It’s been awhile since my website was updated thanks in large part to taking an extended month and a half long holiday to Europe. Since my return I’ve seen a lot of comments in regards to previous blogs talking about XBMC and some of the addons I’ve talked about. I decided to post as my first blog back a run down of what I feel are the best XBMC addons to help you get an idea of how you can supercharge your current XBMC setup. Of course everyone will have their favorites but these ten I feel offer up your best bet at a chance to eliminate your cable bill once and for all.
Without further ado and in no set order.
While possibly not technically qualified as an “addon” I would think it still should be considered as a must have to your XBMC setup simply because by adding it you’ll have access to a lot of high quality addons (most of which in this list). If you haven’t heard of XBMC Fusion I’ll provide you with a quick run down in that it is more or less an online directory to not only find some of the hottest addons but it helps keep all of them updated as well which is a nice change from the old days where you would constantly have to download the addon and then overwrite any old existing files.
For more information on XBMC Fusion you can visit my blog post about it here
2. 1 Channel
I don’t think there is any other plugin out there that does a better job then 1Channel. Despite being recently hit with an attack on it’s site the team managed to quickly address it and it still continues to be one of the better options available for you to power your XBMC setup with some of the latest and greatest media. You can learn more about 1Channel here
There was a time when Icefilms was the cream of the crop for XBMC addons/plugins and while it still provides a pretty extensive library of goodies I’ve found it is just a tad behind 1Channel in terms of content. Both have their pros and cons and I find the biggest pro with Icefilms is the sources seem to be a little more reliable most of the time….especially when it comes to HD content. 1Channel however tends to have more content and newer content on a more regular basis. Still, with both addons installed you shouldn’t have any complaints finding what it is you’re after.
If you consider yourself an avid user of XBMC and havent tried out this addon you need to do so the next time you fire it up. Navi-X is pretty much the most popular program for XBMC and it helps provide an exceptional portal that helps it’s users find an endless array of live video and on demand content. If you fancy yourself in need of access to international content you’ll definitely want to check this program out.
5. Project Free TV
Similar in function to 1Channel Project Free TV is yet another alternative you can use to stream content to your HTPC. This addon is yet another that can be found throughout Fusion’s online directory.
6. Hulu Plugin
This plugin is hit or miss. One can’t deny it’s valuable (legal) content but the drawback is it’s availability to users in the United States. Of course if you’re not living in the U.S there are ways around it which I won’t go into detail here, there are tons and tons of instructional tutorials for you to search through Google, on the official XBMC website or visiting XBMChub.
7. TV Links
Another source located within Fusion this addon provides a good source of links to content including a lot of older content you may not find on the others listed above.
It’s not perfect but it does the best job possible and is really the only manageable plugin available for people looking for a large list of sports events. XBMC can also install the ESPN plugin if you again live within the U.S but you may need to find another replacement which sportsdevil could be. It seems like one of the only addons out there thats doing this…of course if you don’t like it you can always try Navi-X for your sports fix.
9. Spotify & Grooveshark
It’s great having a large source of video to choose from with XBMC but let’s not forget that it also is great for music. Not a lot of people use it for such but there are some great resources available. Spotimc is an addon to include in your arsenal to help you stream music through XBMC. Again the problem is it may not be available to you if you’re not in the right country but as mentioned with previous articles there are ways around this. If you don’t want to worry about all the annoyances of bypassing the country blocks you can checkout Grooveshark plugin. Living in Canada I tend to lean towards the Grooveshark plugin and enjoy it as I can import all my playlists that I’ve created through their website.
Honorable mention goes to the Pandora plugin.
10. Advanced Launcher
I haven’t fooled with it a lot but if you use a computer or your setup can install a game controller you may want to look into this program. Advanced Launcher is a great addon if you play games or simply want to launch external applications from within the XBMC interface. You can even launch applications like Firefox so you can browse the internet.
There you have it, ten plugins to help you get started and supercharge your XBMC install. Please use these plugins and addons at your own risk as some may border on the side of questionable when we talk about legality. If you have any questions with any please mention them below or visit the official websites and plugin sources.