Why do I watch Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+ on Kodi instead of their official apps for Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, or Nvidia Shield TV?

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At Genbeta we have told you how to watch Disney+, HBO Max and Netflix on Kodi. In certain cases, it is almost mandatory to see it this way, since devices such as Amazon’s Fire TV Stick do not have HBO Max support, and beyond installing the APK manually or resorting to tricks, it is the easiest way to do it.

However, even when there is a supported application, watching Netflix on Kodi and others on this media player can have other advantages that we have not reviewed so far. And for this reason, I do it with these platforms on Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K despite having its official applications installed.

My reason beyond being able to have HBO, because otherwise I couldn’t officially? That adjusts the refresh rate of the screen according to the frames of the video, in addition to the resolution. Let’s look at theory and practice.


Playback with Kodi is smoother because it avoids skipping and loss of fluidity of the judder

Unlike what the internal applications of televisions or Apple TV do, Nvidia Shield TV, Amazon Fire TV (outside of Prime Video) and Xiaomi Mi Box do not adjust the frame rate to the native frames of the video , so TVs and other devices such as projectors do not adjust the refresh rate with which they reproduce these contents. It is something that Android TV 12 should correct, but it still does not even reach Chromecast.

Thus, that a content recorded at 24 fps is not reproduced at that rate but at 60 Hz produces a annoying calling effect judderwhich are a few jumps that can be seen in the video as an effect of this dissonance between Hz and frames, and are especially visible in scrolling scenes.

The Nvidia Shield TV has in beta the possibility for the user to choose the refresh rate once the videos have started, and the Fire TV Stick implements the option to match the frame rate at the system level, but the pity is that the only compatible application within those that I have used is precisely one of the house, Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon

This option on the Fire TV Stick is great, but it doesn’t work beyond Amazon Prime Video.

As we said, even the Chromecast with Google TV does not have this function despite being the player that should receive functions before, not even in Google applications, forcing the user to manually select the Hz for each content from the settings, something that few people knows how to do and that although he knows, it is not comfortable at all.

Kodi

This is how the option is adjusted in Kodi 19 Matrix

And back to Kodi. In the media player there is an option to adjust the refresh rate of the screen. I have activated it “When starting / when stopping” so that it changes according to the content it plays. And so, for example, I have seen ‘[Mare of Easttown](Mare of Easttown)’ at 50 Hz on HBO and some movies at 24 Hz, compared to the fixed 60 Hz to which the system would have forced me on Netflix. This setting is something that the Plex app does automatically on the Fire TV as well.

In addition, compared to the automatic resolution configured in settings (usually 4K if the target device has that resolution) of the Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, Nvidia Shield and Apple TV applications, with Kodi, the resolution that is sent to the television or where we go to see it is the native one of the content, being the television that is in charge of doing the scaling. This will generally, and especially on modern TVs, result in superior picture quality on standard definition content and when viewing 720p or 1080p content on 4K panels.

An earlier version of this article was published in 2021.

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