This IPTV Wire news report covers the release of Kodi 21 Omega.
Kodi 21 Omega has been officially released by the development team at Kodi and is the first beta version of this application.
Please note that Kodi 20.2 Nexus is still the stable release of this popular application. We suggest using Kodi 20.2 Nexus for best results since that is the stable release.
In this article, we will provide you with all of the important release details including how to install Kodi 21 Omega on your favorite device.
Kodi is one of the most popular streaming apps and media centers used by millions worldwide.
This app is most commonly installed on the Amazon Firestick, Fire TV, Android, Windows, Linux, Mac, and iOS.
The press release from Kodi’s website states the following on the Beta release of Kodi 21 Omega:
“Things are beginning to heat up for Kodi 21 Omega with the first Beta release!
This is a major release, so, as you’d expect, it comes with many new features. However, with a core change to FFmpeg 6.0, there is a very good chance that some regressions may occur. As such, please be aware that installing this will most likely break things, and we’d really like your help at that point to identify the problems and get them fixed. Please raise Github issues with full debug logs to help us resolve any issues you wonderful testers come across.”
We will be testing everything eventually, and we suggest you bookmark our website for our results and suggestions.
If you are currently using any version of Kodi 20 Nexus and it’s working well for you, we suggest waiting for our test results before updating Kodi.
Kodi 21 Omega does bring several new features to this popular software. The developers have done a fantastic job troubleshooting a large number of bugs in a short period of time.
Below are the release notes for the Beta release of Kodi 21 Omega. These were directly pulled from the official Kodi website.
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Kodi 21 Omega – Features & Details
Beta One Release
The “Beta One” release of Kodi 21 Omega was posted on October 24, 2023.
Many users may still be on the Kodi testing track for their Android devices. It’s far easier to leave the testing track from a ‘phone-based device, but be aware that if your device is on the testing track, we will be starting to deploy the Beta 1 release over the next week or so. If you wish to opt out of the testing group, one way you can is by visiting the following link Google Play – Kodi testing track. From there, you can opt out for your Google Play account. This is the best (and possibly only) way to opt out on many Android TV devices (e.g. Nvidia Shields).
With that said, for those adventurous types who would like to help us with testing, you can use the same link to opt in for a Google Play account.
An API bump will be made with the next release of Kodi 21’s testing cycle.
This will require changes and submissions to the Omega branch for skins for those who submit to the Kodi Repository. Reach out on the forums if you have any questions/concerns.
And now, for the list of changes for Beta 1.
- A number of changes to the
cmakebuild system have been made. These will be mostly invisible to users, but the intention is to modernise our
cmakeusage to prepare us for the future more easily.
cmakebuild system, when targeting Multi Config Generators (VS/Xcode), will now create a full complete build directory to allow a Kodi executable to be run immediately without the direct use of an IDE like VS. This is also the start to allow us to build dependencies for Windows for shared libraries, and be able to package them correctly.
- A number of fixes to allow building with GCC13 have been made. This mostly involved the transitive inclusion of headers in system headers being removed/changed. The fixes have been to explicitly include those headers in our code.
- A bug was recently introduced that led to external subtitle entries becoming unavailable on streamdetails. This was fixed in https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23835.
- A fix to allow
.strmfiles to properly use resume points was made by @Acidzero2020.
- An improvement to the Event Log “toast” notifications has been made by @DaVukovic to provide more meaningful information when an item fails to scrape TV Shows.
- A fix to allow Python addons to correctly handle custom controller button inputs was made by @icr8ions. This allows addons like the Keymap Editor to correctly recognise and handle actions from custom controllers (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23789).
- A PR that extends the Python ‘generic artist’ scraper to fetch the associated YouTube video links for an artist from theaudiodb, and then match them up to songs already scanned into the user’s music library. This allows skins to then display links to the corresponding song video. More information can be see in the PR from @the-black-eagle (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/22654).
- We don’t have too many improvements to our FreeBSD port, however @lrusak has brought FreeBSD in line with Linux with its usage of the command line argument
- We don’t have too many improvements to our FreeBSD port, however @lrusak has brought FreeBSD in line with Linux with its usage of the command line argument
- A fix for a crash with Pipewire was contributed by @dobo90.
- @lrusak has implemented a command line switch (
--gl-interface=<interface>) to replace the old environment variable usage of
- Kodi’s usage of the system ping utility has been replaced with an internal implementation (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23870).
- DRMPrime has had a check based on pitch value removed as it was causing failures with some formats, like single plane and/or compressed ones, where the pitch can be 0 and therefore it has no meaning. Thanks @jernejsk (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23889).
- @quietvoid has contributed a fix to allow webOS to play back AV1 DolbyVision files on supported devices (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23771).
- Support to allow webOS to to suspend to background rather than exit was made by @sundermann (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23684).
- With the support to suspend/minimise for webOS, behaviour to pause/resume media playback when Kodi is minimised/restored has been implemented by @sundermann.
- Initial support for webOS 4 devices has been implemented by @mariotaku.
You can see open issues on our tracker at https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/issues. However, to call out a couple of specifics, please be aware of the following if you’re planning on upgrading:
- There are seek issues with multi-part MP4 files on Android (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/issues/23673).
- There is an upstream FFmpeg issue that means that OGG music playback does not work. This will be rectified upstream to Kodi. (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/issues/23198).
- We’ve had reports that the new splash screen looks like an OpenGL corruption; we know, it’s not a problem, so don’t panic. We’d be happy to have your artwork contributions if you’d like to work on an alternative.
Alpha Three Release
The “Alpha Three” release of Kodi 21 Omega was posted on September 09, 2023.
- A change to Estuary to add “more…” to size-limited lists has been made by @ksooo. The effect of this can be seen in homescreen widgets that have more than 15 items.
- A number of changes to support video information for Movie Sets and TV Seasons has been made.
- @popcornmix has made several fixes to our FFmpeg library usage. This has gone through several iterations now, and has affected seeking and playback to various degrees. Hopefully, the last of these regressions has now been squashed, but please do let us know if you experience any further regressions around playback using FFmpeg.
- @thexai has changed the chunk size of data requests for local media, increasing it 64kb to improve data throughput.
- @garbear continues to improve the gaming interface of Kodi. Changes around player management/assignment have been made in https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23548. Have a read of that PR for more details/info.
- @ksooo has continued his whack-a-mole approach with issues regarding menu usage across the Kodi codebase. A fix for no information dialog for music videos, “Local art” missing for the art selection dialog, and further art dialog selection issues are amongst some of the latest fixes.
- TV Shows/Seasons/Movie sets/Recording folders now expose their ‘in progress’ state via
- The content of the refresh progress dialog has been improved a bit to be more informative for the user – for example, to display the current season and episode being refreshed.
- @repojohnray has had a (lingering) PR merged that fixes a memory leak in context menus.
- Some improvements and optimisations have been made by @neo1973 . This affects several areas (database and curl usage), and every performance fix is greatly appreciated.
- @rmrector has been digging into the image usage of Kodi (caching, allow remote viewing of images without having been displayed in Kodi, preloading of images and general streamlining of the API), and has made several improvements leading to more hotly-anticipated changes to come in the future.
- @quietvoid has had a PR merged that enables the ability to convert some Dolby Vision media types to more common types to allow playback. A forum thread has been around for testing that can explain the benefits a little better than this blog editor, so head there for some info and any feedback/support around the feature: https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=371557.
- @fritsch has once again delved into our Audio Engine to fix a regression for Amazon FireTV 4K users: https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23687.
- @joseluismarti has further updated some Android dependencies and fixed/modernised areas of our Android API usage.
- Support for
cpu_thermal hwmonhas been added. This enables devices like the Raspberry Pi to report CPU temperatures without the use of external scripts (as have been common in projects like LibreELEC).
- @smp79 submitted a fix for VAAPI VP9 Profile 2 playback.
- Support for
- @kambala-decapitator has fixed a crash in the SDL versions of Kodi when pressing the Caps-Lock key. This did not affect the “native windowing” version of Kodi we have migrated to for v21 nightlies, however if you are building for x86_64 intel Macs then this should make using that key less troublesome.
- @enen92 continues his work on improving Kodi for macOS. Network System info has been tackled to improve its speed, and more accurately represent network information like DNS servers used.
- macOS temperature information is currently not supported on Apple Silicon devices due to our usage of a library that does not support them. @enen92 has made a change to report N/A instead of 0.0 for CPU/GPU temperatures.
- Media keys are now supported on macOS.
- Some improvements for moving the Kodi app window from high-DPI screens with differing refresh rates.
- macOS releases are now defaulting to the “native windowing” system.
- @sundermann has continued with further improvements to the webOS port, most notably around passthrough and video decoding.
- A PR intended to fix an issue around the Windows platform regularly losing track of the audio output device has been merged by @thexai. This hopefully makes Windows audio outputs more robust to situations where driver updates may change naming.
- @CrystalP has been contributing a number of fixes/improvements particularly aimed at Windows. These include a fix for refresh rate switching for Intel and Nvidia graphics cards that was accidentally broken by a fix aimed at AMD cards.
- More improvements to the recently add Video Super Resolution implementation have been made.
- A first time contributor @ivanllc has had a PR merged to add a “2 minute” option to the padding timer for PVR recordings.
- @ksooo continues to improve the Kodi PVR system. A number of changes were made, including fixes and tidy ups from static analysis tools (
- Fixed a long-standing bug with subtitle selection not being preserved upon channel playback restart.
- Changes made to support building Kodi when using Python 3.12.
- Python invoker now passes
sys.argvarguments in a logical order to Python addons thanks to @scott967.
- a change by @smfontes to allow loading of font sets defined in a skins/fonts folder: https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/22993.
- Support for .ttc font collections has been added.
- TV show groups (seasons, movie sets, PVR recording folders) with at least one started element (episodes, movies, recordings) but no completely watched ones are now considered as ‘in progress’ and they, for example, now appear in the respective “In progress” GUI elements like widgets and video windows.
- Fixed play counts (watched state) and last played date of episodes and movies not being preserved on internet update.
- Default select action for videos fixed.
- @alanswanson has provided a change to use the FFmpeg software deinterlacer from yadiff to bwdif. This is said to have fairly significant performance improvements over the old interlacing method.
Alpha Two Release
The “Alpha Two” release of Kodi 21 Omega was posted on June 18, 2023.
- Apple platforms are now all built using newer version of Xcode (14.2) and the relevant SDKs. Thanks to a combination of a new M1 Mac mini hardware donation from long time supporter of the project, MacMiniVault.com, and also the Kodi foundation purchasing a second M1 Mac mini, we have been able to decommission our ageing Intel Mac mini’s that have been in use for a long time.
- Building on Windows now uses the system
curlexecutable instead of our formerly bundled (ancient)
- Improvements to dependency building have been made by @lrusak to make the downloading/hash checking more robust.
- Improvements to the seek window timeouts have been made to more correctly disappear after appropriate timeouts.
- Fix visibility of ‘next recording’ label in
PVRTimerswas made by @ksooo.
- One of our newer team members, @neo1973 , has made some cleanups and fixed some crashes in our ffmpeg side data usage, as well as other improvements with our ffmpeg API usage.
- Improvements made to handling of movement keys (e.g. PageUp, Down, Home, End) in certain lists such as Settings.
- @rmrector has been endeavouring to improve image cache handling for GUI items. We look forward to the further work he has in the pipeline to improve the cache handling.
advancedsettings.xmlfor Kodi 18 will no longer be migrated to the new GUI settings when upgrading. If you had meaningful configuration there, check that the artwork settings in the GUI match your preferences.
- @CrystalP extended the navigation history to track the line number of the selected item so that it can be restored when the item disappears from the list, instead of resetting the selection to the top of the list (usually the
..) after the end of playback or changing the watched status of an item.
- The generation of thumbnails was fixed for pictures in portrait orientation. The existing thumbnails in
KODI_HOME/userdata/Thumbnails/*must be deleted in order to have new correct ones recreated.
VideoLibrary.GetEpisodeDetailsnow returns “studio” and “genre” added by @scott967 in https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23112.
- @joseluismarti has continued with more cleanups and improvements to the Android codebase. Each improvement makes things easier to manage, and is greatly appreciated.
- @fritsch has been able to make further improvements to AudioTrack to handle hardware that has sinks that get “stuck”. Its always a fine line making changes in the Android world, as the multitude of hardware vendors have widely varying implementation qualities of the standard Android APIs.
- @lrusak has added the ability for users to select the audio backend with a command line switch when starting Kodi. This also allows seeing with which enabled audio backends Kodi was built. For more information check out the following PR.
- The minimum OS required for Kodi on macOS is now Mojave (10.14). This was done to allow the project to continue using more modern C++ 17 features. macOS Mojave was released on 24th September 2018 and hardware supported can be seen at Apple.com.
- @enen92 has continued to further improve what is known as “Native windowing” for our macOS codebase that will eventually lead to a formal Apple Silicon version. Improvements to window resizing, menu’s, window blanking, improved multiple monitor handling and more.
- For developers, Kodi can also now more easily be run from Xcode without having to alter schemes.
- @ksooo has now correctly added Speechrecognition entitlements for Apple platforms (including iOS/tvOS) which fixes a crash when microphone usage was triggered.
- Support for HiDPI resolutions, such as those marketed as Retina displays, has been introduced in the native windowing version. This enhancement allows Kodi’s graphical user interface (GUI) to showcase higher pixel densities, resulting in a sleek and polished appearance on modern Macs.
- @sundermann and @craigcarnell have made further improvements to the new webOS platform. Screensaver support has been added, along with audio sink improvements and updates to codec hardware support.
- Minimum Windows supported version has been raised to Windows 8.1.
- @CrystalP and @thexai have made a number of improvements to windows HDR/SDR/HLG display including tonemapping and hardware DXVA support for a number of combinations of those media types.
- @thexai implemented support for “Video Super Resolution” for Nvidia (RTX ) and Intel (ARC) compatible hardware. Please note, we obviously cant test all combinations of hardware, so don’t expect this to work for every combination under the sun. Give it a try and report any issues WITH debug logs.
- Bump to
libdav1dto version 1.20 should improve AV1 playback support for windows platforms.
- A fix for a regression was made by @lrusak that puts addon paths at the front of the system paths. This fixes addons using system modules instead of potentially customised Kodi modules of the same name. This mostly affects Linux based systems.
Alpha One Release
The “Alpha one” release of Kodi 21 Omega was posted on April 25, 2023.
- Build support for GCC13 has been fixed by some users. This allows Kodi to be built on newer toolchains that refactored some header inclusions.
- Some general version bumps have been made for an assortment of dependencies for Android/Apple/CI platforms. Thanks @craigcarnell, @fuzzard.
- @lrusak has endeavoured to improve the way some of the Android/Apple/CI dependency systems work and handle different states.
- @Rechi has fixed a few cmake deprecations and pkgconfig detection issues.
- Some new contributors noted some of our contributing guideline documentation was lacking. A few people have helped contribute to hopefully make them more helpful/informative.
- @fixthething has updated some of the Ubuntu build documentation to reflect some modern package names used in more recent Ubuntu versions.
- Use upstream FFmpeg. This is a big achievement and allows easier FFmpeg updates in the future.
- Update to version 6.0. This puts us in line with the latest FFmpeg release. Compatibility with 5.1.x has been retained for Linux distro support.
- With the introduction of NFSv4 support, a number of issues were quickly discovered by users. @thexai has fixed many of these, such as timeouts/chunk size defaults for NFSv4.
- @repojonray has provided a number of general fixes/improvements to various areas to address e.g. memory leaks and performance improvements.
- Modernisation of several areas of Kodi have been undertaken by a number of developers. A lot of this work will go unseen by users, however, it’s helping to make Kodi’s huge amount of code more maintainable for the future. @lrusak, @neo1973 , @repojohnray, @enen92, @Rechi .
- Added setting to disable screensaver while playing audio.
- @DeltaMikeCharlie has contributed some improvements to the UX regarding date format options.
- Improvements are continually being made to the Retroplayer ecosystem by several devs/users. Thanks to @KOPRajs, @garbear .
- the genre has been added to the
- Add support for reading (and writing) M3U8 playlist files. This provides support for non-ASCII characters in the playlist files (UTF-8 character support).
- Improved Dolby Vision detection and compatibility: implemented support of DV in MKV containers, better handling of different DV profiles with fallback to HDR10 when is possible and display is not DV capable. For some devices, we can now also support hardware tone mapping DV profiles 4, 5 to SDR. Supported profiles vary on different Android devices: for example, the 2019 Shield supports profiles 4, 5, 7, and 8 in DV and fallback to HDR10 (profiles 7, 8) but not HW tone mapping to SDR. Similarly, the Fire TV Stick doesn’t support profile 7 although it does support HW tone mapping of profile 5 to SDR (profiles 4, 5, 8 are supported with DV display).
- Implemented minimize shutdown function in Power Saving settings.
- Multiple small internal improvements and use of newer Android APIs to replace deprecated ones.
- @joseluismarti is slowly improving/updating a number of Android-specific features that enable the project to stay up to date with Google Play Store submission requirements.
- Support for Channel Up/Down keys when using the iPhone Apple TV Remote app connected to an Apple TV has been added.
- Fix implementation to work properly with AudioEngine.
- Add support for passthrough formats. This includes HD audio formats like DTS-HD and TrueHD.
- Add support for libdisplay-info to help parse EDID information and determine display capabilities.
- @enen92 has been slowly but surely improving lots of the macOS native windowing implementation (mouse, resizing, menu bar, shortcut key handling, etc.) that was introduced in Nexus. The official macOS builds do not use this functionality at this point, but with enen92’s work, we are inching closer to using it as our default for v21.
- macOS CD/DVD drive handling has been fixed. This also allows M1-based machines to read disks correctly.
- Minimum Windows supported version has been raised to Windows 8.1.
- If they’re available, we will now use displays’ friendly names in settings (e.g.
"LG TV #1").
- Added a setting to use the Windows HDR/SDR brightness balance setting for GUI and subtitles when the display is in HDR PQ mode, and also improved the curve of internal method GUI SDR max peak luminance.
- Improved read performance over SMB in some special cases, e.g. playing full Blu-ray folders.
- Improved graphics compatibility and fallback to enable running in some limited VM hardware (Hyper-V) even without video decoding support.
- Various improvements in DXVA render method to avoid incompatibilities in old hardware or Windows 8, especially in the case of sources with BT.2020 color space.
- Implemented support for DXVA2 AV1 hardware video decoding 8-bit and 10-bit.
- Specific SDK requirements for building UWP packages have been removed to allow the use of newer SDKs from Visual Studio.
- Fix security issues discovered regarding image EXIF metadata. Further fixes were also backported from the upstream EXIF data parsing library that is in use in Kodi.
- Add the possibility to sort channel groups to your liking.
- Some fixes to regressions in Settings visibility have been made.
- The display of MKV files containing text subtitle entries without the duration set on the Matroska block was fixed, retaining Kodi v19 behavior. This includes the Teletext autoconversion to srt done in PVR backends (e.g. tvheadend).
- Fixed setting of subtitle offset when auto-close video OSD is set.
- @CastagnaIT has continued to support/fix issues with the new subtitle system as they are reported.
- Improved compatibility with official smart TV applications when displaying and browsing served UPnP Kodi libraries.
- Fix artwork when playing/refreshing UPnP items.
You can also view the GitHub details since this development is all open-source.
How to Install Kodi 21 Omega
There are a few ways to install Kodi 21 Omega on your preferred Kodi device.
The best method for installing Kodi 21 Omega is through the download page on the official Kodi website.
Click Prerelease and select ARMV7A (32BIT) under Downloads.
Those using the Amazon Firestick, Fire TV, or Android TV devices will likely have better luck installing the ARMV7A (32BIT) APK file.
We recommend not installing Kodi through the Google Play Store, as their download link is still pointing to a previous version.
Overall, feel free to try the brand new Beta release of Kodi 21 Omega on your preferred streaming device!
But keep in mind this is not the official stable release of Kodi, as most 3rd party add-ons will not work properly.
For other popular Kodi resources, be sure to check out our most popular articles below.
Kodi 21 Omega FAQ
Is Kodi 21 Omega Available?
Yes as of April 25, 2023, Kodi 21 Omega has been released as a Beta version. The Beta One version was released on October 24, 2023.
What Kodi Version is Current?
The most stable release of Kodi is version 20.2 Nexus.
How do I Install Kodi 21 Omega?
You can install Kodi 21 Omega on any compatible device through Kodi’s official download page.
What Devices can Kodi 21 be Installed on?
This application can be installed on Amazon Firestick, Fire TV, Android, Windows, Linux, and iOS devices.