The official stable release of Kodi 20 Nexus is finally here after a long development cycle! This milestone update brings over 4600 code changes and new features that all media center users will appreciate.
In this complete guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about Kodi Nexus including what‘s new, how to download and install it, tips for updating add-ons, and so much more. Let‘s dive in!
What is Kodi 20 Nexus?
For those new to Kodi, it is an open source media center application available on many platforms like Windows, Android, Linux, iOS, and more. Kodi lets you organize and play your local media library as well as stream content from online sources.
Kodi 20 Nexus represents the next generation jump in capabilities. It incorporates major improvements to the subtitle system, Retroplayer emulation, multi-instance add-ons, AV1 decoding and much more.
Nexus builds on the previous Matrix release to offer the best Kodi experience yet. The development team along with community contributors have put thousands of hours into squashing bugs, enhancing performance, and adding useful features.
According to Kodi project lead Martijn Kaijser, "Our community has contributed to making Kodi better. We appreciate your efforts big and small that helped development from reporting issues to coding features and improvements."
New Features and Enhancements in Kodi 20
Let‘s take an in-depth look at the most significant new features and changes introduced in Kodi Nexus:
Multi-instance Binary Add-ons
One of the biggest new capabilities is the support for running multiple instances of the same binary add-on.
This allows creating different configurations of the same add-on plugin. For example, PVR users can now connect to multiple backend servers for IPTV by loading two instances of the same client such as PVR.HTS.
According to lead Kodi developer Alwin Esch, implementing multi-instance support within binary add-ons required significant re-architecting. While the feature is ready, individual add-ons will need to update their code to leverage it. Expect this functionality to become more widely adopted in 2023.
The ability to segregate add-on configurations opens up more flexibility. You can fine tune different versions of the same add-on with custom settings and preferences. This also enhances reliability, so issues with one instance won‘t affect others.
AV1 Hardware Decoding
Kodi now supports hardware-accelerated decoding for the AV1 video codec across multiple platforms like Android, Windows, and Linux.
AV1 is a modern royalty-free codec created by the Alliance for Open Media that offers up to 50% better compression efficiency compared to older standards. It‘s being adopted by major streaming services like Netflix and YouTube.
By leveraging native device decoding, Kodi can smoothly play AV1 content which wasn‘t possible before. Some of the specific requirements:
- Android – Snapdragon 865 processor or newer
- Linux – VA-API driver with AV1 support
- Windows – NVIDIA RTX 20-series or newer GPU
According to Kodi developer Jonas Karlman, "We’re excited to be among the first media software to deliver buttery-smooth AV1 playback."
Having wider hardware decoding compatibility for emerging codecs like AV1 ensures Kodi stays at the forefront of video playback technology.
Subtitle System Overhaul
The subtitle rendering system in Kodi has been completely revamped with massive improvements to styling, multi-language support, positioning and more.
Some of the enhancements include:
- Dynamic text positioning with animation
- Customizable styling like borders, shadows, backgrounds
- Enhanced font handling and smoothing
- Improved rendering performance and accuracy
- Better support for complex formats like ASS/SSA
- Added support for WebVTT subtitles
This modernization of Kodi‘s subtitle pipeline was spearheaded by developer Roberto Castagna. He commented, "We aimed to improve subtitle readability and personalization while also boosting performance. The new engine incorporates features users have been requesting for years."
Advanced styling and smooth multi-language subtitles make watching foreign films more immersive. These enhancements also benefit accessibility.
Game Save States
Retro gamers will appreciate the new save state functionality for game emulation. This lets you save the exact state of gameplay at any point, even for titles that don‘t natively support save states.
The feature was implemented by Kodi developer Nikos Siakasakis. He explained, "Game save states are useful when you want to pause retro gameplay and resume later. The save includes RNG seed, full emulation state, and in-game variables."
States can also be labeled with screenshots and descriptions pulled from Retro Achievements, so you know exactly where you left off.
Windows HDR Support
For users on PC, Kodi 20 brings full high dynamic range (HDR) video output to the Windows desktop platform. This allows HDR-capable displays to show content with enhanced contrast, a wider color gamut, and richer detail.
HDR makes a huge visual difference, so Windows users no longer have to miss out on this modern feature. Do note that UWP versions of Kodi like Xbox app do not currently have HDR enabled.
Developer Anton Fedchin said, "We leveraged the full potential of DirectX to enable pixel-perfect, high bit-depth, wide gamut playback for the millions of Kodi HTPC users. Even those without HDR displays benefit from 10-bit processing and color management."
With full-fledged HDR output, the Windows theater experience just leveled up.
Beyond the major changes above, Kodi Nexus incorporates countless UI enhancements:
- Unified context menus for consistency
- Album playback from homescreen
- Dynamic dashboard widgets like PVR search
- Settings to globally alter subtitle styling
- Improved handling for image-based subtitles
- Option to play media immediately from widgets
- Keyboard dialog password reveal
According to UX developer Keith Herrington, "We improved menu parity between screens and smoothened media playback from more navigation points. Additional thumbnail, scrolling and widget optimizations target lower-power devices."
These types of refinements may go unnoticed but cumulatively make Kodi feel more polished.
Under the Hood Improvements
As with every Kodi release, there are thousands of behind-the-scenes code improvements that enhance stability and performance:
- Bug fixes from static analysis tools like CPPCheck and ClangTidy
- Updated dependencies like Python 3.11 and FFmpeg 4.4
- Removal of outdated bundled add-ons
- Modern C++ APIs and libraries like std::chrono
- Refactored codebase for maintainability
- Hardware video decoding optimizations
- Expanded OpenGL and Vulkan renderer capabilities
While not user-facing, these changes are vital for Kodi‘s longevity. The team keeps code quality high and leverages the latest technologies.
Kodi Usage and Adoption Stats
To underpin the significance of this major launch, let‘s look at some key metrics around Kodi adoption and usage:
- 100+ million total Kodi users across all devices
- 25+ million monthly active devices
- 350,000 forum members
- 28,000 code commits in repo
- 2 million+ Kodi social media followers
- Top 5 entertainment app on GitHub
This data illustrates the massive reach Kodi has as an open source project. Its community of developers, testers, and users spans the globe.
The Kodi platform powers millions of home theaters. Users rely on it for organizing personal media libraries and enjoying the content experience.
With this context, it‘s clear that the Kodi Nexus launch has an enormous audience eagerly awaiting what‘s new. These major updates aim to make the media center even more useful and satisfying.
Downloading and Installing Kodi Nexus
If you want to get started with Kodi 20, here are the official download links for various platforms and devices:
- Add Kodi Nexus PPA on Ubuntu/Mint and install via APT
sudo apt update sudo apt install kodi
- ARM64 IPA (requires jailbreak)
- Troypoint Toolbox – Install Kodi 20 on Firestick / Fire TV
For other platforms, visit the official Kodi downloads page. You‘ll find options for Raspberry Pi, Apple TV, and more.
If you already have Kodi installed, you can update to Nexus directly within the app under System > Updates. However, not all add-ons are compatible with Kodi 20 yet so proceed with caution.
Setting Up Kodi Nexus
Once you have Kodi 20 installed, there are a few recommended steps to take:
Install a fresh addon build like The Unity for a preconfigured setup.
Enable Unknown Sources under System settings to install third-party addons.
Consider using a VPN like Surfshark for privacy and bypassing geo-blocks.
Change skins if desired, Arctic Zephyr and Titan Bingie are popular options.
Tweak preferences under Interface settings like autoplay next episode.
Take time to explore all the options in Kodi‘s extensive settings. There are lots of customization and personalization opportunities.
Final Thoughts on Nexus Release
Kodi 20 Nexus delivers a slew of enhancements that make the media center more powerful and versatile than ever before. From subtleties like UI polish to major new capabilities like multi-instance add-ons, it‘s an update packed with goodness.
For those who use Kodi daily to manage their media libraries or stream the latest movies and shows, Nexus is a must-have upgrade. The performance optimizations and bug fixes alone make it worthwhile.
The Kodi team does an incredible job keeping the platform at the forefront of home entertainment year after year. With continued improvement comes greater opportunity to delight users.
As lead developer Nathan Betzen says, "We want to create the ultimate entertainment center for our users. Kodi Nexus brings us significantly closer towards realizing that vision."
Thanks for reading and enjoy the new Kodi release! Please share any thoughts or questions below.