Kodi: How to – Enhance your TV Show viewing experience

Introduction to Kodi

As you may be aware, Kodi is an open source platform agnostic media centre used for many, many media related things!  This guide already assumes that you know what Kodi is, and the basics of using it, and if not, please check out Ash’s excellent ‘How to’ primer to Kodi here on Geek Power.

We at Geek Power love Kodi, and use it for many purposes.  I myself run Kodi from an always-on Raspberry Pi, which is linked to an always-on NAS device that can stream my personal movies, pictures, music and can even stream stuff directly from my personal Google Drive.  It is an extremely versatile piece of software, however in order to take the best advantage of it, it makes for an excellent light-weight Internet-connected media streamer.

This guide will help to enhance your Kodi experience with regards to TV Show’s predominately; however it can also be applied to movie watching, depending on your own personal dabbling’s with Add-On’s and the like.  To this end, we are going to concentrate on two particular add-ons:  Trakt and SPECTO…fork.  The next two paragraphs describe SPECTO…fork, and Trakt, however if it is TL;DR, please skip to the actual guide on how to do it instead!

Genesis is dead…Long live SPECTO…Fork!

EDIT – 09/02/2016 – In an effort to distance SPECTO from the original Genesis Add-on, at the original developers request, SPECTO – Genesis was renamed to SPECTO…fork last night.  All references in the article have been amended to reflect this change.  If you have previously followed this guide, you may have to follow the ‘how to do it’ steps over again to correctly configure the add-on.

One of the most popular add-ons used for streaming movies and TV shows through Kodi, was called Genesis, however at the end of November 2015, the developer of Genesis abandoned the project because a lot of people were trying to monetise what was essentially freely developed open sourced software.  Genesis officially died a slow death from that point onwards, but at the end of January 2016, Polish developer MrKnow created his own ‘fork’ of Genesis called ‘SPECTO’, which essentially revives the old Genesis, but fixes all the things that were broken since then.  It is hoped that the developer that has now taken over will maintain the add-on for as long as possible, but for now, it is working brilliantly. This add-on will act as the source of the TV Shows you wish to stream.

What is Trakt?

Trakt is a platform that allows you to keep track of your favourite TV Shows and Movies by integrating with media centres such as Kodi, allowing the data to be scrobbled and updated in real time. Trakt is free to use, and takes minutes to setup.  Just open Trakt.tv from any web browser or mobile device to get started!

It can get quite detailed, showing your viewing habits, various stats on things like what genres you tend to watch, how much you’ve watched, ratings of shows and movies based on what other users think, and will also throw in suggestions based on your habits in its ‘Discover’ section in order to further feed your movie and TV Show watching desires.

Trakt shows the progress of TV Shows you're watching and updates in real time!
Trakt shows the progress of TV Shows you’re watching and updates in real time! View on any web browser!

Once you open a free account with Trakt, you can add shows to your ‘Watchlist’, and easily mark off the shows you have watched as you get through them.  The beauty of linking a Trakt account with various Kodi add-ons is that it will allow syncing between your add-ons, the built-in Kodi library, and Trakt, so that you are always up to date with whatever you are watching, and on whatever devices you set this up with!  It is quite exciting, as it allows you to create a ‘set it, and forget it’ scenario with your shows, so that you never miss another episode of your favourite show ever again.

How to do it!

OK, you’ve made it this far, let’s begin the steps towards enhancing your TV Show viewing experience!  Before continuing, please make sure you’ve satisfied the following prerequisites:

  1. Have Kodi installed on your desired device
  2. Signed up to Trakt with a free account, and added a few TV shows to your ‘Watchlist
  3. Have a device with an Internet browser handy, which is necessary to authorise Trakt with Kodi when the time is right

Now you’ve gotten the above sorted, please read on:

Step 1. Install the SPECTO…fork Add-on

Fortunately, Trakt is already available as an in-built add-on ready to install later on in Step 4 of the guide, however we will need to do some work to get Specto-Genesis installed.

  • Select SYSTEM -> File Manager
  • Select Add Source
  • Select None
  • Type the following precisely as written – http://filmkodi.com/repository and select Done
  • Highlight the box beneath Enter a name for this media source and type: .filmkodi

The text in the field should appear exactly as in this screenshot!

The text in the field should appear exactly as in this screenshot!

  • Go back to the Home Screen
  • Select SYSTEM
  • Select Settings
Accessing Settings
Accessing Settings
  • Select Add-Ons
  • Select Install from zip file
20160204_223124
Selecting the repository!
  • Select .filmkodi
  • Select repository.filmkodi.com.zip An ‘Add-on enabled‘ notification should appear shortly
20160204_223138
Once a repository has been installed, the ‘Add-on enabled’ notification flashed up in the bottom left
  • Select Install from repository
  • Select Kodi filmkodi.com repository
  • Select Video Add-ons
  • Select Specto…fork
  • Select Install and wait for the Add-on enabled notification to appear

SPECTO…fork is now installed!  We now have some configuration to do!

Step 2. Integrating SPECTO…fork with Trakt

At this stage, you should have already created a Trakt account, and added at least a couple of shows to your watch list!  We will now integrate SPECTO…fork to your personal Trakt account

  • Go to your Video Add-ons
  • Select SPECTO…fork
  • Select Tools
20160204_224345
Tools within SPECTO – Genesis
  • Select SETTINGS: Accounts
  • Under Accounts, enter your Trakt Username and Password in the section under the Trakt field, then select the OK button at the bottom of the screen
20160204_224504
Enter your Trakt username and password here
  • Go back a screen and select Tools
  • Select GENESIS: Library
  • Select Trakt: Import TV Watchlist
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After pressing Yes here, your Trakt Watchlist will sync, and may take some time depending on how big it is!
  • Select Yes, and wait for your Trakt watchlist to sync over

At this stage, SPECTO…fork is now linked with your Trakt account!  One of the cool things you can do from here is select ‘Latest Episodes’ and see what personal upcoming TV Shows you have left to watch!  The penultimate step in this guide is to integrate the SPECTO…fork library with Kodi.

Step 3. Integrating Specto…fork with the Kodi Library

  • Within your Video Add-ons, go to Specto…fork
  • Select Tools
  • Select GENESIS: Library
20160204_225529
Accessing the context menu
  • HIGHLIGHT Genesis: TV folder and press the context menu key (right-click in Windows, c in Android, menu-key on Amazon devices, return key on Smart TV’s)
  • Select Set Content
  • Set This directory contains to TV Shows and select OK
20160204_225610
Once the folder is set, the SPECTO…fork library obtains TV Show details directly from TVDB

Step 4. Link Kodi library with Trakt

Make sure at this step you have a device with a browser handy, as the first thing you need to do here is browse to: http://trakt.tv/pin/999 login with your user credentials if necessary, click the green ‘Authorize button, and make a note of the PIN number that pops up

  • Get back to your main Home Screen
  • Select SYSTEM
  • Select Settings
  • Select Add-ons
  • Select Install from Repository
20160204_223551
Exploring the Kodi Add-on repository to install Trakt!
  • Select Kodi Add-on repository
  • Select Program Add-ons
  • Select Trakt
20160204_230928
Installing Trakt! Once installed do not launch it until you’ve completed the rest of the steps in the guide!
  • Select Install and wait for the Add-on enabled notification to appear
  • Whilst HIGHLIGHTING Trakt, open the Context Menu and select Configure
  • In General select How do I authorize the trakt addon…
20160204_231057
Here you should enter the PIN you obtained from the link earlier
  • Enter the PIN number you made a note of earlier, and select AUTHORIZE then wait for the Trakt Authorization Complete message to appear
  • From here, go back to your HOME SCREEN
  • Select PROGRAMS
  • Finally, select Trakt
20160204_230915
You can now launch Trakt, which will initiate a sync between the Kodi library and your Trakt account. Congratulations!

This will now synchronise the Kodi library that you linked with SPECTO…fork to Trakt so that anything you might have watched, and will watch going forward is correctly marked.

That’s it!  If it wasn’t there already, you should notice that a TV Shows menu should be present on your home screen, and anything you have left to watch will appear towards the centre of the screen.  You can select these shows, and it will obtain the streams directly from SPECTO…fork.  Once you have completed viewing your show, a rating box will appear whereby you can quickly rate the show.  All the data then gets synchronised back to Trakt and the show is marked as watched in all libraries!

If you have any questions regarding the guide above, please leave us a comment below!  Hope you enjoy, and look forward to more on the Kodi series of ‘How to’ on Geek Power soon!

Sources: Kodi, Trakt, SPECTO…fork, Thanks to M for providing the screens!

Jassen Payen

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  • H00pyFr00d

    Top tips! I’m currently using Plex with my Synology NAS as it can run it natively but this could be a better option.

  • Bruno

    Was looking forward to try this, but once again, no avail… Since that genesis stoped working with hd streams, i’ve been trying to find the best “fork” of it. but no matter which one I try, no luck when it comes to sync trakt. Put the username (not the email), the password, but it doesn’t do the trick. Even made a clean openelec installation. I’m on a raspeberry pi 1 with OpenElec 6.0.1. Do I need to install trakt.py service? Any help would do.

    • jpxdude

      Hi Bruno, thanks or the comment! It sounds like you’re doing everything right. When you enter the details in Specto, it should pick up the Trakt information and show your lists as soon as you go into the ‘latest episodes’ option. When you sign into the Trakt website itself, have you added any shows to your ‘watchlist’ already? This is a prerequisite for moving forward, as you need to have at least 1 show in your ‘watchlist’ before anything shows up.

      Trakt also has a weird quirk where if you add something to a watchlist, then add an entire show to ‘watch history’ it REMOVES the show from the watchlist. Might be worth checking if you have anything in the ‘watchlist’ directly from the website.

  • Scott Sumpter

    I linked to your guide as the beginning steps for a guide I made for automagically moving your library from Gensis to Specto and maintaining all of the watched shows:
    http://www.thegamespace.ca/2016/02/move-library-and-watched-shows-from-genesis-to-specto-and-likely-any-others/
    I haven’t written many of these so just want to make sure that’s ok, and how I can give you credit, or is linking directly to this post sufficient?

    • jpxdude

      Hey there, Scott! Thanks for stopping on by. I appreciate you taking the time to tell us about linking the the guide, and happy that it is working well for you!

      What you have done looks good to me, although it would be cool if you could include a link somewhere in your post (or a source) to our main website. Stay tuned for more guides coming up, and all the best with your own website!

  • Max Power

    I’ve been testing Specto and Exodus. The Specto sources are really weak and slow. Exodus doesn’t allow for library integration.

  • sunnyfrimley

    Hi, having a problem following this. I have added the source http://filmkodi.com/repository and called it .flimkodi but when I come to the install from zip file section, I click on .filmkodi and it displays an empty folder. Any idea where I am going wrong?

    • John Peiris

      To Install Specto:

      Open Kodi
      Select SYSTEM > File Manager
      Select Add Source
      Select None
      Type the following EXACTLY http://kodi.filmkodi.com and select Done
      Highlight the box underneath Enter a name for this media Source, type filmkodi & Select OK
      Go back to your Home Screen
      Select SYSTEM
      Select Add-Ons
      Select Install from zip file
      Select filmkodi
      Select repository.filmkodi.com
      Select repository.filmkodi.com-x.x.x.zip
      Wait for Add-on enabled notification
      Select Install from Repository or Get Add-Ons (on Helix)
      Select Filmkodi.com repository – MRKNOW
      Select Video Add-ons
      Select Specto – … Fork
      Select Install
      Wait for Add-on enabled notification