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HTPC News Roundup 2017 Wk 23: Plex DVR live TV, Emby and OSMC updates, best Kodi Android app remotes


written by Moe Long June 10, 2017

Welcome to the htpcBeginner HTPC News Roundup 2017 Wk 23. This week saw updates to Emby Server and OSMC, as well as Kodi addons arriving and departing. Read on for the latest in HTPC news and updates!

htpcBeginner Recap

In case you missed them, here is a recap of all our interesting articles published last week:

HTPC News Around the Web

Emby Server 3.2.19 released

Emby Server released its 3.2.19 update. The new version of Emby Server delivers enhanced live TV playback, the ability to speed up audio playback, updated parental controls, and better photo metadata providers. Additionally, bug fixes address stretched logos, the individual collection screen layout, and a plugin uninstallation issue. [Read: Setup Emby Server with Ordoid C2 - Alternative to Plex and Kodi]

With Plex adding support for live TV through its DVR in-app feature, Emby Server too seeks to hone its platform. However, while Emby Server and Plex Media Server are both media server software options, these target different subsets of the HTPC space. [Read: Setup Emby Server with Raspberry Pi 3 - Media streaming server]

 OSMC's May update is here

OSMC, aka Open-source Media Center, updated its media center platform. In a June 5, 2017 blog post, OSMC offered a change log of its May 201 updates. Notably, May ushered in a major security fix for OSMC and Kodi v17.2. OSMC updated to run Kodi 17.s. Additionally, OSMC gears up for Debian Stretch 9.0. [Read: OpenELEC vs OSMC for Raspberry Pi 2 Media Center]

Important bug fixes include an issue precluding debug logs from uploading, a video decoding problem on Raspberry Pi devices, and a platform agnostic CEC bug. User experience (UX) fixes such as improved HEVC decoding, additional hardware support for TV tuners, DACs, and more on Raspberry Pi, and better SSH security rank among the best new UX tweaks. Plus, OSMC updated its OSMC for Raspberry Pi image to the Raspberry Pi kernel 4.9 and resolved an issue with ARM64 builds. [Read: Video: Raspberry Pi OSMC installation on Windows]

A piracy lawsuit is tearing Kodi's add-on community apart

As Engadget reports, a piracy lawsuit is ripping through Kodi's addon community. Several major, longstanding Kodi addons recently shut down. The decade-old Navi-X addon went offline due to legal concerns. Now Phoenix and ZemTV have closed in the wake of a lawsuit from US satellite provider Dish Network. The likes of Amazon and the Premier League served as driving forces behind the fight against piracy in Kodi addons. It's important to remember that Kodi is completely legal. Only certain addons provide illicit content.

It's important to note that this only affects addons which offer illicit access to copyrighted content. But legal addons for broadcast TV for instance are completely unaffected. Kodi continues to reign supreme as an open-source media player with its local content playback options as well as streaming addons. However, expect to see more addons which offer illegally-sourced material struggle to stay online as a legal crackdown targets the Kodi addon community. [Read: 10 Best legal streaming addons for Kodi media center]

Some addons may contain pirated content. Consider using legal Kodi addons or a VPN ($5.52/mo).

Pluto TV available in the official Kodi repository

With legal action taken against many Kodi addons which offer access to illicit streams, the Kodi community further changes shape. In a huge move, Pluto TV joins the official Kodi repository. Previously, Pluto TV was available on Kodi but required third-party repositories. Now it's available fro the vanilla Kodi repositories.

Pluto TV is a legal, free streaming TV service. As a trend of cord cutting rises, cable cutters seek cable alternatives. Pluto TV is one of the best free streaming services with a bevy of content. Now for Kodi users, it's even easier to install.

Soon you'll be able to use Alexa to talk to your TV

alexa-echoWith the advent of streaming television, the media consumption landscape changed drastically. Gone are the days of being tied to a traditional television for watching movies and shows. With the migration of TV to platforms including computers, tablets, and phones, the TV realm became interconnected. As such, smart homes incorporate HTPC aspects. Nvidia's Shield TV which stands as one of the best Plex client devices as well as top legal Kodi streaming boxes, offers voice searching via its candy bar remote and game controller. The Shield TV even sports Google Home integration.

Prepare for Amazon's Alexa to make a foray into the HTPC space. A Video Skill API allows searching and video playback control. Additionally, for supported devices, the Video Skill API lets users change channels. Searches may be performed by filters such as actor and genre. This could arrive as a major game changer for Alexa users with smart TVs and compatible devices.

Did you find any interesting news stories or projects from around the HTPC space? Share them with us in the comments section below!

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