The Kodi team has just released version 19.4, delivering important bug fixes and stability enhancements to the wildly popular free and open source media center platform.
In this in-depth guide, we‘ll get up close and personal with the new Kodi 19.4 update to see what it offers, who should upgrade, and where this leading media software is heading next.
So whether you‘re a long-time Kodi user or just getting started, read on!
Overview of Kodi 19.4 Update
While not a major feature release, Kodi 19.4 represents an important milestone. Let‘s quickly recap what‘s new:
- Fixes playback issues with Blu-ray ISO, network configurations, audio dropout, empty PVR guides
- Corrects crashes, subtitle and keyboard problems, DVD auto-play
- Enhanced Raspberry Pi, Xbox One, Windows, macOS, and Linux support
PVR and Music
- Better PVR recording sort order and music metadata scraping
- Home screen menu usability improved
This update is all about refinement – taking an already powerful platform and making it more solid and dependable. The Kodi team focused their efforts on squashing long-standing bugs and improving the fundamentals.
For most users, upgrading to 19.4 will provide a smoother and more stable Kodi experience, especially related to audio and video playback. But those running Kodi on Xbox One or Raspberry Pi will also benefit from targeted improvements.
Now let‘s dig deeper into the origins of Kodi and the history behind this release…
A Brief History of Kodi
Kodi can trace its roots back to the first Xbox…
2002 – XBMC is born on the original Xbox
2008 – XBMC ports to Mac, Linux, Windows
2014 – Rebranded as Kodi 14 "Helix"
2017 – Kodi 18 "Leia" release
2019 – Massive Kodi "Matrix" overhaul
Originally called Xbox Media Center (XBMC), the software now known as Kodi got its start on the very first Xbox console in 2002. Back then, it allowed Xbox owners to play media from burned discs, hard drives, and networks.
After 6 years of Xbox exclusivity, in 2008 the XBMC team finally ported the software over to Mac, Linux, and Windows systems. This started a wave of rapid growth in popularity and capabilities.
In 2014, XBMC got a complete rebrand to Kodi along with the 14 "Helix" release. This marked a new era focused on broader device support, interface improvements, and add-ons.
Jump to 2017 for the launch of Kodi 18 "Leia", which shipped with a refreshed Estuary UI and new features like text-to-speech audio.
Most recently, in 2019 Kodi introduced the massive "Matrix" overhaul. This included Python 3 support, improved audio, 64-bit Windows builds, and more under the hood changes. Matrix transformed Kodi into a modern, powerful media frontend.
And now in 2022, the Kodi team is continuing to refine and build on Matrix with the 19.4 release. Even after 20 years of development, Kodi remains focused on the future…
Now let‘s take a deep dive into the improvements included with 19.4 from bug fixes to platform upgrades.
Kodi 19.4 Bug Fixes and Changes
While Kodi 19.4 doesn‘t include major new features, it does squash quite a few long-standing bugs. Here are some of the most beneficial fixes:
Audio and Video Playback
Kodi 19.4 tackles a range of playback issues involving Blu-ray ISOs, TrueHD audio dropout, EDL mute problems, and video stuttering. These fixes lead to a much smoother viewing and listening experience across the board.
Empty Guide and Channel Group Fixes
PVR users will appreciate fixes for crashes related to opening an empty guide or deleting channel groups. Kodi‘s DVR features are now more robust.
Subtitle and ISO Scraper Improvements
Scrapping movie information from Blu-ray ISOs is now more reliable. And ASS subtitle rendering also got improved.
Windows AMD GPU Fixes
Owners of AMD Radeon graphics cards on Windows will benefit from reduced flickering with interlaced H.264 video playback. Nice attention to detail.
Linux DVD Auto-Play
Linux users had issues with Kodi not automatically playing inserted DVDs. The Kodi team fixed this long-standing complaint.
Xbox One Audio Pass-Through
The Xbox One release adds support for WASAPI audio pass-through. This allows enjoying lossless audio formats.
While not revolutionary, all these small fixes add up to a smoother experience across the board no matter how you use Kodi. Under the hood, the update brings Kodi 19 closer to perfection.
Next let‘s go over the downloading options and steps for installing Kodi 19.4.
How to Download and Install Kodi 19.4
Thankfully, upgrading to the latest version of Kodi is quick and painless. Here are the steps:
Download – Grab the installer for your system from an official Kodi mirror site. See links in the next section.
Install – Run the installer and choose to overwrite/update your existing Kodi installation.
Restart – First close Kodi fully, then launch the new updated Kodi 19.4 version.
And that‘s it! The process is the same whether you use Windows, Mac, Linux etc. Just be sure to choose the correct installer file for your operating system and CPU architecture.
Now let‘s go over where to download Kodi 19.4 for all the different platforms…
Kodi 19.4 Downloads for All Devices
Here are the official download links to get the latest Kodi 19.4 version:
- Packages available for most distros
- Launchpad PPA
- 64-bit iOS .deb (requires jailbreak)
- Install via apt on Raspberry Pi OS
- Pi Images
And you can always find the latest download links at Kodi.tv.
Now let‘s look at how to update Kodi on Android, since it requires a manual install outside Google Play.
Updating Kodi 19.4 on Android Devices
Due to stricter Google Play policies, the Kodi team can no longer upload new releases like 19.4 to the Play Store. But updating your Android phone, tablet, TV box, or NVIDIA SHIELD is still straightforward.
Here is the process to update Kodi 19.4 on Android:
Uninstall – First delete your existing Kodi via your device‘s Apps settings. This avoids potential issues.
Download – Get the correct 19.4 APK file for your device architecture (ARM, ARM64, x86).
Install APK – Use a file manager to find the APK and install it. Allow apps from Unknown Sources.
Run Kodi – Launch the new Kodi 19.4 version and enjoy! Your library and settings will be unchanged.
See our complete Android Kodi setup guide for step-by-step instructions and troubleshooting tips.
The process to update Android Kodi is quick and easy. Just be sure to grab the right APK. Now let‘s move on to tips for running Kodi 19.4 smoothly.
Tips for Running Kodi 19.4
Here are some tips for getting the best performance out of Kodi after updating to 19.4:
Use Ethernet – For flawless 4K streaming, always use wired ethernet if possible for your media device. Avoid WiFi.
Choose a Fast Device – Opt for an NVIDIA SHIELD, Raspberry Pi 4, or Intel NUC as your Kodi box for smooth UHD playback.
Tweak Advancedsettings.xml – Adjust cache sizes and buffers to fine tune Kodi for your library size and hardware.
Add a Skin – Consider a performance skin like Titan Bingie for speed. Or Mimic for ease of use.
Clean Libraries – Remove stale artwork and refresh scraped info to improve loading and scrolling.
Install Addons Safely – Stick to Kodi 19 compliant addons from the Official Repository for best compatibility.
Use a VPN – A quality VPN like NordVPN enhances privacy and unblocks more streaming sources.
Following these tips will allow you to take full advantage of the boosts in Kodi 19.4‘s performance and stability.
Kodi Continues Improving in 2022 and Beyond
Kodi 19.4 is unlikely to be the final release in the Matrix line. The team still has plenty of improvements they want to roll out before Kodi 20.
In 2022 and moving forward, some areas of focus include:
- Improving UPnP, SMB and media server integration
- Enhancing music support with better libraries and tagging
- Expanding live TV capabilities and PVR flexibility
- Optimizing for newer platforms like Raspberry Pi 4
- Potentially refreshing the Estuary default interface theme
The Kodi project also continues pushing the wider open source ecosystem forward. Kodi serves as a media center frontend tying together so many other powerful OSS technologies.
Everything from the FFmpeg backend, to scrapers for metadata fetching, to Python for add-on development benefits from Kodi‘s momentum.
Of course the huge community around Kodi addons and skins also propels innovation. There‘s much more in store ahead!
We hope this detailed guide has provided lots of helpful information on what‘s new and improved in Kodi 19.4 Matrix. Please leave a comment if you have any other questions!