This is the ultimate guide to Kodi 20 Nexus, the next major update to our favorite media center.
So if you want to learn:
Plus all of the latest updates announced.
This is the guide to check out. Let’s dive in!
Kodi 20 Codename
Each version of Kodi comes with a codename to help users identify it.
Kodi 16 was Jarvis. Kodi 17 was Krypton. Kodi 18 was Leia. Kodi 19 was Matrix.
The Kodi foundation asked for suggestions on their forums for the Kodi 20 codename, which starts with ‘N’.
A shortlist was put to vote by the developers and the Kodi 20 codename is Nexus.
Kodi 20 Release Date
Kodi 20 is currently in alpha state. That means that enough features have been compiled into the software that it is ready for an early preview.
Alpha versions of software are usually released every few weeks or months until they reach beta status. Beta versions are then tested extensively before a stable version is released.
We expect Kodi 20 to be in a preview state for over a year if it follows a similar pattern to Kodi 19 Matrix. Therefore, our best guess for Kodi 20 release date is summer 2023.
The Kodi software is well-developed and new major features are harder to recognize and implement. Kodi 19 also runs very well on all operating systems. Because of this, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see a longer development cycle and a longer time before stable release.
Kodi 19 Release
Kodi 19 Matrix was released on February 19th, 2021 after over a year of development time that included:
- Nearly 50 individual open source developers contributed code
- About 5,000 commits in over 1,500 pull requests since the first release of 18.x “Leia”
- Over 5,500 changed files, with some 600,000 lines of code added, changed or removed
- Countless hours of dedicated free time conceiving, designing, developing and testing (including all the infrastructure you see around them, including this web site) … and, of course,very little travelling, obviously – that’s not good at the moment!
Kodi 20 Download
The best way to get the Kodi 20 download is on the official download page.
The Kodi team has always allowed users to test “nightly” versions of its software. These nightly versions often include features that are unfinished and untested and are not recommended for any permanent or main usage. If you don’t know what you are doing, do not try to install the nightly Kodi 20 alpha version.
For those that do want to try out the new Kodi download, you can get more information from the official Kodi nightly release page.
Check out what new Kodi 20 features you can expect to see in the final release next up below.
Kodi 20 Features
So what new features does Kodi 20 have? A full feature list is below, but some of the highlights include:
- AV1 hardware decoding support for Android.
- Customized subtitle options
- Steam Deck controller support
- M1 macOS support
A full list of Kodi 20 features is as follows:
- AV1 hardware decoding for Android
- AV1 hardware decoding for Linux via VAAPI
- Bump to FFMPEG 4.4
- Add new font style settings such as border size/color, background type/color/opacity, shadow color/opacity, and blur
- Add support to display subtitles with dynamic positions which make use of position tags
- Add underlined and strikethrough text style support
- Add a new wide color palette in color settings
- Add a new setting to change text alignment for closed caption subtitles for a better reading
- Add a new setting to override subtitles metadata like style and position
- Improved font size that now match the point/pixel proportion
- When Kodi is in windowed mode subtitles are now always displayed correctly
- Improved VPlayer for better reading of the multiline text
- Improved SAMI format to better support multiple languages
- Improved TX3G format to support multiple styles, colors and alpha channel
- ASS/SSA subtitles are displayed without flickering
- Improved image-based subtitle rendering to keep a better aspect ratio
- Add support to the WebVTT subtitle format type
- Improved font list setting – the actual names of the fonts are now listed
- Add support to OpenType font type (OTF)
- Improved calibration window, so it’s now possible to also reset the calibration settings
- Subtitle settings can now be changed while in playback without side effects
- Fix resume of Blu-Rays and DVD ISOs in file mode (not in library)
- Fix playback of some optical discs on Linux due the incorrect mapping of mountpoints
- On Linux optical media is now mounted by default (via udisks)
- Partial code cleanup and platform split of disc drive handling
- Skin cosmetics
- Fix duplicated context menu items
- Fix EDL mute sections and EDL cuts
- Fix wrap lists
- Fix hitrect on auto sized buttons
- Fix some context menu options not triggering the respective builtin action
- Independent volume setting for GUI sounds
- Password reveal button in keyboard dialog
- Added Steam Deck built-in controller support
- Add a new Colour Picker window dialog to allow display a color list
- Improved image control to support read dynamic $INFO data to “colordiffuse” tag
- Improved Player Process Info window – new information has been added and grouped by context
- New media flags for HDR videos: detect, store and process the type of HDR in a video file
- Skinners can now define modal dialogs if its visibility depends on Boolean condition evaluation
- Deprecation of old info labels with the introduction of new generic ones (e.g. Player.Editlist, Player.Cuts, etc)
- Estuary PVR Home Screen: New widget for timers (replacing old current/next recording widget)
- Estuary PVR Home Screen: Add percentage played progress bars to Recent Channels and Recent Recordings widgets
- Estuary PVR Home Screen: Change default click action to open the Guide window
- Improve display of EDL markers on the default skin (EDL mutes are now shown, cut sections are also identified)
- Savestate manager for Retroplayer with captions describing the state of the game provided by https://retroachievements.org
- In-game Port Setup dialog to change between game controllers
- UNIX Family Platforms
- Implement WS-Discovery (SMB discovery) for *ix platforms (Android/Linux/Apple)
- Improved Siri Remote handling
- Improved “Now Playing” info
- Initial support for M1 native including native windowing/input handling PR NOTE: We do not provide prebuilt M1 dmg’s. Any devs willing to work on ironing out the many corner cases of the native windowing implementation, don’t hesitate to ping @fuzzard on the forums if you have any questions.
- Extend GameController support to OSX
- Many code cleanups/refinements/refactors
- Update Android build to use Gradle for signing/aligning/packing
- Add ACES/Hable Tonemapping for GLES
- More BiCubic Shaders for GLES
- Pipewire support
- New setting to use 10 bit swapchain for SDR videos. Improves video quality and more precise colour conversions: YUV to RGB, limited to full range, shaders, etc. This is true even if video output is limited to 8 bit RGB by system or graphics driver.
- Improved DXVA2 (HW video decoding) performance by sharing decoding and rendering surfaces. Avoids video copy operations and drastically reduces video memory usage on NVIDIA and AMD graphics using recent drivers.
- Harfbuzz rendering for scripts with open type font shaping features
- Channels and Recordings can specify a provider
- Read-only recordings supported
- EPG Search: Add Saved Searches, incl. new Estuary PVR Home Screen widget
- Channel Manager: Add possibility to refresh all channel logos
- Settings: Add possibility to specify which data to delete when resetting PVR database
- Automatic cleanup of cached PVR images (texture.db and cached image files)
- Functional Improvements for multi PVR Add-on scenarios
- Performance improvements, esp. for large number of channels
- Most dependencies have been updated to latest, or close to, for Apple/Android platforms
- Many cmake updates to update build system
- Many many updates/changes to use std::chrono throughout the code base
- Colour Picker
- Colour button setting
- Add support to add video HDR type info to a video list item
- Function for removing orphaned dependencies recursively
On the Kodi forums, a wish list of features was created for Kodi 19 and the most requested new features were:
- Samsung Smart TV support
- Internal web browser support
- Improved 3D video capabilities
- Improved AirPlay support
- Official integrations with third party applications such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and others
- Improved smart home integration
What features do you want to see in the new version of Kodi? Comment below and let us know!
Kodi 20 Addons, Skins & Builds
One of the most common questions whenever a new version of Kodi is released is whether or not addons, skins and builds are backwards compatible with previous versions of Kodi.
We will update this section with more information as soon as it is available. However, a lot of the work in the past few versions of Kodi has been to standardized code and dependencies and modules in the back end. This should increase the likelihood of Kodi 20 addons being backwards compatible with Kodi 19 addons.
The biggest change is that addons continue the need to be built using Python 3. This will require some code changes by all addons in order to be compatible. This announcement came back in 2019, so developers have had a lot of time to prepare.
We will update this area with more information soon!
What parts about Kodi Nexus excite you the most? It’s still early in the development cycle, but we have a good idea what new features and optimizations are coming. New features aren’t as flashy as they were in the past, but they help to keep Kodi the most popular media center ever created.