Kodi

You may not be able to install Kodi directly onto the Xbox One, but that doesn't mean you can't cheat a little.

If Xbox One is the center of your home entertainment setup, you can integrate the media-playing software, Kodi, using a workaround. For some reason, you can't just install Kodi on the Xbox One. That's a little disappointing considering it grew from Xbox Media Center (XBMC), from the original Xbox console days.

The Xbox One has an HDMI passthrough, so you can bend the rules a little and plug in a Kodi box, which you can then operate through the TV feature on the Xbox One console. That's one less thing plugged into the back of your TV. It's not as good as running it on the Xbox One, but it's still a good option.

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What you need

Raspberry Pi

Ultimately you need a small Kodi device to connect up to the HDMI input on the back of the Xbox One. You could just hit the pages of Amazon and get a generic box preloaded with it, but the downside there is that they usually run a horrible build of Android.

There's also the Amazon Fire TV Stick, which is nice and compact, or if you have one or like to tinker, the Raspberry Pi is an option, as well. If you go for either of these options you'll have to set things up yourself, but that's really easy in both cases.

Our buddies over at Android Central have guides on how to get going with both:

How to install Kodi on a Raspberry Pi

How to install Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick

Remote control

Kodi

Once you have your Kodi box plugged into your Xbox you just need to open the TV application and interact with it. However, you need a remote control, because you're actually controlling another device, not just a TV channel. If you're using a dedicated box or a Fire TV Stick, you'll have a hardware remote already.

If you use a Raspberry Pi you can go down the hardware route or the software route, even with a Windows phone. The great thing about Kodi is that it's open source, and folks are free to build all kinds of things for it. Other mobile platforms have official remote apps from the XBMC Foundation, but on Windows 10 you'll need to go third-party.

OSMC Remote

You've got a few options to choose from. OSMC remote is a basic yet well-made app to use Raspberry Pi. If you're looking for a more in-depth remote experience, try something like mrRemote for Kodi. Both are free.

Download OSMC Remote from the Windows Store

Download mrRemote for Kodi from the Windows Store

For hardware solutions, check out the official OSMC remote provided by the folks who build the Raspberry Pi fork of Kodi by the same name. Or you can snag a cheap wireless handheld keyboard, such as the Rii i8 that we previously reviewed. A keyboard will give you a quicker experience if you need to search within Kodi, but the OSMC remote is nice for kicking back and browsing.

You may even be able to use one of your Xbox Media Remotes, in some cases. OSMC, for example, definitely has support built in, but you'll need to check out the remotes area in the settings on your particular build to be sure.

Add-ons

Kodi

When you first setup Kodi it will be completely empty. You have to add sources of media, and there are a bunch of legal add-ons available right out of the box in the official Kodi repository.

These include YouTube, Twitch and OneDrive, as well as some services provided by cable TV networks, news channels and the Smithsonian Museum. It's not limited to video, either, so you can also pull in music and photos to your Kodi setup.

Bottom line

Sure, this option is a cheat, and it's not as good as being able to natively install Kodi. It now has its latest version inside the Windows 10 Store to download, however, so who knows what the future may hold? For now, you can still get in on the action and take up one less slot on your TV if you're not using a cable box with your console.

The Xbox One can handle Netflix and Amazon Prime; Kodi can handle just about everything else.