MrMC, the only forked version of Kodi in the official Fire TV appstore, has just been updated to version 2.4 with a bunch of great new features. For starters, MrMC can now run at a resolution of 2160p, making it the first Fire TV app capable of playing local 4K content at full resolution. The update also brings true support for refresh rate switching to the Fire TV for the first time. This is a feature that home theater enthusiasts have been begging for ever since the Fire TV first launched, and even Amazon’s own video player doesn’t support it. With refresh rate switching enabled, MrMC will automatically change the Fire TV’s refresh rate to match the frame rate of the video being played. This greatly reduces or entirely eliminates visual artifacts caused by 3:2 pulldown and screen tearing. As if 4K support and refresh rate switching weren’t enough, the new update also adds a built in Plex client, as well as a LightEffects client to support Ambilight-style LED lighting.
The implementation of 2160p in MrMC is perfect because it gives you full control of how you’d like resolution switching to be handled. By default, MrMC will launch at the resolution set by Fire OS and switch resolutions to 2160p when a 4K video is played. This mimics the behavior of how Fire OS handles 4K Amazon video. However, if you prefer, you can go into MrMC’s settings area and manually set a resolution under the System > Video output menu. From there you can also manually set the refresh rate. Manually setting a resolution and/or refresh rate will cause MrMC to switch into those settings at launch, instead of when a video is played. So if you know most of your content is 4K @ 24p for example, then you can set that and have MrMC at the ideal resolution at launch. Note that your Fire OS display settings must be set to “Auto” for MrMC’s manual display settings to be available. This is because setting a specific resolution in Fire OS overrides MrMC’s ability to change the resolution.
In addition to being able to manually set a resolution and refresh rate, which in and of itself is a first for any Fire TV app, you can also set MrMC to automatically adjust the display refresh rate to match the video being played. This feature has been in Kodi for a long time, but it has never worked on the Fire TV until now. The refresh rate options work just as well on 1080p and 720p TVs and are not limited to 2160p TVs.
The Fire TV displays its interface and content at 60Hz. This is ideal for the user interface, because it results in smooth transitions and animations as you navigate around the Fire TV, but it’s not ideal for video playback. Enabling automatic display refresh rate syncing, which can be done in MrMC’s settings under the Video > Playback menu, will cause MrMC to change the Fire TV’s refresh rate so that it best matches the frame rate of played videos. Since most movies and TV shows are filmed at 23.976 or 29.97 frames per second, enabling this setting will change your TV to 24Hz or 30Hz when playing such videos, assuming your TV supports those refresh rates. As mentioned earlier, matching video frame rate to display refresh rate, or getting as close as possible, can result in smoother playback by avoiding 3:2 pulldown and screen tearing. Note that selecting 24Hz actually sets the TV to 23.976Hz, so playback is buttery smooth at a perfect 1-to-1 match.
Version 2.4 of MrMC also introduces a built-in Plex client. This allows MrMC to display and playback content from a Plex server natively within MrMC’s interface, without needing an add-on. This new built-in Plex client only plays content via Direct Play, meaning content will not be transcoded before playing. Your content, thumbnails, video art, and metadata are all pulled in from the Plex server and displayed in MrMC as if it were native content, but without the need to scrape any data. It is a great solution for syncing your library across multiple Fire TVs, without having to use a complicated external MySQL database.
The update also adds support for LightEffects, which is a homebrew version of Philips Ambilight LED ambient lighting that works with boblight servers. This allows video played within MrMC to sync with LED light strips placed behind your TV, creating an immersive viewing experience. The update also includes numerous bug fixes, as you’d expect.
When MrMC first arrived in the Fire TV appstore, it was greeted with naysayers insisting that MrMC’s developers were just out to make money off of the free version of Kodi. I wrote a follow up article expressing my support for MrMC’s developers because they are XBMC/Kodi team members who were the original ones that ported XBMC/Kodi to Android in the first place. They already deserve my $5.99, the cost of MrMC, for their past efforts alone, and for literally being the reason Kodi is even compatible with Android and the Fire TV. Anything they’ve done beyond that, like releasing these great new features, is just bonus extra’s in my book.
On top of it all, MrMC is open source, so if Kodi (hopefully) down the line gains the above mentioned features, it will be a direct result of MrMC’s effort. I know most of you reading this will stick with Kodi, and you probably should, but this update is a clear example of why MrMC’s developers do not deserve any flack for forking Kodi and trying to make a few bucks by improving it.
If they’d bake in the Emby client I’d probably give this a whirl next to SPMC.
Doesn’t SPMC support refresh rate switching also? Or is that only on the shield?
The developers did say they were going to keep adding network clients so perhaps Emby is on their radar. You could always suggest it to them over at their forums.
I welcome this update. Especially the Plex client inclusion. I would like to see them also include the Silicon Dust HD View plugin natively within the interface (you can’t add any plugins to MrMC AFAIK). Then I would blow Kodi off my FireTV for good. I need this to watch live TV off my antenna through HD View (or View as the case may be with DVR support or another app I was forced to purchase because of the slow progress of SD on the FireTV).
MrMC includes already all binary PVR addons as standard. There is one to handle Silicon Dust products called pvr.hdhomerun.
“I need this to watch live TV off my antenna through HD View (or View as the case may be with DVR support or another app I was forced to purchase because of the slow progress of SD on the FireTV).”
I understand you need an app to view live TV, but I dont understand the rest of what you are saying. Can you explain? SD?
I have a Windows 7 server, with Media Center, HDHomeRun and a few Amazon Fire TVs. So I can’t tell if your post might say something that would be of interest to me or not.
Yes I added the HD HomeRun PVR that was native to MrMC and I can watch live TV from the SiliconDust (SD) Connect network tuner on my FireTV. What I can’t do is use that interface to tell the HD HomeRun software to record a program (unless I am missing something). I have access to the pre-release software so for now I would have to pop out and go into the Grey “View” app to record a show or schedule a show. Not a big deal but not family friendly. I also can’t seem to get back to the overall channel EPG while watching a show with the buttons available on the FireTV remote but that is probably a limitation of the FireTV remote. However, since this is on the FireTV app store, I would expect that functionality. Overall I applaud the effort and will continue to follow the development. So far I like InstaTV Pro version but if I wanted a full media center replacement I’d opt for MrMC. Since I am only doing over the air (OTA) channels I only have 25 or so channels to deal with so not a big deal either way.
For some reason, I am now able to get to the EPG using the back button. I did change the start to be the television (TV) tab so MrMC starts up in the TV mode. I’ll keep playing with this. I am sure the product will continue to mature. the $6 is little more than a donation to their uncompensated work.
Now all we need is a fork of this to add back in plugin support and we’re golden.
Not going to happen. There won’t be Python plugin support ever for the reasons that the developers have made clear. AddOns are killing Kodi. We don’t need them to do in a really excellent product that is backed by top developers.
Kodi is just fine. What he means to says is “Amazon won’t let them put this app on their store and charge money for it while plugin support is oncluded”.
Doesn’t Plex have “non-sanctioned” plugins that that will basically function the same way as Kodi? So isn’t MrMC arriving at the same end result, albeit in a slightly different way? Seems to me that Kodi is being targeted, just like only Macdonald’s was being targeted for making people fat….(joke)
Not really. The plex plugins are pretty much website wrappers for mainstream content providers. Nothing like the pirate streaming stuff that’s made for full Kodi.
Amazon won’t let Kodi on it’s store with plugin support, and without it being on the store, it’s hard to charge money for it.
Are there any 4K content on Kodi?
does this work on nvidia shield?
It’s not on the play store, you could theoretically try it though by compiling from source yourself (legally, since it’s GPL and on github).
That said, I can’t go through the details other than checking the readme file in the docs folder).
Holy crap holy crap holy crap! Now this just needs to be incorporated into SPMC and I can kick my old windows media pc to the curb and use the Firetv for everything! Have been dying to see sync playback to display finally properly implemented into FireOS!
Added a feature request to SPMC and just got confirmation that it’s set to be added into 16.5.0
This is great news! Question.. with this installed how would one go about playing large 4k files from a hard drive? I assume must be rooted to enable the ability for the FTV2?
I think you can enable something besides FAT32 using Root, but you could just load from a network location, like a NAS, which should support exFAT, NTFS, or XFS.
If your device is rooted, you can connect an NTFS drive, but if you’re not rooted, you can RAR your files into multiple smaller pieces.
Unfortunately no word on 5.1 audio playback. That this version support DTS or Dolby digital passthrough ?
Ok, so if they can do this so can kodi….oh please have this working on regular kodi
Would it be possible for MrMC to force ui to run in other resolutions such as 2560×1080? I have a dedicated media I3 intel PC which I would like to switch for aftv, since I only use it for Kodi, youtube and spotify. The only thing that holds me back is that i have a widesreen monitor running at 2560*1080. Thanks.
MrMC is only available on iOS and Fire TV, so you won’t be able to use it with the i3 PC. As for that odd resolution, MrMC is limited to the resolutions that Fire OS reports as compatible with the display. Since I don’t think Fire OS will provide a 2560×1080 option, MrMC won’t either.
Thank you for the reply, although I think you misunderstood me a little bit. I currently have an I3 windows PC and thinking of swapping it for the Fire TV with MrMC or Kodi. The only problem is that the monitor that I use is ultrawide (2560*1080). It’s great for watching cinemawide movies, but is only supported by Windows and not by Android (or Fire OS). I thought somehow MrMC can work around that, but I guess it could not…
Yes, the screenshot you see in the post above is where the gui resolution can be changed.
“In addition to being able to manually set a resolution and refresh rate, which in and of itself is a first for any Fire TV app,”
Slight correction, display resolution choices are limited to those provided by the fireOS.
Tried it out for the refresh rate changing and it doesn’t work on my Fire TV!
Do you see other display settings in the fireOS/setting/display ?
Are you set to auto ?
So the only way to play large 4k files is via network nas? Ideally we could dump to a large hd and play off it… anyone?
The issue is if the file is over 4GB, since FAT32 can’t(in this situation) handle files bigger than that. So, it would not matter how big or in what way the media was attached, it would still need to use FAT32, unless that “media” was ethernet/wifi.
unless you RAR’ed it, and yes MrMC can handle RAR format.
Can it handle ZIP or non-archived split files?
Can you post instructions on how to move the thumbs/etc to the sdcard?
Can the plex client play Plex “Channels” as well?