Kodi used to be called XBMC, as it was a media centre for the original Xbox. Now, it's outgrown a single console and is available for just about everything from Windows to the Rasperry Pi. In the old days, enthusiasts would build a dedicated Home Theatre PC (HTPC) to run media centre software, but these days streaming video boxes (and even HDMI dongles) are powerful enough to run Kodi: they're cheap and silent.
Also see: Best Tech Deals
So without further ado, let's get into it. Here are some of the best Kodi boxes to buy in 2017.
(Note that the Asus Nexus Player is a great choice if you can find one. Unfortunately this Android TV box is discontinued, so you'll only find it second-hand or refurbised on ebay and similar sites, but don't pay more than around £60-70 for one. They cost £79.99 new, and don't support 4K.)
Also see: Is Kodi legal?
Amazon Fire TV 4K (2015, 2nd generation)
- RRP: £79.99, US$79.99
The 2nd-gen Fire TV costs the same as the first - £79 from Amazon - and supports 4K. It also has a fast processor and is one of the best-value streaming devices around. You can install Kodi on it, but it's not quite as easy as on some of the Android boxes here. That's because the only app store on the Fire TV is Amazon's own, so you have to download the Android version of Kodi and 'side-load' it.
For most people, jumping through a couple of extra hoops is more than worth it at this price.
Read our full Fire TV review.
Amazon Fire TV Stick (2017)
- RRP: £39.99, US$39.99
If £79 for the Fire TV is a bit rich for you, there's also the £35 Fire TV Stick. This HDMI dongle will sit unobstusively behind your TV although it still needs power from a mains adaptor, or potentially a handy spare USB port on your TV.
Like the Fire TV, installing Kodi isn't as straightforward as browsing to it in the Appstore but it's easier now that Apps2Fire exists, which allows you to beam APK files from an Android phone to your Fire TV Stick.
If you don't have an Android phone, it's possible (but fiddly) to install Kodi using the Fire TV Stick remote.
Read our Fire TV Stick review.
Nvidia Shield TV
- RRP: £149.99, US$149.99
Although it's relatively expensive at £149, the Nvidia Shield TV is possibly the best base for Kodi as it's so powerful. It will be fast and responsive even if you install graphically demanding skins. Plus, of course, you can use it to play games and stream them - find out more about that in our full Nvidia Shield review.
Since it runs Android TV, it's very easy to install Kodi from the Google Play store. Also, it supports 4K, which is useful you happen to have a 4K TV.
Minix Neo X8
- RRP: £114.90, US$129.90
There are several Minix boxes to choose between, but the X8-H Plus is the most powerful, and you can pick it up for around £115 from Amazon. Alternatively, it's around £93 from GearBest if you want to risk getting stung for import duty - which could well take the total to more than the Amazon price.
It's powerful, supporting H.265 decoding: 4K at up to 30fps, and comes with a handy keyboard remote control. Like the WeTek Core on the next slide, it runs Android.
It comes with a version of XBMC installed, but you can easily install the latest version of Kodi via Google Play.
- RRP: £89.99
If you're looking for a powerful WeTek-powered Kodi stramer, the WeTek Hub is a good place to start. For starters, it's incredibly small measuring in at 71 x 71 x 20mm, making it easy to hide away and although it comes with an IR remote, we'd recommend using a Remote app.
Although the Android Lollipop-powered operating system can be buggy, the WeTek Hub also boasts the option of booting an alternate OS via the microSD card slot. This means that it's easy to install openELEC, the Linux-based operating system built around Kodi.
Couple that with support for the H.265 codec and you'll get a [email protected] Kodi-powered media streamer ready to play UHD movies, TV shows and any other media files on the big screen.