UPDATE: For the latest Kodi build news, check out our June 2017 Best Kodi Builds Roundup.

Welcome to the April 2017 edition of our monthly Kodi build roundup!  Last month, we decided to put the spotlight on what we think are 4 of the very best Kodi builds: CellarDoor, Shank’s Build, Ultra TT and Wookie.  All 4 builds work great in Kodi Jarvis.  But how well do they perform in the latest edition of Kodi, Kodi Krypton 17.1?  Read on to find out the answer.

Disclaimer: This guide is intended to help readers access content they already have purchased the rights to access, but are for whatever reason unable to access either temporarily, or permanently. Flixed.io does not support software piracy, and bears no responsibility for what you decide to do with the contents of this article. Furthermore, please note that Flixed.io in no way hosts, develops, or produces any of the software mentioned within this article. For more information, please see our full disclaimer here.

Before we Proceed

We highly recommend using a VPN when using Kodi. Kodi users have been known to receive copyright infringement notices for streaming movies, sports, and TV shows through various addons. If you would like to keep your streaming habits private, our recommendation is IPVanish - a complete privacy solution for Kodi users. It's also worth noting that purchasing a 12 month subscription will give you two months free.

IPVanish and Kodi

Kodi Krypton is finally stable

Krypton debuted in February of this year.  Krypton 17.0 was buggy.  However, 17.1 is a different story.  Most of the problems beta users were complaining about appear to have been fixed.

Kodi Krypton features upgraded audio, touchpad friendly skins, improved video performance and a few other minor tweaks.

Testing methodology

In order to see how well each build performed in the new edition of Kodi, I uninstalled Kodi from my computer and installed Kodi 17.1.  Then, I installed each build from scratch using the updated build installation instructions provided below.

Note: All tests listed below were conducted on a mid-2012 Macbook Pro running macOS Sierra.  Performance/results may vary depending on your Kodi hardware.

1.  CellarDoor TV by Ares Project

  • Kodi Krypton compatibility report: Unfortunately, CellarDoor TV is currently not compatible with Kodi Krypton.
  • Review summary: This build is awesome, but you have to install it on top of an older version of Kodi (Kodi Jarvis) to get it to run.

CellarDoor TV is one of our very favorite builds.  But unfortunately, it’s not quite ready for Kodi Krypton.

CellarDoor TV won’t install in Krypton

Even though CellarDoor TV was designed for Kodi Jarvis, I decided to go ahead and try to install CellarDoor TV in Kodi Krypton just to see what would happen.  After the files finished downloading, I rebooted Kodi.  However, the installation didn’t work.  When the reboot was complete, I was confronted with the default version of Kodi.

Kodi Jarvis installation files

You can still use CellarDoor TV.  But if you want to install it, you have to delete Kodi Krypton (aka Kodi 17) and downgrade to Kodi Jarvis (aka Kodi 16).

CellarDoor TV screenshots (Kodi Jarvis)

Here are some assorted screenshots of CellarDoor TV:

How to install CellarDoor TV (Kodi 16 Jarvis Only)

  1. In order to get CellarDoor, you have to first download the Ares Project repo by going to https://repo.ares-project.com/magic/repository.aresproject/.  The file you need is repository.aresproject.zip.
  2. Next, navigate to system → settings → addons → install from zip file.  Wait for the “installation complete” popup.
  3. Now, go to system → settings → addons → install from repository → ares project → program addons → ares wizard
  4. Finally, open up ares wizard and then go browse builds → cellar door tv (jarvis)

From the Ares Wizard main page, go to the builds section and select CellarDoor TV.  It’s a 300 MB download.  When it’s complete, Kodi will reboot into CellarDoor TV.

2.  Ares Build US (formerly known as Shank’s Build)

  • Kodi Krypton compatibility report: The Krypton edition of Ares Build US is interesting.  However, it has too many out of date addons and addons that don’t work well in Krypton.
  • Review summary:  In recent weeks Shank’s Build has been merged into an official Ares Project build called Ares Build US.  Ares Build US is one of the only builds that allows you to create your own “kid safe” version of Kodi.  Ares Build US works, but it is very rough around the edges at this point.  If you want to try it out, avoid the default skin and download the Xonfluence version instead.

Out of all the builds we’ve reviewed thus far, Shank’s Build was the only one that came with a built-in content control system.  However, Shank’s Build suffered from the fact that it only had one developer.  Most popular builds are group projects.

Code from Shank’s Build has been merged into Ares Build US

After checking the Ares Project group on Facebook, I discovered some promising news about Shank’s Build.  Eric Shankman has joined the Ares Build US team.

Ares Build US is very similar to Shank’s Build.  As time goes on, the build will probably improve at a faster rate now that more than one person is probably working on it.

Message from Eric Shankman about the best Kodi builds

You can no longer download Shank’s Build unless you have a special code.  If you try to install Shank’s Build using the installation instructions we posted last month, you’ll run into this screen:

You have to get a PIN code to download Ares Build US

You don’t have to pay anything to use Ares Build US.  But, you do have to visit a website that contains an advertisement in order to get the PIN code.

If you attempt to download Ares Build US, you will run into this screen:

A screenshot of the “PIN Required for Ares US Builds” popup.

This extra installation step appears to have one sole purpose: to get you to view an ad.  It’s understandable that Kodi developers need to find some way to fund their work.  Still, it sure is annoying to have to go through this extra step just to try out a build.

Screenshots of the default version of Ares Build US 

If you’ve ever tried out Shank’s Build, you’ll immediately notice how it looks very similar to the default version of Ares Build US.

Here are a few screenshots of Ares Build US’s major menu pages:

Screenshots of the Xonfluence version of Ares Build US

If you’re going to try out Ares Build US, we advise that you get the Xonfluence version.

The Xonfluence flavor of Ares Build US is faster and better looking compared to the default version.  The default version of Ares Build US has fonts that are hard to read.  It’s also slow compared to the Xonfluence version of Ares Build US.

Here are a few screenshots of the Xonfluence edition of Ares Build US:

How to childproof your Kodi in Ares Build US 

The main reason to get Ares Build US is the fact that it has a built-in content control system.

The key to locking down addons in Ares Build US is an addon called PinSentry.  Here’s what PinSentry looks like:

A screenshot of PinSentry’s main menu

Here’s how to configure PinSentry:

  1. Go to the addons menu page, click programs and then and hover over pinsentry.
  2. Trigger the context menu by pressing C (or by pressing the menu button if you’re using a remote.)
  3. Choose configure addon once you’re in the context menu.
  4. Select set pin value and enter in a 4 digit number.

Once you’ve completed all of the 4 steps listed above, you’ll be able to open up PinSentry.

Lock down your addons

With PinSentry, you get 5 different options that allow you to control content: movie sets, music videos, plugins, file source and classifications.

To lock down plugins, open up PinSentry and click plugins.

You should see a screen that looks like this:

A screenshot of the PinSentry plugins configuration screen.

To lock down an addon, simply check its box.

Once an addon is locked down, nobody will be able to get to any of its menus unless they know your access code.

How to install Ares Build US (Kodi Krypton)

  • In order to get Ares Build US, first go to https://repo.ares-project.com/magic/repository.aresproject/ and download repository.aresproject.zip to your desktop.
  • Navigate to addons from the main menu of Kodi Krypton, click the install box icon and then click desktop and open repository.aresproject.zip.
  • Click install from repository, then ares project → program addons → ares wizard.
  • An error message will appear: “Please note that you are using an unstable version of Kodi.  Had to open the installer and try again.”  Ignore the message and click the ok box to continue.  After a few seconds, you’ll see the Ares Wizard main menu screen.
  • Install Ares Build US by navigating to programs → ares wizard → browse builds → ares us builds → ares us builds → enter pin code → install.
    • Note: You must follow the link in the popup message to obtain your 4 digit PIN code.

3.  Ultra TT

  • Kodi Krypton compatibility report: Ultra TT is fully compatible with Kodi Krypton.
  • Review summary: The Krypton version of Ultra TT looks and feels exactly like the Jarvis version of this fast and reliable build.

With Ultra TT, the Top Tutorials team has one of the very best builds for Kodi Krypton today.  Ultra TT has a simple design, but it’s very speedy and it comes equipped with all of our favorite addons.

The same classic Ultra TT design scheme

In terms of looks, the Krypton version of Ultra TT is identical to its Jarvis predecessor.

The Top Tutorials team decided to go ahead and keep Ultra TT’s classic red starlit background, simple but useful widgets and easy-to-read menu fonts.

Perfect for Kodi newbies

If you’re a newcomer to Kodi, Ultra TT is one of the best builds you can get.  Because it’s so lightweight and well-maintained, you’ll hardly ever run into dead links and broken addons if you stick to the addons contained in this build.

Ultra TT screenshots

Here are some assorted screenshots of the Krypton edition of Ultra TT:

As you can probably tell just by looking at the screenshots, Ultra TT’s interface is pretty basic.  But, it works.  The Ultra TT navigation bar features several big buttons with smaller suboptions underneath.

Flexible enough for Kodi veterans

The large and small menu buttons make it easy for Kodi novices to get around and do basic stuff.  And if you’re a Kodi pro, you can easily get to your favorite Kodi addons directly without having to dig through lots of different submenus.

How to install Ultra TT (Kodi Krypton)

Follow the steps listed below to install Ultra TT.

  • Go to https://toptutorials.co.uk/kodi/builds/ and download plugin.video.ttwizard.zip to your desktop.
  • From the addons menu, click the box icon and then choose install from zip file.
  • Click desktop, then select plugin.video.ttwizard.zip.  Once the installation is complete, a popup will appear in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • Open up the Top Tutorials wizard, then choose ultra tt krypton [version] from the menu.  After the build installation is complete, Kodi will automatically reboot into Ultra TT.

4.  Wookie

  • Kodi Krypton compatibility report:  The flagship Wookie builds aren’t Kodi 17 ready yet, but the excellent “lite” version of Wookie is fully Krypton compatible.
  • Review summary:  Wookie lite is comparable to Ultra TT.  It’s quick and easy to use, and its addon selection is quite good.

Wookie Lite is one of the very best Kodi builds for Krypton.  Exodus– one of the best video addons of all time– has its own menu page.  And of course, present as always is team Wookie’s unique sense of humor and distinctive design style.

Comes with an excellent sports addon 

The Find My Game addon is an excellent yet little-known sports addon that came out a few weeks ago.  It’s unique because it can scan multiple addons and look for working feeds of games.

Find My Game is compatible with Pro Sport, SportsDevil and a handful of other popular live TV addons.  You can find Find My Game in the submenu of the Sports main menu page.

Screenshots of Wookie Lite

Wookie Lite is essentially a stripped down version of the flagship Wookie addon.

How to install Wookie lite (Kodi Krypton)

Here’s how to install Wookie lite in 3 easy steps.

  1. Go to https://wookiespmc.com/wiz/ and download Click me – succumb To The Wookie.zip.
  2. Back out to Kodi’s main menu and then navigate to addons → box icon → install from zip file → Click me – succumb To The Wookie.zip.
  3. Navigate to programs → wookie → install wookie and then select wookie lite – krypton.