherwise noted. None of the methods require rooting. Read more ›

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How to update an app on the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick

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This guide will cover how to check if a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick app has a pending update, and how to apply the update. It will also cover how to update sideloaded apps without losing your app data, including the special case of updating from XBMC to Kodi. Read more ›

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Kodi (formerly XBMC) version 14.0 Helix Released

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The new version of Kodi (formerly XBMC), Helix 14.0, is out of beta and has been released. As always, the new release is packed full of new features, but here’s what’s most relevant to the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Read more ›

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XBMC / Kodi upscaling vastly improved by latest Fire TV Stick Update

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The latest Fire TV Stick software update hasn’t added any new features or made any obvious changes, but one change under the hood has become abundently clear. The new update has noticeably improved the rendering engine used by apps like XBMC / Kodi to upscale 720p content to 1080p resolutions. A nine page discussion over on the Kodi forums about the poor image quality resulting from the Fire TV Stick upscaling 720p content seems to have caught Amazon’s attention. The issue appears to be resolved with the latest software update. Read more ›

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Fire TV Stick can run XBMC / Kodi and Sideload Apps

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Reports are starting to stream in from the lucky few who have already received their Fire TV Sticks. XBMC / Kodi, and any other app for that matter, can be sideload onto the Fire TV Stick in the exact same way you can on the Fire TV. First impressions seem to indicate that the Fire TV Stick runs XBMC / Kodi beautifully. THECOACH0742 over at the Fire TV subreddit says a 40GB high bitrate 1080p movie file “started playing instantly over wifi with no frame drops or skipping.”

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XBMC / Kodi Incompatible with Fire TV Software Version 51.1.4.0_user_514005520

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Along with the realease of the UK Fire TV, we saw the release of two new software versions: 51.1.40_user_514005520 and 51.1.4.0_user_514006420. So far only UK Fire TVs are getting these updates, but if the German Fire TV release is any indication, all Fire TVs should eventually be receiving these updates. Word is that the older of the two versions, 51.1.40_user_514005520, is incompatible with XBMC/Kodi. When launched on Fire TVs running software version 51.1.40_user_514005520, XBMC/Kodi is immediately crashing. Read more ›

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XBMC changes name to Kodi

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The app we all know and love as XBMC will now become Kodi. The old name, which stood for Xbox Media Center, has been irrelevant for a long time. The new name will makes its first appearance starting with version 14, which is currently in alpha testing. Not much, if anything, is changing apart from the logo and name. The team says the logo, seen above, isn’t the final version. The best version of the app for the Fire TV is still the latest stable release, v13.1 “Gotham”, so there is no need to make any updates to your setups at this time.

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How to setup Plex (and XBMC) for Surround Sound Audio

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Plex is probably the best app to easily stream media from your computer to the Amazon Fire TV. However, the app does have one major flaw. Currently, the video player built into the Plex app can only play surround sound from mp4 files with Dolby Digital (DD) 5.1 audio. It can’t play DD audio from mkv files and can’t play DTS audio at all. In this guide, we’ll show you how to setup Plex (and XBMC) to play surround sound audio from any file format. Read more ›

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How to play media files from External USB Storage on Amazon Fire TV

firetvscreenshot_20140615-192701Now that the Amazon Fire TV has been rooted, a slew of new capabilities can be unlocked. For starters, with a rooted Fire TV you can play media files from a USB drive or external hard drive. Read on for the full guide. Read more ›

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Alternatives to the Amazon Fire TV YouTube app

alternative-youtube-apps-headerThe YouTube app for the Amazon Fire TV leaves much to be desired. This is largely due to the app being a wrapper for www.youtube.com/tv instead of being natively written for the Fire TV. If you’re not satisfied with the YouTube experience on Fire TV, here are some alternatives.  Read more ›

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adbFire simplifies sideloading and sending XBMC files to the Fire TV

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A new Windows application, adbFire, has emerged to help make modifying XBMC on the Fire TV a little easier. The utility is similar to the Amazon FireTV Side App Installer, but adds the ability to send files to specific XBMC directories. It gets a bit tedious to open a command line and enter several commands just to achieve a simple task, so we’re happy to see helper utilities such as this emerging.  Read more ›

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XBMC 13.1 “Gotham” released for Fire TV

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Unquestionably the best app to sideload onto your Fire TV, XBMC, has just beend updated to version 13.1. This new version is a minor update focused on bringing an assortment of bug fixes to stabilize the slew of features introduced with the massive 13.0 update. Read on for full instructions on how to backup your XBMC settings and upgrade to the latest version on your Fire TV.  Read more ›

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