To help you figure out how to get Kodi on your smart TV, we’ve created this one-stop resource for installing Kodi on the most popular smart TV brands. Just click your smart TV’s brand name on the table of contents below to find out what your options are for running Kodi.

After you read this guide you’ll know:

  • How to install Kodi on smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony and more
  • Whether or not there’s a native Kodi app for your smart TV system
  • All the best workarounds for using Kodi on non-compatible smart TVs

How to Run Kodi on LG Smart TVs

If you have an LG Smart TV, that means that you’re stuck dealing with LG’s oddball WebOS operating system. WebOS is different because it was originally designed to run on Palm PDAs. After smartphones made PDAs irrelevant, Palm went bust and LG ended up with the rights to WebOS.

In 2015, a Kodi fan asked the Kodi development team to work on a WebOS compatible version of Kodi. Several Kodi developers chimed in to say that Kodi will likely never come to WebOS because:

  • It’s too much extra work. Kodi and WebOS are both based on Linux. However, WebOS is totally different. Kodi’s development team would have to basically rewrite Kodi to get it to work on WebOS.
  • Not enough people use WebOS. Kodi’s developers have a limited amount of time and resources, so they have to be choosy about the projects they take on. In their view, there are not enough people using WebOS to justify building a WebOS compatible version of Kodi.
  • A Kodi app is not really necessary. Raspberry Pi and other similar set-top boxes provide a cheap and easy alternative way to use Kodi on LG smart TVs.

In 2017, yet another Kodi forum member submitted a request for a WebOS version of Kodi. This time, team Kodi replied with a single word answer: no.

Kodi developers have zero interest in supporting LG’s WebOS. Source: forum.kodi.tv

Because Kodi developers clearly aren’t interested in rewriting Kodi for WebOS at all, the best way to get Kodi on your LG Smart TV is via some type of Kodi box. Or, you can cast Kodi from your phone to WebOS via Share Screen. If you don’t like those options, you may want to consider switching over to Plex.

Connecting a Kodi box to your LG Smart TV

There are many different types of Kodi boxes on the market. I had a LG smart TV, I would get a Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi devices are cheap (about $30), fast and easy to use.

Raspberry Pi

All LG smart TVs have HDMI support, so they’re all Raspberry Pi compatible.

LG HDMI tv
If your LG smart TV can accept multiple HDMI devices, you could connect more than one Kodi box to it. Source: LG

All you have to do to load Kodi onto a Raspberry Pi is:

  • Format your Raspberry Pi card. Raspberry Pi comes with an SD card. Just pop the card into your Mac or PC and format it using the FAT32 format. (On a Mac, you can use the built-in Disk Utility tool to accomplish this step. PC users can install SD Foundation’s free SD Card Formatter utility.)
  • Transfer Kodi onto the card. Download the Kodi-based operating system known as OpenELEC to your computer. Then, use some type of imaging tool to write OpenELEC  to your Raspberry Pi card. (If you’re on a Mac, use ApplePi Baker. PC users can use the Win32 DiskImager tool.)
  • Plug Raspberry Pi into your LG Smart TV. Flip on your Raspberry Pi and your LG Smart TV. Then, use the input picker function on your LG Smart TV to switch to Kodi.

Related: How to Install Kodi on a Raspberry Pi

kodi raspberry pi lg
Once you plug in your Raspberry Pi, use the input picker in WebOS to switch to Kodi. Source: YouTube

Nvidia Shield

In addition to Raspberry Pi, another excellent Kodi box is Nvidia Shield. Nvidia Shield has beefier specs compared to Raspberry Pi, so it can also be used for gaming. Additionally, Nvidia Shield runs Android.

nvidia kodi
Nvidia Shield is great for Kodi and it can also be used to play games. Source: Nvidia

All you have to do to put Kodi on it is hop over to Google Play, search for Kodi and click the green install button.

Related: How to Install Kodi on Nvidia Shield – Setup Kodi on Nvidia Shield

Geek out with multiple Kodi boxes

Most LG Smart TVs have multiple HDMI ports. So, if you really wanted to nerd out you could plug in several different types of Kodi boxes. If you had all Raspberry Pi and Nvidia Shield, you could switch between them both with the click of a button. You could even get three different Raspberry Pis and install different Kodi builds on each one.

Kodi builds are modified versions of the core Kodi operating system. Kodi build makers equip their builds with themed artwork, customized menus, useful add-ons and lots of other cool stuff.

Using your phone and Screen Share to play Kodi

If you don’t want to plug in a separate Kodi box, you can opt to cast Kodi from your phone to your LG Smart TV instead.

Every LG Smart TV that can run WebOS 2.0 and WebOS 3.0 has a “Screen Share” feature that allows you to mirror your mobile device’s screen to your LG Smart TV.

Just open the Screen Share feature from the main menu of your LG Smart TV and go into listening mode. Then, tell your phone to look for your LG Smart TV. Once your devices connect, you can cast Kodi from your phone.

  • Android: Some Android phones have a built in screen sharing feature called Miracast. On some Android devices, Miracast is called Cast Screen.
  • Windows. Some Windows devices have Miracast too, but sometimes the same feature is called Wi-Di.
  • Linux. Linux has a Screen Share compatible feature called OpenWFD.
  • iOS. Unfortunately, iOS devices only have built-in support for Apple TV.

Kodi boxes offer better reliability and superior performance compared to Screen Share because an HDMI cable can deliver more audio and video data than a WiFi connection. Your Kodi videos may stutter and lag if you connect via Screen Share – but you won’t have that issue if you get a Raspberry Pi or Nvidia Shield.

screen share LG smart tv
Use the Screen Share option to stream Kodi from your mobile device. Source: LG

Plex is available in the WebOS App Gallery

Yet another option for Kodi fans with LG Smart TVs is Plex. Plex is built from Kodi’s source code and its player is very similar to Kodi’s. The main difference between Kodi and Plex is that Plex is designed to give you access to all your files wherever you go.

Once you set up a Plex server on your main computer, you can use your Plex apps to stream your media files to all your devices. With the Kodi app, you’re stuck with whatever files you have on your hard drive. There’s no built-in feature that allows you to connect to your home network from within the Kodi app.

On the other hand, Plex isn’t as customizable as Kodi. Plex does have plug-ins called channels, but they aren’t as flexible as Kodi add-ons. Also, you have to pay for a subscription to unlock Plex’s premium features. Still, Plex does have an WebOS app and Kodi does not – so that’s a big reason to consider trying Plex if you already own an LG Smart TV.

Related: How to Install Plex on Smart TVs – Quick Start Guide

How to Run Kodi on Samsung Smart TVs

Samsung Smart TVs run on an operating system called Tizen. Tizen is an open source operating system with Linux roots. Many Samsung devices are shipped with Tizen, including a variety of different smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.

When a Kodi forum member asked about Tizen in September of 2015, Kodi developer da-anda responded by saying that the MrMC team is working on a port.

MrMC is a stripped down version of Kodi media player that’s basically identical to Kodi, only it has no support for add-ons.

In February of 2017, MrMC developer davilla left a message in the MrMC forums indicating that there are a number of obstacles standing in the way of a Tizen compatible version of MrMC.

The main reason why work on Tizen seems to be going nowhere is likely the large amount of work needed to make a Tizen compatible version of MrMC a reality. According to davilla, the MrMC team will have to adapt 25 different C++ libraries to make MrMC work on Tizen.

  • Background information: Code libraries are chunks of code that can be reused in different ways.

Even if the MrMC releases a Tizen compatible version of its player, it will probably never be very popular. MrMC is a bit boring because it lacks add-on functionality. All it does is play media files.

If you want to use Kodi with your Samsung, your best bet is to invest in a Raspberry Pi or some other Kodi box. Alternatively, you can use Samsung’s Screen Mirroring feature to cast Kodi from your phone to your Samsung Smart TV.

Connecting a Kodi box to your Samsung Smart TV

In my personal opinion, Raspberry Pi is the best all-around device for setting up your own Kodi box. Raspberry Pi devices are very inexpensive (about $30), yet they are equipped with impressive hardware specs.

Raspberry Pi

All LG smart TVs have multiple HDMI jacks, so they’re all Raspberry Pi compatible.

samsung hdmi
All Samsung Smart TVs have multiple HDMI ports. Source: Samsung

All you have to do to load Kodi onto a Raspberry Pi is:

  • Format your Raspberry Pi card. Raspberry Pi comes with an SD card. Just pop the card into your Mac or PC and format it using the FAT32 format. (On a Mac, you can use the built-in Disk Utility tool to accomplish this step. PC users can install SD Foundation’s free SD Card Formatter utility.)
  • Transfer Kodi onto the card. Download the Kodi-based operating system known as OpenELEC to your computer. Then, use some type of imaging tool to write OpenELEC  to your Raspberry Pi card. (If you’re on a Mac, use ApplePi Baker. PC users can use the Win32 DiskImager tool.)
  • Plug Raspberry Pi into your Samsung Smart TV. Flip on your Raspberry Pi and your Samsung Smart TV. Then, use the input button on your remote to switch to Kodi.

Related: How to Install Kodi on a Raspberry Pi

Nvidia Shield

My second favorite Kodi box is Nvidia Shield. Nvidia Shield is powerful enough to be used to play games. Another thing to like about Nvidia Shield is that it runs Android and has Google Play. Because Kodi is on Google Play, installing Kodi on Nvidia Shield is a cake walk.

Related: How to Install Kodi on Nvidia Shield – Setup Kodi on Nvidia Shield

Samsung Smart TVs have lots of HDMI ports

Like most Smart TVs, Samsung Smart TVs come equipped with multiple HDMI ports – so why not make use of all of them?

Multiple Kodi Raspberry Pi boxes could come in handy if you like using Kodi builds. Kodi builds are outfitted with all kinds of unique artwork and add-ons. Some are designed for sports fans, but others are made to appeal to movie geeks and power users.

If you install multiple Kodi boxes, just use the source button on your Samsung remote when you’re ready to switch to a different Raspberry Pi.

Using your phone and Screen Mirroring to play Kodi

Samsung Smart TVs have a feature called Screen Mirroring that allows you to mirror your phone or tablet’s display on your TV screen. To activate Screen Mirroring, press the source button on your Samsung remote and select screen mirroring. Then, tell your device to look for your Samsung Smart TV.

  • Android: Some Android phones have a built in screen sharing feature called Miracast. On some Android devices, Miracast is called Cast Screen.
  • Windows. Some Windows devices have Miracast too, but sometimes the same feature is called Wi-Di.
  • Linux. Linux has a Screen Share compatible feature called OpenWFD.
  • iOS. Unfortunately, iOS devices only have built-in support for Apple TV.
samsung cast
Pick screen mirroring as your source to cast your device’s screen to your Samsung Smart TV’s display. Source: Samsung
  • Note: On most Android phones, turning on Miracast will allow you to connect to your smart TV via Screen Mirroring. On Windows devices, you can connect via Wi-Di. Also, Linux has a Screen Mirroring compatible feature called OpenWFD.

One thing you’ll probably find out yourself if you try Screen Mirroring, is that the quality of audio and video you get isn’t that great. If your video skips and stutters, you may want to consider trying out Raspberry Pi, Nvidia Shield or some other type of streaming box.

Plex is available in Smart Hub store

Samsung likely opted to exclude Kodi from its Smart Hub store because it’s too controversial. However, Smart Hub does host Plex.

If you like the look and feel of Kodi, you’ll probably like Plex. Kodi and Plex are similar in many ways because they are derived from the same source code. However, the purpose of Plex and Kodi are different.

Kodi’s appeal is that can be expanded in a variety of ways through the use of add-ons. Plex isn’t as flexible, but it has some very powerful features that Kodi lacks.

The best thing about Plex is that it allows you to quickly and easily set up your own personal media cloud that you can access and stream across all your portable devices. You can use Plex for free, but you have to pay a fee to unlock its premium features. Subscribing could be a good investment though – especially if you have lots of media files and already own a Samsung Smart TV.

Related: How to Install Plex on Smart TVs – Quick Start Guide

How to Run Kodi on Android Smart TVs

Android Smart TVs are awesome because they are flexible. You can get any Android app you want with just the touch of a button – including Kodi.

All you have to do is hit the home key on your remote, scroll down to the apps shelf and open Google Play. Then, look up Kodi and select install.

sony smart tv
It only takes a few seconds to install the Kodi app once you turn on your Android TV. Source: Sony

Kodi vs SPMC

If you own an Android-powered TV set, you may want to go with SPMC instead of Kodi. SPMC is the brainchild of Koying – the Kodi developer that created the original Kodi Android app.

After seeing the success of Nvidia Shield, Koying began to believe that Android holds the future of Kodi. In 2016, he decided to break away from the official Kodi team and start his own Android-centric project.

Because Koying built SPMC specifically for Android, it may actually work better than the official Kodi app. SPMC is free and it’s has all the core features of Kodi, so why not download from Google Play and decide for yourself if it works better than Kodi?

Related: What is SPMC, and How is it Different from Kodi? SPMC Vs. Kodi

The Top 3 Android TVs

Sony, Sharp and Phillips have partnered with Google to release Android-powered smart TVs. Here’s a look at their top-of-the-line Android TVs.

Sony Bravia

Right now, the consensus seems to be that Sony’s Bravia is the Android TV to beat.

Sharp Aquous

Sharp’s flagship Android TV is Aquous. Here’s a quick look at its core features.

Phillips Android TV 9000

The Philips 9000’s most interesting feature is ambilight – a patented technology that extends the picture beyond its frame.

 

Alex Munkachy is a freelance writer, game developer and hobby robotics enthusiast. You can find his blog about robotics news and reviews at robotfanatics.com.