Nothing beats a high-definition smart TV at the end of a long day. The only thing that can make it better is access to free movies and shows from around the world, all powered by the open-source community behind Kodi. Installing Kodi on your smart TV is a great way to make sure you never want to leave your couch. If you’re ready to max out your entertainment options, check out our guide below and learn how to install Kodi on a smart TV.
Will my Smart TV run Kodi?
Kodi runs on a huge variety of hardware, including everything from streaming sticks to TV boxes, mobile devices and PCs. However, not all smart TVs can run custom software like Kodi. Smart TVs are extremely low on power and have minimal processing and storage capabilities, which makes running apps a challenge. They also tend to run their own operating systems, many of which cannot support Kodi.
Whether or not you can install Kodi directly on your smart TV depends on the specific make and model. As a general rule, if you can access the Google Play Store from your TV’s interface, you can install Kodi directly from there. If you can’t, you better check out third-party Kodi options like Fire Stick TV or Roku.
Below are some of the largest smart TV manufacturers and the status of their Kodi compatibility as of October 2017. Even if your television is not directly compatible, check the guides in the sections below for easy and quick fixes.
- LG Smart TVs – Most run webOS, which is not compatible with Kodi.
- Smart TVs from Panasonic – All Panasonic TV sets run custom software that doesn’t work with Kodi.
- Samsung Smart TVs – Almost all Samsung TVs have a custom proprietary operating system that is not Kodi compatible. An official port for Samsung TVs is in the works, although it faces some stumbling blocks and may never be released.
- Sharp Smart TVs – Sharp’s TV products typically use third-party OS software that is not compatible with Kodi. However, some models use Android TV.
- Sony Smart TVs – Sony’s TV devices run a number of different operating systems, although Android TV has become popular in recent years. If you can access the Google Play Store from the TV, you can install Kodi.
- Vizio Smart TVs – A number of Vizio products have a modified version of Google TV (Android TV). If you have access to the Google Play Store, you can easily install Kodi.
How to install Kodi on a smart TV
If your smart TV is a newer version of the Android TV operating system, you’re in luck! Installing Kodi on these devices is easy, opening up the entire ecosystem of third-party and official Kodi add-ons. All you need to do is access the Google Play Store and install it. Note that some TVs may prevent you from doing this, even if they have the correct operating system. Your performance may also be a bit slow, so install and stream carefully.
- Launch the Google Play Store by selecting the icon from your TV’s menu.
- Sign in with your Google account.
- Select the search bar and type ” Kodi “
- Click on the icon and then ” Install “
- After a few moments, Kodi will appear in your apps menu, ready to go!
Remember: if you are using Kodi, always activate a VPN on the same device. Smart TVs with Android OS also support a number of VPNs by default, including our recommendation above. Install and sign up first, then stream with complete privacy.
Best Kodi Compatible Smart TVs
If you’re in the market for a new smart TV, why not make a choice that allows you to watch a wider range of content? More and more TVs are turning to the Android TV operating system to power their streaming apps. This is excellent news for Kodi fans as the software can be installed in just a few clicks. Check out some of the best Kodi-compatible smart TVs below and get ready to recharge your next movie night.
- Sony XBR – A thin 4K compatible range of smart TVs that feed Android like a dream. XBRs are stunning to look at and provide a stunning picture no matter what you’re looking at. Best of all, you can install Kodi right from the app store, no hassle.
- Philips 6800 – Ultra-thin, 4K compatible, and powered by Android TV, Philips’ 6800 line of Smart TVs are excellent choices for watching movies through Kodi, and they’re pretty friendly on your budget too.
- Sharp Aquos – While most Sharp TVs run a custom operating system, newer models are released with Android TV at the helm. This means easy access to Kodi and a ton of other movie and TV viewing apps.
Can’t install Kodi on your smart TV? Try these solutions!
The vast majority of smart TVs on the market just can’t run Kodi. Some compatibility issues make custom ports impossible, and others just lack the power to stream movies through Kodi and its add-ons. The good news is, there are dozens of other ways to add the Kodi experience to your smart TV. Check out some of our favorite alternatives below!
Amazon Fire TV – cheap Kodi streams for any smart TV
Amazon has two fantastic movie streaming devices called the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The first is a set-top box that plugs into your TV and adds a ton of new video options, including Amazon’s own Prime streaming service. The Fire TV Stick is a cheaper and portable version of the set-top box that offers the same functionality in a smaller package. Both are wonderful movie devices, and both run Kodi without a hitch.
Installing Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV stick or set-top device is laughably easy. You can do it in just minutes and you don’t have to be a tech genius to get it done. You can also install a VPN on your Fire TV device for better privacy, making it one of the easiest, safest, and cheapest ways to watch Kodi on your smart TV.
Run Kodi on Raspberry Pi – cheap and customizable
If you have a little more time to spare and don’t mind a bit of command line manipulation, installing Kodi on a Raspberry Pi is an excellent way to stream movies to your smart TV. Basically all you need is a Pi device, an HDMI port and a quiet afternoon to work on the setup.
If you are new to the Raspberry Pi community, follow the official Kodi installation guide for detailed instructions. The Kodi wiki also has an entire page dedicated to customizing, optimizing, and installing Kodi on the Pi. And don’t forget to install a VPN on your Raspberry Pi too!
Kodi on Apple TV – Your media everywhere
Most Apple and iOS products are locked in an effort to keep sketchy apps away from trusted users. However, with a little time and the right tutorials, Apple TVs can be a surprisingly comfortable home for Kodi. We have a complete guide to installing Kodi on an Apple TV, covering everything from the original hardware versions to more modern releases. You’ll need time and some technical knowledge to get it done, but once you’re done, there’s nothing better than seeing that Kodi logo on your Apple TV device.
Alternatives to Kodi – Plex and Sling TV
One theory explaining why smart tv manufacturers exclude Kodi is to encourage people to use built-in apps with similar functionality. Kodi’s open source nature gives you a ton of movie, TV, and international streaming options, but if you don’t have physical access to the software, those features won’t do much to you! Even if your smart TV doesn’t support Kodi, there are a few programs with similar features you can install to stream videos and custom content.
- Plex – Plex does many of the things Kodi does, with a few extras. One of the biggest bonuses is the ability to stream downloaded videos from one device to another. Install Plex on your PC, add the app to your smart TV for example, then stream content wirelessly. Most smart TV interfaces have built-in support for Plex, making this a viable option when you can’t use Kodi.
- Sling TV – Sling TV is an a la carte TV service that allows you to purchase live channels and watch them at your leisure. No crazy packages to buy, just the content you want at extremely low prices. Almost all smart TVs also immediately support Sling TV. You can even unblock Sling TV and watch it abroad!