Kodi vs Plex – What’s the Major Difference and which to select?

Who needs Netflix? With home museum apps like Plex and Kodi, we can hurl your possess sweet-looking library with all a TV shows and cinema you like, with nothing of a junk. But that program should we use? Here’s how a dual biggest solutions smoke-stack adult opposite any other.

The Contenders

Plex and Kodi (formerly named XBMC) are home museum apps that concede we to conduct your library of TV shows, movies, music, and photos from one place, in a sharp interface that’s easy to navigate with your remote or even your phone. Despite carrying unequivocally identical goals, however, they have unequivocally opposite ways of removing there. Here is a basis of each:

  • Kodi: Formerly called Xbox Media Center (or XBMC for short), Kodi is an open source devise dedicated to building powerful, customizable home museum software. With years of growth behind it, there are a ton of add-ons, builds, and skins that can supplement new functionality over what’s already included.
  • Plex: Plex began life as a flare of XBMC, nonetheless it’s turn so graphic you’d frequency notice. This devise aims to make home museum program passed elementary for everyone. It allows we to sync and tide all of your media to any device no matter where we are.

Any time we speak about handling your personal media, there’s going to be a component of personal welfare involved. Everyone enjoys their things in somewhat opposite ways, so we can’t contend what’s ideal for everyone. Even here during Lifehacker, some of us swear by Kodi, while others can’t live nonetheless Plex. Keep in mind what you cite while we mangle down pivotal differences between them


Setting adult your home library for an initial time is always a many exhausting partial of a process. Kodi and Plex hoop this step unequivocally differently. Which one works best for we will count on a form of hardware we devise to use. Plex is unequivocally useful for streaming your media substantially anywhere, nonetheless, that underline requires a mechanism that binds your videos to be incited on and connected to the internet all a time (unless we compensate for Plex Pass, that we’ll speak some-more about later). Kodi, on other hand, deals mostly with files on a mechanism it’s regulating on. Kodi can tide calm from other devices, nonetheless, we can customarily tide between computers on the same home network, it’s a small some-more difficult to set up, and it can’t do transcoding (which means we can run into harmony problems with certain files). However if we are using Kodi builds then the setup is kind of a cake walk. Here are some of the latest builds of Kodi you can use it to setup.

With Plex, you’re stirred to emanate a comment and set your “server” adult right off a bat. It’ll use that comment to sync your library and tide between several devices. This means if we have a cinema on your desktop that we wish to watch on your phone, we customarily have to set adult one device. Just record into Plex on your phone and all that’s accessible on your server is prepared to go. You can also record into a web interface for Plex from any device with a web browser, that means we already have entrance to your calm substantially everywhere. Plex even transcodes your videos. That means it will automatically modify your videos to whatever form of record it needs on a fly to play anywhere. It’s an unsung favorite underline that lets we play anything on any device and it’s simply the biggest advantage Plex has over Kodi.

Kodi’s initial setup can be elementary or complex, depending on what you’re doing. When we implement Kodi, you’ll be stirred to supplement files or folders to your library. If you’re installing Kodi on the same desktop that your files are stored on, setup is easy. However, if your files are stored on another computer—say, your home server, or a desktop in your office—you’ll need to go by a some-more formidable routine or sharing those files with Kodi over a network. If we wish to start streaming to other platforms, it gets even some-more complicated. And even then, if we have mixed inclination regulating Kodi, it won’t sync your library unless we do even some-more work. If we customarily need to watch your calm on one device, Kodi’s complement is ideally fine, nonetheless, a some-more inclination we add, a some-more formidable it gets.

In this area, Plex wins out, given it’s impossibly elementary to set adult mixed devices. Of course, we have to be gently formulating a comment with a third-party customarily to watch your possess stuff, nonetheless for many of us, that isn’t a problem. Kodi doesn’t need any outmost servers, though, so there’s no worry that an association competence goes out of business down a highway or anything. There’s customarily a lot some-more bid compulsory on your partial in sell for that independence.

Platform Availability

When it comes to platforms, Plex is everywhere. It has dedicated library apps for Windows, OS X, Android, iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, and yes, even Windows Phone. There are so many platforms with processed Plex apps that no matter what we have, you’re substantially lonesome on during slightest one or dual of your devices. Simply record in and we can enter all that’s accessible on your Plex server immediately. As we mentioned in a final section, interjection to Plex’s transcoding, we can rest easy meaningful that if your videos play in one app, they’ll play in all of them. Of course, a downside is that we can’t use each Plex app totally for a giveaway (see Pricing below).

Kodi has downloads accessible for a few platforms, including Windows, OS X, Android, and jailbroken iOS devices. However, there’s a catch: they’re all fundamentally a same app. This can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, this gives we same overwhelming customization energy no matter what device you’re doing. On another hand, a default interface isn’t unequivocally touch-friendly, and it can still take some tweaking to get all operative correctly. And we won’t have an entrance on renowned set-top boxes like a Roku, Apple TV, or Xbox—just computers, phones, and tablets. On the other hand, Kodi is always free.

Interface Customization

This is where Kodi shines. If we wish to tweak how your home library looks, Kodi offers we a whole lot some-more coherence than Plex does. There’s a huge library to select from, too. We’ve featured several of our favorite Kodi skins, nonetheless, there are copiousness more. If we don’t like how Kodi looks, we can roughly positively find a skin we do like. You can also make smaller tweaks to an interface we do like, organizing cinema by category, adding tradition sections to a categorical screen, and more. Best of all, we can tweak any chronicle of Kodi. You can barter out skins on an Android chronicle customarily as simply as we can with a desktop version.

Plex, on the other hand, has unequivocally small to offer on this front. To start with, we can customarily request tradition skins to a Plex Home Theater app, that isn’t even in growth anymore. Currently, an association is focusing all their efforts on the new Plex Media Player, that doesn’t have customizable skins. You can still download Plex Home Theater from Plex’s site, nonetheless understandably, a skinning village has faltered. All of Plex’s other apps—including mobile apps, set top boxes, and a web client—can’t use tradition skins either. In short, if we wish to use Plex, we improved unequivocally like orange given you’re gonna be stranded with it. You can emanate playlists with Plex to assistance classify some of your stuff, nonetheless, that’s about it.


Since Kodi is an open source devise with a story of village contributions, it’s not startling that it has a clever appendage community. In fact, arguably, the coolest things we can do with Kodi is in add-ons. You can supplement a custom library for shows like South Park or a Daily Show, guard your torrents, and there are even some somewhat rough services for things like live sports and newer movies. You can even turn Kodi into a torpedo video diversion emulator right on your TV or record live TV like a DVR. It’s crazy,  what we can do with Kodi add-ons.

Like other customization options, Plex falls a small brief in this area. You can find some additional calm in a Channel Directory, nonetheless, these are customarily same forms of things you’d find on a set top box or dedicated apps already. If we use Plex on a Roku, for example, because implement Pandora in Plex when we can customarily supplement Pandora to your Roku? Some of this is a holdover from when Plex was an XBMC variant, and if you’ve hacked together a dedicated Plex box, it’s a small handy, nonetheless, for a many partial, it’s not unequivocally indispensable anymore. There might be a few channels that are unique, or that make an interface easier, nonetheless, in a lot of instances, it feels like an additional step. You can also supplement unsupported Channels to Plex, nonetheless, there aren’t as many cold channels as you’ll find on Kodi.


Kodi is free. End of story. If we wish to conduct your library nonetheless spending a dime, Kodi will never ask we for any money, no matter what apps you’re regulating or how much. That’s flattering nice. Better yet, given a device is open source, we can find some unofficial customized builds that are also free. These are ideal for hacking together you possess media core on things like a Raspberry Pi. For a media noble on a budget, it’s a flattering honeyed deal.

Plex, on the other hand, is mostly free. If you’re streaming your Plex library to a browser, Roku, Xbox, Apple TV, or Chromecast, we can do it for free. If we wish to tide to iOS, Android, or a few other platforms, though, you’ll need to compensate a one-time price for that height (the app itself is customarily giveaway to try, nonetheless there’s an in-app squeeze to transparent a full functionality). It’s a small misleading customarily that apps Plex charges for, and it’s altered over a years, while Plex’s support pages haven’t. However, if we wish to tide your calm to each device we own, you’ll substantially finish adult profitable for something somewhere along a line.

Alternatively, Plex also offers a use called Plex Pass. This subscription gives we giveaway entrance to all Plex apps, and a ton of other initial or reward features. Chief among them is Cloud Sync, that allows we to use your possess cloud storage (like Dropbox, Google Drive, and others) to store media so we don’t have to keep your mechanism on all a time. Other stream Plex Pass facilities embody a strain marker apparatus and strain video relating to enlarge your strain library, adding film trailers to your film library, and involuntary camera upload so we can send your photos directly to your Plex Media Server. Plex Pass users also get early entrance to new facilities before they’re expelled to a ubiquitous public. You can compensate for Plex Pass monthly ($5), yearly ($40), or once for a lifetime ($150).


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