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Kodi 14.0 Helix enters feature freeze

Kodi 14.0 Helix (codename) entered feature freeze stage. For those of you who do not know Kodi Entertainment Center is the new XBMC. This implies that no new features will be added moving forward other minor changes to the skin and other existing components. Due to the changes during development many skins may be rendered incompatible with Kodi 14.0 Helix. But the good news is that many skins have already adopted the new standards are Helix compatible. As end users it is key for us to understand that changes, things not working, etc. are normal aspects of the development cycle and the developers rely on the feedback to fix things. [Read: 10 of the Best XBMC Addons in 2014]

Kodi 14.0 Helix
Kodi 14.0 Helix

Kodi 14.0 Helix Features

Kodi Entertainment Center 14.0 code name Helix is currently at Alpha 2 and is described by the developers as a "stability" release. With that said, there are several nice features improvements in Kodi 14.0 Helix. Below is a list of key Kodi 14.0 features:

  • Ability to increase font size in Confluence skin
  • Add 5.1 PCM playback for Android.
  • Improved MusicBrainz matching from tags
  • Ability to choose between auto-update, notify or off for updating add-ons. This is a global setting for all add-ons.
  • Extend JSON-RPC which is used for by a variety of services and remotes
  • VP9 video codec now uses software multi-threading. This codec has no hardware support yet.
  • Simplifying and improving core code.
  • Choose to disable/notify/auto-update when add-on updates are available.
  • International keyboard layout
  • Update PVR add-ons
  • Redesign of the PVR windows
  • Various improvements to the Audio Engine, with the OSX platform as great beneficiary.
  • Improvements to the GUI skinning engine
  • Extended JSON-RPC interface
  • Countless smaller and larger bug-fixes throughout the program and vast improvements in every area. This should improve memory usage, stability, speed and user friendliness.
  • Add-ons are still compatible up to the Frodo/Gotham versions (excluding skins)
  • FFmpeg upgrade, this means Kodi will now be capable of playing back h.265 (also known as HEVC) and VP9 video codecs and 4K video.
  • Better UPnP compatibility between Kodi clients or third-party applications
  • Massive speed boost with scanning library or doing a clean.
  • Changed the Touch skin be a re-designed re-Touched skin. This of course only applies for touch enabled devices.
  • Support for sub-channels in PVR
  • Update sqlite which brings some improved library speed
  • Add support for DSD audio
  • Add mouse support in Bluray menus
  • Add support for EGL/GLESv2 when using X11
  • 4K playback on Android using AMLcodec
  • Support for the Freescale i.MX6 SystemOnChip
  • Replaced Touch skin with re-Touched

More information is available in the Kodi 14.0 Helix feature freeze announcement.

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  5. U2C Android TV Box - $95.99

Help Kodi Entertainment Center 14.0 Development

Right now the best way to contribute to the development is to help improve it by submitting bug reports. So if you want to go ahead and install Kodi 14.0 Helix Alpha 2, head over and download Kodi installer. Raspberry Pi builds can be downloaded here. If you encounter any bugs, follow Kodi Wiki page to submit a bug report. Go ahead download and test Kodi 14.0 Helix and help improve it.

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Anand is a self-learned computer enthusiast, hopeless tinkerer (if it ain't broke, fix it), a part-time blogger, and a Scientist during the day. He has been blogging since 2010 on Linux, Ubuntu, Home/Media/File Servers, Smart Home Automation, and related HOW-TOs.