Building a Home Entertainment Machine with a Remote (Part 2)

After a few weeks of using the computer, some issues come to mind. Apologies for not documenting them sooner but I've had some personal issues come up between then and now.


Many videos use the AV1 codec and only the very newest video cards support hardware decoding. If you have an old or weak CPU (like a Phenom, Celeron, older Pentium, or even worse), abandon using AV1 and use H.264 instead. Otherwise, AV1 will cause playback to be quite slow, until it suddenly briefly speeds up without warning. This is somehow a style of directing, so if that's your bag and want all your videos to be that way, enjoy. Otherwise, get better hardware, another source using a different codec, or transcode the offending files.

Video tagging

Kodi relies on online databases to get information, but they are spotty. You can import information manually but it is not fun. It relies upon the directory and name structure to be just so to match the system in their databases, so unless you have some pressing reason why you can't rename/move files, that would be the easiest way to try to solve that problem.

Fixing the remote and sound output

Unfortunately on some systems like mine, the commands for the remote are not reloaded on startup and it uses a different output than HDMI by default. This can be rectified by adding a batch file to fix them every time the computer logs in.

Create a new file in your home folder and name it whatever you like so long as the name ends in ".sh". Open up a terminal and run pactl list sinks. There will be a list of audio outputs there but you're only concerned with the one containing the term "hdmi". Your script file should look like the below, replacing whatever's in parentheses with what you have for your system:

pactl set-default-sink (hdmi name)
echo (your password) | sudo sudo ir-keytable -c
echo (your password) | sudo ir-keytable -w (location of your .toml file)
kodi &

Save it and close. In the terminal, run chmod +x (name of the file you just made). Go back to Session and Startup. Delete the entry for Kodi because this script is going to handle that. Add a new entry and set the command to your script. Trigger will be "on login". Make sure that the entry is enabled (check box is checked) after you click OK). This issue should be fixed on next restart/login.


Unfortunately, I have not found a way to access YouTube from Kodi without creating a Google account and requesting an API key from them. This is an intentional decision by Google to restrict access to people they can't track via an account/browser! The best workaround I can find is by using a program like NewPipe (on Android) or JDownloader (on PC/Mac/Linux) to download the file and then transfer into one of the Kodi library folders. Both programs literally parse the video page looking for the file name to download. If someone knows a way to retrieve videos like either of them do within Kodi, please do let me know but I have not found an addon that does so.

Tags: Technology Kodi Linux