Date: Oct 4, 2015
I learned something new the past week. And I would like to share it here. This article is for advance users. Means, you are capable of Google for a topic, such as How to Install XBMC, or Kodi or TVMC, and you are able to understand and execute the instructions found. :) If you can do so, I am sure you are about to open up a brand new world of Steaming TV entertainment.
1. IPTV is to
a) watch Live TV,
b) Video On Demand,
c) Your own collections of videos, be it Home Video, or downloaded videos,
d) Listen to music,
e) Watch Youtube or Vimeo,
f) Play Games,
g) Watch Podcast, etc on your TV.
2. IPTV is about three things.
a) Hardware - such as Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, Xiaomi, Android TV box, Minix, ViewQwest TV2, etc etc.
b) Software - the Apps or Apks that allows you to watch the TV shows
c) Contents - the web site that holds all these contents
3. In the past, I have posted a lot of TV boxes, a lot of Apps that you can run to watch TV. The false impressions is China has done a pretty good job in this. All you need is to load nice simple desktop, and run the Apps from the Desktop. As simple as that.
It is easy to use. Once you launch an app, you get to see all these wonderful shows. Almost every apps has similar shows and setup. However, what differentiate them is where there place their contents and how they stream it to us.
Every ISP has different IP upstreams and different ways to get to these contents. That is why some users complaint slow and buffering all the time, cannot watch.
It has nothing to do with these contents. It is the ISP who decided what they allow you to watch.
Always remember the basic concept… ISP who owns TV channels are afraid that you no longer subscribe to their TV channels. So, somehow, watching IPTV is not an enjoyable experience on these ISP networks. These ISP afraid that if users start watching IPTV it will cannibalise their TV channels revenues. Otherwise, these super rich ISP who always earn profits in Millions or Billions, don’t tell me they can’t hire the right people or find the right solutions to solve their network problem.
The main point here is, I and some of the friends agrees that China is pretty advance in these IPTV streaming business.
We do not know what is their business model. Or do they even have any business model, how they make money, etc etc.
But we enjoy so much.
Until the China Government started to come in to regulate these part of the business.
They start setting up a lot of rules.
All the software cannot be installed into the TV.
All the software running on the TV box cannot display on the TV without approval from the government.
It is a Cat and Mouse chasing game.
One by one, we see them (the TV apps) go down. Then they come back up again, then, they go down.
So, what about the Western community. We did not see any TV apps coming out from these western community such as US.
The only thing we cheered is Youtube, and Podcast.
So, I always thought that the Western world is lagging behind.
Until the last few weeks, when I start playing XBMC, Kodi & TVMC.
4. What is XBMC?
XBMC stands for Xbox Media Centre. I believe it is originally an application on Xbox which is the Media Centre to play your videos and music files.
Later, when it is open source, developers come up with various versions that can do many things.
To me when I look at it, it is like GOPHER.
Hey, how many of you knows GOPHER? The text base browsers. The one like directory based navigation where you need to navigate inside to find information.
XBMC is just like that. I believe is a set of XMLs for people to display thumbnails, and contents, once selected, it link to the media player.
Kodi seems to be the new name for it. So, we will use Kodi from now on.
And TVMC is a special customised version that loads all the common, and popular IPTV streaming onto Kodi.
5. So, when I take a look at it, and google it. There are tons of information out there to teach people how to customise their Kodi. And all these developers, customised Add-Ons to easily access a certain content providers to get the video streaming. You can watch almost everything you want.
For example, let’s say I want to watch Doctor Who latest episode, what will I do?
And the videos playback is very good. It stream from Akamai. The quality s at least 720p. And it all depends on your ISP network too.
6. There are many Add-ons out there. This is similar to the APK we found from the China Shafa App Store. The Kodi/TVMC is like the Shafa Desktop. The biggest different is, Kodi reads the XMLs informations and thus, it is easy to customised the Kodi Add-On contents. As for the APK from Shafa App store, all those are APK, means software by itself. If the developer need to change anything, they need to write the software to change it. As for Kodi, it is a consistent platform. All you need to do is to change the feeding information to him. It is very simple, not so fancy too. May need a lot of navigation clicks, but it does the same thing. And the whole world is using it. You can get Spanish show, you can get Korean movies, etc etc.
7. As CartoonHD APK got shutdown. This is my new way of watching English movies and TV streams. I am still trying to understand it too. TVMC somehow does not work on my Xiaomi, so, TVMC runs on my Amazon FireTV. The Live TV somehow does not work on Xiaomi TVbox too, only have sound no video. Something to do with the hardware. But it support others Android platforms (True Android).
I will share more once I know more about it. For now, I am watching all the TV series and latest movies from US on Genesis, Doctor Who on BBC iPlayer, Apple Podcast, etc. All these add-ons available on TVMC.