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April 7, 2024

Introducing Kodi 21.0 “Omega”: The Latest Open-Source Media Center with Major Updates

Kodi 21.0 has been released today as a major update to this award-winning, free, cross-platform, and open-source home theater/media center software and entertainment hub for your digital media.

Coming more than a year after Kodi 20 “Nexus”, the Kodi 21.0 “Omega” release is here to introduce FFmpeg 6.0 support, NFSv4 support, support for reading and writing M3U8 playlists, AVIF image support, AudioEngine improvements on Linux, and support for passthrough formats like DTS-HD and TrueHD on Linux.

Also for Linux, Kodi 21.0 adds support for libdisplay-info to help parse EDID information and determine display capabilities. Moreover, Linux users can now select the audio backend with a command line switch when starting Kodi, which lets you see with which enabled audio backends Kodi was built.

Furthermore, Linux users received better VAAPI VP9 Profile 2 playback support, improvements to PipeWire support, a new --gl-interface=<interface> command line switch to replace the old environment variable usage of KODI_GL_INTERFACE, and support for Raspberry Pi devices to report CPU temperatures without using external scripts. Also, Kodi no longer uses Linux’s ping utility as it now has its own implementation.

For Android, this release improves Dolby Vision detection and compatibility and implements a minimize shutdown function in Power Saving settings. There’s also better support for Amazon FireTV 4K devices and improved Amlogic BSP audio support.

Kodi 21.0 also adds HDR10 support for Xbox, support for DXVA2 AV1 hardware video decoding 8-bit and 10-bit on Windows, along with support for “Video Super Resolution” for NVIDIA RTX and Intel ARC compatible hardware, Windows 11 refresh rate switching, and color accuracy changes for 10-bit SDR/HDR color mapping.

PVR has been updated with support for sorting channel groups, UPnP support should now work better with official smart TV apps when displaying and browsing served UPnP Kodi libraries, and the Retroplayer ecosystem received several improvements as well for games.

Improvements were made to the handling of movement keys in certain lists, such as Settings, the generation of thumbnails was fixed for pictures in portrait orientation, there’s support for video information for Movie Sets and TV Seasons, and the default Estuary theme received numerous enhancements.

The TV Shows, Seasons, Movie sets, and Recording folders now expose their ‘in progress’ state, the Estuary theme received media flags for music, artwork cache handling has been improved as well, and there are new settings to control the NFS and SMB chunk size.

webOS support received Audio sink improvements, support for playing AV1 Dolby Vision files on supported devices, suspend to background support, a new behavior to pause/resume media playback when Kodi is minimized/restored, support for mapping info keys on webOS remotes, shutdown/reboot support, and initial support for webOS 4 devices.

Among the significant changes, Kodi 21.0 brings support for .ttc font collections, and enhances the Teletext browser window. It added support for building Kodi with Python 3.12 and SWIG 4.2.0, automated video rotation from metadata was elevated, and a default play action setting was introduced to control the resume behavior when initiating video playback.

Furthermore, it has a new “Adaptive” setting under Services / Caching / Read Factor. This setting brings in a variable read factor based on cache level. This implies that the cache will fill up at a quicker rate while utilizing a less-aggressive read factor when the cache is already filled up.

Lastly, Kodi 21.0 introduces an option to circumvent volume synchronization to a UPnP target, and a new command to adjust the playback speed (tempo). Additionally, a new command to activate the screen saver is provided and a fresh navigation approach in Music to directly move from artists to songs. This is similar to the navigation style on Spotify.

For more details about the changes implemented in this release, check out the GitHub release notes. Kodi 21.0 “Omega” is now available for download from the official website for all supported platforms.

Last updated 13 hours ago

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