video on demand service, Turn your PC into one and never miss your Favorite TV Show again.
video on demand service is coming very popular, one of the main reason is that we all have busy lives. We are working around the clock, and we can’t always be at home to watch our favorite TV shows. Fortunately, for us here in Australia, our local TV networks have introduced a new service online which allows you to stream your missed episodes online through your web browser.
However, watching it through a web browser and maximizing the video, to view it on your PC Screen, is not the same as watching it on your HDTV.
Sure there are services on your smart TV, which give you on demand services, but today I’d like to show you an alternative method. By using your PC learn how to use your HTPC, to give you a true Video on Demand Service.
About XBMC Software
If you haven’t heard about XBMC, then you have been missing out. Basically, its an open source software media player, which allows you to watch all your media content, on practically any device that you own, from your PC to Android to Linux. XBMC is soon to be renamed to Kodi Media Player. Learn more about it here.
To get the best out of your XBMC Media Player, you can set it up in a few ways.
You can add local media, by adding your own videos, movies which you may have purchased, and stored on your local network Attached Storage device (NAS) or
use third party add-on and add your local TV network add-on, (Depending on where you live in the world). Today we are going to take a look on how to add third party add-on to your XBMC Media Player
What you need for this tutorial
- XBMC – GOTHMAN 13.2 Media Player Software. (Other versions may not work properly with the Australian Catch up Addon
- HTPC or your favourite media player device such as Pivos XIOS or an Apple TV with XBMC Installed connected to a HDTV via HDMI
- Australian Catch-up TV Add-on
Installing Add-ons/Repository on to your XBMC Media Player
I assume that you have XBMC installed already on your device, so I won’t be explaining how to do it. I recommend the use of XBMC Gothman, other versions may be OK, but it may not be very reliable and even sometimes it won’t work.
First we need to get your add-on for the region that you live in. I live in Sydney Australia, so I will be installing the Australian Catch-up TV Add-ons. A list of other available unofficial Add-ons can be found here. Click on the file named repository.googlecode.xbmc-catchuptv-au-1.3.zip and remember where you saved the file.
Next, Start up your XBMC Media Player, Navigate to System > Settings
Navigate to Add-ons and press enter
In the Add-ons menu, Select Install from zip file
Then, browse for the file that you saved earlier and then select the file, XBMC Media Player will then install the add-on, a message will appear saying that the add-on has been installed.
Go back to the Add-ons menu and Select Get Add-ons
Scroll down the list and you will see XBMC CatchupTV AU Addons (Enabled) highlight it and press enter. In the Catchup TV Menu, Select Video Add-ons
In the Video Add-ons menu, you will see a selection of Catch-up TV available to you Select one Such as Plus7 and it will ask you to install it, if it is not installed. Do this for other Channels you want to install. Go back to main menu, select Videos > Video Add-ons, and you will see a list of Add-ons available, scroll down the list till you see the one you have installed. in this example we installed the Plus7 Add-on for Australia TV.
Select it and then you will be presented with a list of shows available to watch. Select the desired TV Show. and then the Episode and Season, available to you and then press enter and it should start to play.
Pros and Cons of XBMC Catch-up Add-on Services
- Never Miss your favorite TV Show again.
- Need an unlimited Internet connection to watch TV Shows as it can chew your download limits if you have restrictions.
- If your in a certain part of the world, you may need use region blocking services to watch TV Shows.
- XBMC and addons is still very buggy and it may not always work.
XBMC is an excellent alternative to other streaming services on the net today and its a true video on demand service. It may take some time to learn the system, and get it setup the way you want it. Once you have it setup, and connected to your HDTV, you will be totally hooked. Never again will you miss your favorite TV Show, and you can access this service, anywhere in the world.
The System is not perfect, as sometimes some add-ons do not work, and are not compatible with every device. However, this type of setup looks very promising, and there is a huge fan base, already around the world using the system.
What are your thoughts about XBMC and the use of Add-ons? Have your say by leaving your comments below.