Kodi is a highly flexible software that allows you to access and organize your digital media. The free, open source software can be used on smartphones, smart TVs and computers to play almost any kind of media file. Kodi is a versatile media server with an easy to use, attractive UI. It manages a wide variety of file formats and allows users to download apps for TV networks, or to create a personal app with content they already own.
These features lead many consumers to want to use Kodi on their Roku devices, but the unlimited capability of the platform makes it prone to misuse by those who want to stream illegal content. To limit the potential piracy, some manufacturers have made it difficult or impossible to install Kodi on their devices.
Roku blocks the Kodi app:
Because of the high potential for pirating content, Roku doesn’t offer a Kodi app. The Roku OS is Linux-based, but there is no published documentation, nor any way to access root files on the device due to the unique system architecture. Given these factors, there is technically no way to jailbreak a Roku, nor is there a way to install Kodi on Roku.
Although you can’t jailbreak a Roku, there is a way to watch content from Kodi on your Roku. It’s a workaround for Android and Windows users that involves screen mirroring. This workaround allows users to play games and watch shows via their TV screen instead of on a small handheld device like a Kindle or an Android phone.
Also Read – Best Kodi Addons
Potential for piracy
Kodi is available from the Google Play Store as a perfectly legal way to stream content via a plug-in or add-on. The issue of illegality comes up when the device is used to access content without paying for it. Streaming or downloading copyrighted content is an illegal act, just as it would be if you were illegally accessing shows, movies, TV, or music in any other way. People can be prosecuted for this type of piracy.
Kodi is versatile and flexible but requires a little bit of programming knowledge to get the most out of it. Developer add-ons are used to stream movies and TV shows. Once modified, a Kodi would have access to channels and perhaps even low-cost subscriptions which allow the user to download or stream copyrighted material without paying. Commonly streamed pirated content includes sports, premium TV shows, and music.
An example of an add-on used for modified streaming is Exodus, which is often used to enable illegal streaming on Kodi devices. Modifying the box to access pirated material currently carries no legal complications in the US. Watching pirated content using Kodi on any device is not legal. Users typically mask their location and circumvent tracking by using a VPN to stream dubious content.
Digital content piracy is big business, but criminals don’t just make money from sourcing and selling content. Organizations can use free content to disguise and distribute malware. Be aware of the risks before you choose to stream unlicensed, unprotected content on any of your devices.
Kodi is fully compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android. The most simple, non-technical way to stream content from a device is to install Kodi on the device, then hook it via an HDMI cable or with another compatible connector to the Roku.
Watch Kodi on Roku
The workaround to watch Kodi content on a Roku uses the screen mirroring protocol known as Miracast. Kodi users on Windows and Android can use Miracast to mirror their screens to Roku devices. It is reportedly unreliable, with lag issues and dropped streams, but this Roku feature does make Kodi content viewable on a TV screen.
Roku added the screen mirroring feature in Roku models 3 and above that are running at least OS 7.5 update. This feature is not available on Roku Express or Express Plus.
Steps to enable Kodi Screen Mirroring on Roku
- Connect your Android or Windows device to the same wireless network as your Roku.
- Download Kodi software for your Windows or Android
- Make sure you have latest Roku OS or update it by following these steps:
Go to Roku Home > Settings > System Updates. Roku OS 8 is free and available on Roku stick, Roku boxes, and Partner TV sets, but is not available on older Roku devices.
- Turn on screen mirroring on your Roku device
- Go to Settings menu
- Select System
- Select Screen Mirroring
- Enable Screen Mirroring
- Next, turn on screen mirroring on your tablet or smartphone by following the appropriate Android or Windows instructions below.
Screen Mirroring for Android
Different manufacturers use unique naming conventions for screen mirroring. Common choices for Android devices are Smart View, Screen Casting, AllShare Cast, or HTC Connect. If none of these options appears, try to Google your phone type + screen mirror to determine the feature name.
- Go to the Settings menu on Android device.
- Choose either Display, Network, Cast, Connection, or Smart View
- Select the Roku display with which to connect
- Turn on the Kodi app on your Android device, choose a file and select play
Screen Mirroring for Windows
Windows tablets must set up a Wireless display.
- Go to Devices or Control Panel
- Select Project, and then tap on Add a Wireless Display.
- Select the Roku device with which to connect
- Turn on the Kodi app, choose a file and select play
Consumers want to use Kodi because it’s flexible, simple, and easy to customize streaming media. The unlimited capabilities make it attractive to those who would pirate illegal content, so manufacturers like Roku have made it impossible to install on their devices.
Even though you can’t actually jailbreak a Roku, there is a workaround for people who simply want to use Kodi’s powerful media management capabilities, or just see their content on a bigger screen rather than a handheld device. Modifying your device with Kodi add-ons to access pirated material currently carries no legal complications in the US, but watching pirated content using Kodi on any device is illegal.