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How to Install Kodi on Apple TV: An Ultimate Guide in 2024

March 30, 2024

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Getting Kodi up and running on your Apple TV is the ultimate way to enhance your streaming entertainment experience. However, since Apple heavily regulates their App Store and tvOS platform, installing this versatile open-source media center requires a bit of tinkering.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll cover how to download and install Kodi 19 Matrix for seamless streaming on both Apple TV HD and 4K models. Let’s get started!

What is Kodi and Why Should I Get It On My Apple TV?

Kodi Logo

Kodi is an open-source home theater media player and hub first released in 2002. Available on many platforms beyond just Apple TV, Kodi allows managing and playing videos, music, podcasts, programs, games, and more from local and online media sources in one place.

Key Advantages of Having Kodi on Apple TV:

  • Aggregates content from 10+ top sources like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, free movies, and more
  • Enhances media library organization and playback
  • Offers customized skins and interfaces for personalized viewing, unlike platforms like Jellyfin and Stremio which have less UI customization.
  • Expands access with 1000s of free and premium Kodi add-ons and plugins
  • Social viewing features for watching media with friends
  • Available for Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi, and more

So if you want more control over how you access entertainment—Kodi supercharges the possibilities. The streaming software essentially turns your Apple TV into a customizable home media center filled with movies, shows, sports, music, retro gaming, and other content options from Kodi’s open ecosystem.

And the best part? Kodi is 100% free and open source – there’s no subscription fee or license cost involved. Let’s jump in!

Apple TV Models and Installation Methods

The specific way you install Kodi varies slightly depending on if you have an Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K. But no worries, we’ve simplified setup so it’s beginner-friendly.

Here’s a breakdown of Apple TV models and Kodi installation methods:

Apple TV ModelYear ReleasedInstallation Options
Apple TV HD2015Xcode + USB cable
Apple TV 4K – 1st Gen2017Xcode + Wi-Fi
Apple TV 4K – 2nd & 3rd Gen2021 to nowXcode + Wi-Fi
  • For Apple TV HD you’ll use Xcode plus a direct USB cable connection.
  • All Apple TV 4K models require downloading Xcode to sign and send the Kodi app wirelessly.

No matter what Apple TV you own, using Xcode is mandatory since that prepares Kodi’s installation file properly for tvOS. From there it’s sent to your device either via USB or Wi-Fi.

Now let’s cover what you’ll need before starting the installation process.

Requirements for Installing Kodi on Apple TV

  • Apple TV HD/4K running latest tvOS update
  • Kodi installation file for Apple tvOS (.deb or .ipa format)
  • A Mac with latest macOS and Xcode from Mac App Store
  • iOS App Signer app
  • Apple ID to sign into Xcode

Optional: I highly recommend having the latest Kodi 19.5 Matrix since it’s optimized for Apple silicon with speed boosts. Older versions may be sluggish.

For some background, Xcode is Apple’s developer suite, so we’ll harness that power to sideload and install Kodi. App Signer afterwards verifies and prepares the upload to Apple TV.

Finally, an Apple ID lets you access Xcode and deploy the app properly. A free ID works but may cause Kodi to get revoked after 7 days – an Apple Developer account lasts a full year before needing to reinstall.

Now let’s jump into the step-by-step process!

How to Install Kodi on Apple TV HD & 4K

I’ll cover separate full tutorials for getting Kodi running on both the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K models below. Carefully follow the instructions for whichever device you own.

Install Kodi on Apple TV HD via USB Cable

If you have the 2015 Apple TV HD (4th generation) model, we’ll use Xcode plus a direct USB-C cable to sideload Kodi.

Here is the complete process:

  1. Download latest Kodi for Apple TV .deb file.
  2. Open XCode on your Mac and create new “Single View Application“.
Install Kodi On Apple Tv Hd Via Usb Cable 1
  1. Select tvOS > name app “Kodi” > input identifiers.
  2. Fix certificate issues by signing in to your Apple ID.
Install Kodi On Apple Tv Hd Via Usb Cable 2
Install Kodi On Apple Tv Hd Via Usb Cable 3
  1. Open iOS App Signer app on the Mac.
  2. Input the Kodi .deb file > Start signing process.
Install Kodi On Apple Tv Hd Via Usb Cable 4
  1. Connect Apple TV HD to Mac via USB-C when prompted.
  2. Deploy signed IPA file from Xcode to Apple TV “Devices” list.
  3. Launch Kodi app from Apple TV interface!

This Xcode sideload method is very reliable if you carefully follow each step listed above. It does require keeping your Mac nearby since the Apple TV HD stays plugged in during sideloading.

Owners can conveniently re-sign Kodi whenever necessary too – just repeat the Xcode profile installation every 7 days (free Apple ID) or annually (paid dev account).

Now let’s tackle how to install Kodi on the Apple TV 4K wirelessly.

Install Kodi on Apple TV 4K Wirelessly Using Xcode

Modern Apple TVs now come with superfast wireless connectivity instead of USB ports. So installing Kodi on Apple TV 4K models released 2017-now requires using Wi-Fi to send the app over after signing with Xcode.

Complete wireless installation process:

  1. Follow Steps 1-7 above for creating signed Kodi IPA on Xcode.
  2. Pair Apple TV 4K with Mac – approve connection code.
Install Kodi On Apple Tv 4k Wirelessly Using Xcode 1
Install Kodi On Apple Tv 4k Wirelessly Using Xcode 2
  1. Make sure devices are on same Wi-Fi network, ideally nearby.
  2. Send resulting Kodi app file from Xcode over Wi-Fi to Apple TV.
Install Kodi On Apple Tv 4k Wirelessly Using Xcode 3
  1. Launch newly installed Kodi from Apple TV interface.
  2. Enjoy! Sign again when expires after 7 days (1 year with paid dev account).

And that’s it! Kodi should now be successfully installed on your streaming Apple TV wirelessly.

The neat perk here is not needing to physically touch the Apple TV after the initial network pairing. Everything streams directly over Wi-Fi to load Kodi. Sweet!

What To Do If Kodi Installation Fails on Apple TV

Like any sideloading operation, installing Kodi on Apple TV doesn’t always go smoothly the first try.

Here are some common troubleshooting tips if your installation fails:

  • Double check Apple TV and Mac on same Wi-Fi network.
  • Reboot both devices and retry Xcode Kodi deployment.
  • Ensure using latest macOS, tvOS, Xcode, Kodi .ipa and certificates.
  • Toggle Mac/Apple TV firewalls off temporarily.
  • Try different USB cable and port if Apple TV HD.
  • Confirm Xcode tools and certificates are updated fully.
  • Attempt using alternate Apple ID for certificates.
  • Restart your Wi-Fi routers/modems.
  • Ensure no VPN active on Apple TV or Mac.
  • Delete old leftover Kodi files and do a clean reinstall.

If problems persist after trying the usual troubleshooting, you can ask the Kodi community forums for personalized help. Expert users are glad to assist! See our Kodi not working on Firestick fixes and Kodi reviews for help.

I personally find that nearly all Kodi installation frustration relates to outdated software certificates, mismatched OS versions not syncing properly, or simple network/firewall conflicts.

Carefully verifying your environment meets requirements goes a long way. Don’t hesitate to retry the process from scratch as needed – eventually you’ll get everything squared away.

Enjoying Kodi on Your Apple TV: Add-Ons, Settings, VPN

Woohoo! With Kodi fully loaded on your Apple TV, let’s briefly discuss how to start enjoying your souped up streaming setup:

Accessing Content: Kodi features a gorgeous consolidated dashboard for browsing media from all connected providers and services. Use the sidebar navigation to hop between areas like Movies, TV Shows, Music, Podcasts, and Add-Ons. Setup is a cinch whether streaming locally from your home network or tapping into online sources.

Kodi Movies

Add-Ons Expand Options: One of Kodi’s biggest perks on Apple TV is expanding entertainment and streaming possibilities with community-built add-ons. Get easy access to niche platforms like Internet Archive, free sports streaming, retro gaming, fitness videos, obscure international programming, and much more which Apple TV lacks. Safely installing add-ons from trusted repositories is simple. For alternative open source media centers, see our Kodi alternatives guide.

Kodi Add Ons

Pick Personalized Skins: Kodi lets you reskin its interface for a more customized Apple TV look and feel. Choose a visual style matching your preferences from sleek modern options like Arctic Zephyr 2 to mimics of Xbox and Netflix UI.

Kodi Skin

Enhance Streaming With VPN: Since Kodi taps into many online sources, I recommend pairing it with a fast, secure VPN to unlock extra content. Switching your virtual location via VPN also hides privacy as you stream rare add-ons. Perfect combo!

The great news is Kodi conveniently saves all settings, paired services, add-ons, watch history and other preferences as you customize things to your liking. It truly evolves into a personalized home entertainment hub.

I’m confident that after some tinkering our Kodi setup guide will have you streaming more content than ever on Apple TV. Time to cut the cord for real!

Key Takeaways for Installing Kodi on Apple TV:

  • Use Xcode on a Mac to sideload and install Kodi IPA file onto Apple TV
  • Models before 2017 use cable; 2017-now install wirelessly
  • Signing into Xcode with Developer account means less frequent renewal
  • Add-ons expand streaming options like free movies and niche sports
  • Pick customized skins for unique Apple TV interface
  • Pair Kodi streaming with a quality VPN service for privacy

Ready to supercharge your Apple TV into the ultimate streaming machine? Learn how with our guides for Kodi on LG TVs, Kodi on Samsung TVs, and Kodi on Roku TVs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Installing Kodi on Apple TV

  1. Is Kodi available in the Apple TV App Store?

No. Due to copyright complexity and Apple’s walled garden approach, Kodi isn’t allowed officially in their app ecosystem. Sideloading with Xcode is necessary.

  1. Does the installation process work the same on older Apple TV 2 and 3 models?

Unfortunately no – the Kodi software has evolved past compatibility with Apple TV generations 1-3, so this Xcode installation method only works reliably for 4th gen and newer models.

  1. What happens if my free Apple ID certificate expires after 7 days?

No worries, you can refresh and resign the Kodi certificate manually by connecting your Apple TV and repeating the Xcode steps. It takes just a few minutes if you already have the signed IPA file ready to redeploy.

  1. Is installing Kodi on Apple TV legal?

Kodi itself is 100% legal open source software. However, we caution against piracy or streaming copyright-protected content without owner permission – use trusted sources only.

  1. What are the risks of streaming with Kodi add-ons?

Some third-party video add-ons scrape pirate streams, contain malware, or violate usage rights. Using a VPN shields your privacy. But ultimately only use reputable services to avoid any legal headaches.

And there you have it – with these steps you can now unleash Kodi on your Apple TV for virtually unlimited entertainment possibilities! Take your streaming to the next level by installing must-have video and music add-ons.