This complete Amazon Fire TV Kodi guide covers everything from knowing your Fire TV to getting Kodi functioning flawlessly on your Fire TV and Stick. While it is compiled for beginners who do not know where to start, it should also help out existing Amazon Kodi TV box users take their setup to the next level. This Fire TV Kodi beginners guide is a compilation of all relevant posts with a short explanation. If you are lost, overwhelmed, and don’t know where to start then just follow the Fire TV Kodi how to step-by-step and you should have a fully functional Fire TV Kodi Box.
1. Amazon Fire TV Kodi Guide
This Fire TV Kodi Beginners Guide is organized in logical order to get your Fire TV up and running with Kodi. First of all, you have to understand your Fire TV Box or Stick, the differences between the 1st generation and 2nd generation devices, etc. To help with this we have several guides.
Amazon Fire TV box (both Gen 1 and 2) is, in my opinion, the best Android device to run Kodi. It gives the convenience of having Kodi as well as Amazon Videos and Music, Netflix, Plex, and many other streaming options in one box. Another small but great feature I like about the Fire TV is how it auto sleeps after 30 min of inactivity. When you turn the TV back on or press one of the direction buttons it wakes up. This is a great power saving feature. And while working, it only consumes about 3.7 Watts of power. Many of Android players in the above post come with an IR remote that allows power off and on, but auto sleep can be a bit cumbersome to configure.
Raspberry Pi was my device of choice for running Kodi. In fact, I had 3 Raspberry Pi devices around the house with this IR remote and OpenELEC. I have slowly replaced them all with Amazon Fire TV and now I use Raspberry Pi purely for testing purposes. Based on the success of Amazon Fire TV box and stick, Amazon introduced the new Fire TV 4K box and Stick, as well as a gaming version.
Expectations for the new Fire TV 2014 4K was sky high. However, it received very bad reviews upon introduction, mainly due to buggy software. It almost seemed like Amazon rushed the release of the second generation Fire TV to get a lead on the new Apple TV 4 and Roku 4. The biggest gripe is the lack of surround sound on video streaming apps. Amazon has promised to fix this soon with a software update. For more details read my post comparing Amazon Fire TV 2014 to Fire TV 2015. But, even with these bugs, the new Fire TV is still my top pick for an Android Kodi box.
Late 2015, Amazon introduced the new Fire TV Stick with beefed up specifications. I have the Fire TV Box nicely stuck behind my TV with velcro. I like the Fire TV box over stick because of the presence of USB port that allows adding a media drive or allows me to connect an IR remote. This way, I can use my Logitech Harmony to control everything and put away the Fire TV remote. But if you don’t mind having the Fire TV remote and like the compactness of the stick then go for it.
2. What is Kodi?
Now that we have a good background on Amazon Fire TV and the Stick, let us move on Kodi. For those who are new to Kodi (previously known as XBMC), it is one of the best free open-source media center software for streaming local, network, or internet media. We have published several guides on Kodi and the following guides should give a good start on Kodi for you newbies.
Kodi Beginners Guide Part 1: What is Kodi?
Trying to set up your first HTPC and confused? This part 1 of Kodi Beginners guide explains what is Kodi, its history.
Kodi Beginners Guide Part 2: How to use Kodi for your HTPC
Part 2 of Kodi Beginners guide explains how to use Kodi for your HTPC. Kodi is quite possibly the best media center software.
Kodi Beginners Guide Part 3: Add media sources to Kodi
Part 3 of the Kodi beginners guide shows you how to add media sources to Kodi. Each media folder needs to be added as source and Kodi will scrap metadata and present it as a beautiful media library.
Kodi Beginners Guide Part 4: Change Kodi skin
Part 4 of Kodi Beginners guide explains how to change Kodi skin and customize it. There is a Kodi skin to fit everybody’s taste.
Kodi Beginners Guide Part 5: Kodi folder location and structure
Part 5 of Kodi Beginners guide will tell you about the way the Kodi files are organized and where they are located in your system.
More Kodi Guides:
- Guide: How to add Kodi subtitles to your streams and movies
- Kodi Audio Settings: understanding the audio options
- Kodi video settings: understanding the video options
3. Setup Amazon Fire TV
The next chapter in this complete Amazon Fire TV Kodi guide is preparing your AFTV for installing Kodi. Preparing your Fire TV involves making some minor changes on your Fire TV, noting down its IP address, and finally connecting your Fire TV using adbFire. The posts below should help you accomplish these things.
Update July 10, 2016: adbFire is now known as adbLink. In this article adbFire refers to adbLink.
To perform operations such sideloading apps, backing/restoring Kodi settings, etc. you will have to connect to your Fire TV remotely from your computer. In order to connect to your Fire TV, you will need to know its network IP address. Once you know your Fire TV box or stick’s IP address you can move on to configuring adbFire app to install and manage Kodi.
While there is Amazon Fire TV Utility App that can also perform several operation on the Fire TV through adb, adbFire app is the app of my choice. In this Fire TV Kodi how to, I will be demonstrating the steps using the adbFire app. adbFire is a multi-platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux) companion program for Amazon Fire TV and Android Kodi/XBMC and its forks. It simplifies several tasks around installing and managing Kodi on Amazon Fire TV and Stick. Complete preparing your Fire TV for Kodi installation by downloading and setting up adbFire.
4. Install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV
When and how to install Kodi on Fire TV? It’s now and here is how. Not much has changed with Kodi Fire TV setup over the years.
Amazon did not approve Kodi into their App store, unlike Google. Consequently, Kodi has to be sideloaded on to Amazon Fire TV and Stick. There is a very high chance that Amazon won’t disable sideloading apps (fingers-crossed). And apps such as adbFire make it extremely easy to sideload apps including Kodi on FireTV. The Box or the Amazon Fire Stick Kodi installation is as simple as downloading the APK from kodi.tv and installing it through adbFire. Follow the text guide linked above to get Kodi on your Fire TV. See this simple process in the video guide below.
While adbFire method described above worked for many, for some Fire stick owners and Mac users it did not work. Some complained that the adbFire app progress bar keeps looping and the Kodi installation never completes. If you are one of them here is another method that does not use any computer or adb. So it won’t matter if you are using a Windows, Mac or Linux because you don’t need a computer. All you need is your Fire TV and internet. In fact, some may say this is easier than the first method and it works all known Fire TV devices.
5. Accessing Kodi on Fire TV
By now you should have sideloaded Kodi on to your Fire TV Box or Stick. It used to be that accessing Amazon Fire TV Kodi app through
Manage Installed Applications is quite cumbersome. But Amazon’s Fire OS 5.0.4 software update enabled accessing sideloaded apps through “Apps” section on homescreen. But sideloaded apps still did not appear under “Recent” on “Home” section. So several clicks are still needed to open Kodi. Fortunately, there are easier ways to launch Kodi. However, this step is the most difficult or problematic step for many Fire TV Kodi users. In order to successfully create Kodi shortcut on homescreen you will need to know 2 things:
- Fire TV Model: 2014 vs 2015
- Fire OS Version: version 3.X vs 5.X
The second question (Fire OS version) overrides the first question and is the most important one to know the answer for. First, I will present the traditional way of creating Kodi icon on home screen (Method 1) and then the current / recommended method of launching Kodi (Method 2). Once, your Fire OS version dictates whether both methods are available to you or just one.