Kodi 19 adds support for AV1 decoding, HDR10, Dolby Vision, tvOS and more
If you’re into the media server business, you probably don’t need an introduction to Kodi. But if this is the first time you have come across the product, let us enlighten you: Kodi is a popular, open-source media player that makes it possible to access all your digital media, including your movies, music, and TV shows, all in one place, from any device, anywhere. Its plugin system makes it incredibly modular, and there are many, many different addons to try out. The last major update to Kodi came in January 2019. Now, after spending several months in alpha and beta stages, Kodi 19 “Matrix” is finally out as a stable release.
This is a major update, bringing significant improvements to audio and video playback, improved subtitles support, support for Apple’s tvOS, and security improvements.
Kodi 19 now supports AV1 software decoding and HLG HDR and static HDR10 content playback on Windows 10. The Android client, meanwhile, also gets support for playing back static HDR10 and dynamic Dolby Vision content. Although Kodi can now recognize these formats, playback support will depend on your hardware. On the audio side, we see improvements to the library, new tags, new displays, new Matrix-inspired visualization, and several improvements to the handling of release dates, album durations, multi-disc sets, and so on.
For gaming, integer scaling delivers improved video quality of Pixel Art games, while iOS gains support for several Bluetooth game controllers, including Xbox and PlayStation.
In terms of design tweaks, the Music screen has been redesigned. Other changes include new metadata displays, changes to playlist views, a new “Now Playing” view, improvements to artwork and image files, and new GUI controls.
Subtitles are also seeing some improvements. You can now select a dark grey color and set the opacity for the captions, both of which help provide a comfortable watching experience while watching HDR content.
Other notable changes in Kodi 19 include a switch to Python 3 with new metadata scrappers, support for Apple TV’s tvOS, better logging and notch support for iOS, usability improvements to PVR and Live TV, improved security, and more.
The Kodi 19 Matrix update is rolling out for Android, Windows, Linux, iOS, and other supported platforms. The team notes that the Xbox build will be delayed.