The release of Kodi 19 is just around the corner and with it comes big changes that affects all media center hardware vendors.
One of the most obvious changes, is the switch to Python3 (the programming language that is used by the Kodi add-ons) which is incompatible with the Python2 that was previously used.
All add-ons have had to be updated to be compatible with Python3 so that they also work with Kodi 19, that has been completed successfully for many addons, but there are also many other add-ons that have not yet been updated, and therefore do not yet work with Kodi 19.
The second big change concerns the methods of playing videos done by each of the hardware vendors.
In the past there was no cross-platform standard under Linux, so many adjustments and different approaches were necessary, for example “Raspberry Pi” so that it could be used with Kodi.
With the release of Kodi 19 – the standard video playback for Linux is used and the legacy techniques have been removed.
This has required that the drivers support the standard on all of the hardware vendors that are supported by LibreELEC.
This is where it gets difficult.
It is not a change that can or has been able to be made quickly. The current status is that some hardware vendors are further progressed than the others.
As a consequence – we will continue to support LE9.2 instead of just the latest version (LE10) as before. As soon there are serious improvements with a hardware vendors platform, we will also improve LE at this point and ship a new major release.
The Raspberry Pi 4 works well but is not yet fully tested to consider it stable.
Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 are currently not that far along – as the focus has been on the Raspberry Pi 4. RPi 2 and 3 will follow after Raspberry Pi 4.
Unfortunately RPi 0 and 1 will be omitted, the hardware simply no longer has the power to function properly under LE10.
The old X11 standard is still used here, which means there is no HDR support yet and everything works like it did before.
We will officially support Alwinner for the first time, there is good support across all devices.
The version based on the Linux video standard is equal to the LE9.2 version.
Unfortunately the development in the areas that are important for Kodi has not yet advanced to a state that we can recommend it to the broader audience. Development in Linux, LibreELEC and Kodi continues daily with this hardware.
We will see a stable LE10 version for Generic (PC), Allwinner and Rockchip.
The Raspberry Pi 4 remains as an alpha release because it is currently still work in progress.
RPi 2 and 3 will be shipped in a future version of LibreELEC (e.g. LE10.2.)
For Amlogic – development continues and once the required components of Linux are made available, a release of LibreELEC will be made for this hardware.