When it comes to managing your own media, few programs can offer as much as Kodi (formerly called XBMC and, before that, Xbox Media Center). You can organize your movies, TV shows and photos; you can install clever add-ons; and you can record live television.
If only installing it were as easy as using it. While Kodi is simple to install on a computer, getting it for a streaming box or stick is somewhat tougher. That’s ironic, considering the app’s interface is optimized for TV screens. Still, installing Kodi on a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick is easier than you might think. You don’t have to root your device, and you can accomplish the whole process in about 5 minutes, if you’re a quick typist.
1. Access your device settings.
In the Settings menu, click Device. This is where you can control your app installation permissions.
2. Click on Developer Options.
It should be the second option on the list.
3. Enable Apps from Unknown Sources.
If this setting is off, click it once to turn it on.
WARNING: Allowing installation of third-party apps can be a sizable security risk, as Amazon points out. Tom’s Guide is not aware of any attacks that a cybercriminal could carry out through a Fire TV device, but that doesn’t mean such exploits don’t exist. Installing Kodi on a Fire TV device involves a trade-off between security and convenience. Weigh your options carefully before installing.
4. Acquire the Downloader app.
There are multiple ways to install Kodi, but the simplest way is with the free Downloader app. You can find it in the Amazon Appstore. (If you have a Fire TV box, it may be easier to install the app from a USB drive, but your options are limited for the Fire TV Stick.)
5. Direct Downloader to the Kodi website.
The best URL to use is http://www.kodi.tv/download, but you can use other sources, if you prefer.
6. Select the Android app.
The Fire TV’s operating system is an Android branch, so the Kodi Android app will work just fine.
7. Choose the 32-bit installation.
In my experience, this version of the app works best with Fire TV devices, but you can try others if you want to experiment.
8. Click Install.
You can also use this screen to review Kodi’s permissions.
9. Customize Kodi to your liking.
You can access Kodi just as you would any other app on the Fire TV. From here, you can share your media libraries, install add-ons and otherwise tweak Kodi to fit your taste. Bear in mind that if you’re using a Fire TV Stick, you’ll probably have to use a remote media server, whereas the Fire TV has a port for USB storage.