Kodi Developers Speak out about Piracy Box Sellers

The developers behind Kodi, the free, open source media player software formerly known as XBMC, are taking a stand against profiteers who are selling modified versions of its product as so-called “piracy boxes”. In the past, Team Kodi has always remained neutral on its software being used to illegally access copyrighted content – the developers believe that users should have the freedom to use and modify the software to suit their needs – while making clear that it does not endorse such practices. Now, though, the team has had enough of its name being dragged through the mud by sellers of “piracy boxes” using the Kodi brand, railing against the practice in a recent blog screed.

“There have been a wave of sellers who decided to make a quick buck modifying Kodi, installing broken piracy add-ons, advertising that Kodi let’s [sic] you watch free movies and TV, and then vanishing when the user buys the box and finds out that the add-on they were sold on was a crummy, constantly breaking mess,” the Kodi blog post reads. “These sellers are dragging users into the world of piracy without their knowledge and at the same time convincing new users that Kodi is a buggy mess, because they never differentiate Kodi from 3rd party add-ons. Every day a new user shows up on the Kodi forum, totally unaware that the free movies they’re watching have been pirated and surprised to discover that Kodi itself isn’t providing those movies.”

“Team Kodi is officially tired of this,” the post continues. “We are tired of new users coming into the forum, asking why the box that “we” sold them was broken. We are tired of this endless campaign by dishonest salesmen to push a single use of Kodi that nobody on the team actually recommends. We are tired of these salesmen lying to users, claiming that pirate streams and pirate boxes are “legal” when they are absolutely not at some level or other. We are tired of being told by companies that they don’t want to work with us, because we are selling pirate boxes. Being removed from an App Store this summer because of the campaigning of others was like a slap in the face. Most of all, we are tired of a thousand different salesmen and Youtubers making money off ruining our name.”

“It’s gotten bad enough that core Kodi developers have threatened to quit in protest,” Team Kodi adds.

In order to combat the rise of “piracy boxes” using the Kodi name, the team will now use ownership of the Kodi trademark to take legal action against anyone selling systems which includes its media player software: “[W]e will issue trademark takedown notices anywhere we think the likelihood for confusion is high. If you are selling a box on your website designed to trick users into thinking broken add-ons come from us and work perfectly, so you can make a buck, we’re going to do everything we can to stop you. If you are making a video in which you claim to be a Kodi developer or Kodi team member or you are just using the Kodi name while assuring users that some pirate add-on is totally legal and isn’t going to break next week, we will do everything we can to take you down.”

Team Kodi concludes the post by asking for help from the Kodi community: “If you see somebody selling a box that’s “fully loaded” or comes with the phrase “Free movies and TV with Kodi,” please, ask them to stop. And let us know.”

Thecus NAS Enhances Multimedia Features with KODI

XMBC entertainment center was originally built for the hacker-friendly Xbox and last year they broke away from that naming. It has long been the go-to media player for HTPC builders and to show the change in direction the app was taking the developers decided it needed a new name. Now it is called KODI but it is essentially just the next version of XMBC.

It is still a great update and Thecus NAS is now onboard with that app as well. It wasn’t like the Thecus NAS servers were lacking multimedia functionality in any way, even sporting VLC as we saw in our Thecus N5810 Pro review a little while ago.

The Thecus NAS servers with HDMI output now support KODI and you can install it directly from the app central. Connect the NAS to your TV or monitor with an HDMI cable and enjoy all those stored moment directly. I’ve recently made the switch to an NAS with direct output and it is amazing. I love it every day and have since repurposed my HTPC into another job.

Kodi is supported by the following Thecus NAS models:

  • N16000PRO, N12000PRO, N8900
  • N6850, N8850, N10850
  • N7710, N7710-G, N8810, N8810-G
  • N5810PRO

To install KODI, you’ll need Firmware 2.05.08. You can also read up on KODI and Thecus on their own if you’d like to know more.

ASUSTOR Demonstrates AiCast and 4K Direct Output at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – We went back to the ASUSTOR booth to check out what else they had to offer besides what we’ve already seen. ASUSTOR brought along quite a bit and it is all pretty cool.

ASUSTOR doesn’t just make great NAS devices, they also pack them full of great features that make it just as joyful as easy to use them.

On display was a demonstration of ASUSTOR’s newest mobile app AiCast and they used their AS7004T 4-bay prosumer NAS to showcase it. The NAS is built around an Intel Core i3 and supports direct 4K video output via the built-in HDMI port. The AS7004T also sports all the other great features we know and love from ASUSTOR such as running VMs, multiple LAN and USB connections as well as a great software package.

AiCast is a temporary name for the new mobile app that can control playback in Kodi. AiCast allows users to intuitively browse through the multimedia on their NAS without interrupting video playback in Kodi. Users will be able to play the video of their choice at the touch of a finger.

ASUSTOR already has great support for multimedia streaming, including Chromecast, where you can turn your smartphone into a remote control with ASUSTOR’s AiVideos app.

ASUSTOR Adds the Last Missing Streaming Option to Their NAS’

ASUSTOR has been busy updating their NAS software all around, but with a special focus on the media part. Playing movies and tv shows is becoming a bigger part of users life every day and the solutions to do so become easier as well. ASUSTOR already had a pretty good coverage on the area with AirPlay support, KODI and XMBC media players, as well as UPnP and DLNA streaming. But one had been missing so far and that was the official Chromecast support.

That is not an issue anymore as the new AiVideos mobile app now supports Chromecast multimedia streaming playback, bringing the big screen entertainment experience to the last few ASUSTOR users who couldn’t already enjoy it. After linking with Chromecast, AiVideos turns into a remote control allowing users to pause, fast-forward, adjust the volume and even configure subtitles at the touch of a finger.

“Although consumers are relying on their mobile device more than ever before, many are still not satisfied with watching videos on a small screen,” said Steve Huang, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “We are very excited to be adding Chromecast support to ASUSTOR NAS, allowing videos on our devices to be streamed and played on bigger screens and bringing our users a more satisfying digital entertainment experience.”

The new version of AiVideos is first available for Android and can be downloaded or updated from Google Play. Users should also use the newest version of LooksGood (1.0.0.r1220) in conjunction with the newest version of AiVideos in order to enjoy Chromecast support.

QNAP NAS’ Now Also Support Kodi Entertainment Center

It is great to see more and more NAS vendors perform the switch to the new Kodi and QNAP has done so too. Kodi was previously known as XBMC, but it got a rename and revamp as of version 14 and it requires a new install over just an update. Owners of the QNAP x51, x53, x70, x71, x79, and x80 series NAS can now install the new Kodi for their HD station and enjoy the improved entertainment experience.

“Multimedia entertainment has become a major part of QNAP NAS, and we will continue to offer up-to-date applications and technology to provide our users with the best multimedia experience,” said Ken Cheah, product manager of QNAP.

QNAP also renames XMBC v13, the old version, to HD Player in its HD Station platform and keeps it around for compatibility reasons and to give users the choice what to use. HD Player introduces a revamped user interface for more intuitive use and integrates the QTS Media Library and user authentication for extra security. The HD Station platform allows users to connect and use their NAS directly on the TV through HDMI out and full USB control.

Kodi is available for the following QNAP NAS models: TS-251, TS-451, TS-451S, TS-651, TS-851, TS-251C, TS-451U, HS-251, TS-253 Pro, TS-453 Pro, TS-653 Pro, TS-853 Pro, SS-453 Pro, SS-853 Pro, TS-453U-RP, TS-453U, TS-853U-RP, TS-853U, TS-1253U-RP, TS-1253U, TS-EC880U-RP, TS-EC1280U-RP, TS-EC1680U-RP, TS-EC2480U-RP, TS-EC880 Pro, TS-EC1080 Pro, TVS-EC880, TVS-EC1080, TVS-EC1080+, TVS-471, TVS-671, TVS-871, TVS-871U-RP, TVS-1271U-RP, TS-470, TS-670, TS-870, TS-470 Pro, TS-670 Pro, TS-870 Pro, TS-879U-RP, TS-1279U-RP, TS-1679U-RP, TS-879 Pro, TS-1079 Pro, TS-470U-RP/-SP, TS-870U-RP, TS-1270U-RP, IS-400 Pro.

The TVS-x63 series will also get the upgrade before the end of April.

Thecus Releases New Firmware Update for ThecusOS 5.0

Thecus just released a firmware update for the ThecusOS 5.0 software that runs on its NAS servers. The new version 2.05.08 addresses several vulnerabilities and exposures and updates some features.

The new version 2.05.08 is compatible with the following NAS servers:

  • N16000, N12000, N16000PRO, N12000PRO, N16000V, N12000V, N8900V, N8900
  • N6850, N8850, N10850
  • N7710, N7710-G, N8810, N8810-G, N7700PROV2, N8800PROV2
  • N2800, N4510U, N4510UPRO, N4800, N4800ECO, N5550, N7510

Also from the press release:

The newest version, 2.05.08, includes Disk Clone and Wipe for seamless data replication and destruction, enhanced security with VPN server and Kodi (select devices) for optimal media streaming. Also included is support for 4K native HDD, VAAI UNMAP, VPN and PPTPclient/server as well as compatibility with D-Link’s DXE-810S 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ adapter.

Updates for 2efsprogs (1.42.12), Xfsprogs (3.2.2), Thecus ID wording, and Linux kernel (3.10.66) are available along with improvements for the booting process, IE browser and WD60EFRX compatibility, and Japanese UI language.

Several vulnerabilities and exposures are also addressed with the new firmware including email notification password, jumbo frame, Samba Recycle Bin and share folders, as well as several other issues that are described in the release notes included with the download.

The new firmware is now available to download direct from the Thecus website (here). As is always recommended, backup all data before updating to the new firmware to avoid any data loss.

OpenELEC Version 5.0.2 and RaspberryPi Hotfix 5.0.3 Released

OpenELEC is an embedded operating system built specifically to support the Kodi media player hub (formerly known as XMBC) and to run on most available hardware, and now version 5.0.3 for RaspberryPi and version 5.0.2 for the rest have been released. This new stable version not only brings the name changed media hub, but also a list of security improvements and new drivers.

“The OpenELEC team is proud to announce OpenELEC 5.0.2. OpenELEC-5.0 is the next stable release, which is a feature release and the successor of OpenELEC-4.2. The headline change is the update from XBMC 13 (Gotham) to Kodi 14.1 (Helix) and the big switch from XBMC to Kodi branding. Due to the potential for typo-bugs and breakage from Kodi renaming YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO MAKE A FULL BACKUP before performing a manual update,” wrote the developers.

Notable changes include a version bump from v3.16 to v3.17 of the Linux kernel and a switch from OpenSSL to LibreSSL following the heartbleed disclosure. The latest Nvidia drivers have also been added as well as a new Mesa patch from upstream and support for PROJECT-based multiple noobs builds. The full change log and downloads can be found on the official site.

Thanks to OpenELEC for providing us with this information

ASUSTOR First to Support Kodi on NAS

 

ASUSTOR announced that it has added Kodi to its NAS App lineup. Kodi is the newest generation of the award-winning media player and hub, XBMC, and ASUSTOR is the first to support Kodi on NAS devices.

Kodi, formally known as XBMC, features a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls, among many other useful features. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet and it uses the HEVC (H.265) codec for software transcoding.

All of ASUSTOR’s NAS devices from the 50, 51, and 70 series can now download and install Kodi from the Beta Apps section of ASUSTOR’s App Central.

Thanks to ASUSTOR for providing us with this information