Native Netflix Kodi plugin being developed

The all-in-one media player app Kodi has support for a lot of different types of media sources, although Netflix has been one that has required numerous workarounds. The reason is due to DRM. Kodi has has some support for Widevine DRM for a while, but not enough to entirely support the service.

That’s changing due to new support for DRM in Kodi’s software platform. On Android, there is already support for a Netflix add-on in Agile builds of Kodi 18. As shown in the video below, a user is able to browse content on Netflix and play it smoothly. This is because of the new InputStream addon which allows for playback of protected content.

Edit: As a commenter points out, Kodi will not natively support DRM, but will be able to reroute binary streams into the device’s native DRM libraries in order to obtain decoded content.

The plugin code, which is unofficial, is open sourced on GitHub. Right now the plugin is pretty barebones, with features like “Continue Watching” and show metadata not present. But it does support multiple profiles, search, and browsing, so all the functionality you’d expect.

Everything here is still experimental, so don’t rely on it too much for the moment. Most Android TVs (with the Razer Forge being a notable exception) already support the Netflix app, which may give a better experience. But if you’re a fan of Kodi, you can follow the GitHub link above to get started. You can also take a look at this thread on Kodinerds, which is in German, as they are looking for beta testers.

Thanks to our anonymous tipper

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker) Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop. Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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  • Tinwarble

    Just a point of clarification here, and it’s an important one. Kodi does not and will not support DRM. What it might do is allow Kodi to tap into DRM already present on a device.

    So for instance, with Android DRM is already present, or if you have Chrome installed. Kodi will be able to use that to play protected material. It will not be something that Kodi will be able to do as a standalone app.

    • Michael Habel

      Not sure how or if Android Chrome will be the Savior that you, and Team Kodi are looking for. As Android has its own in-house DRM called Widevine. And, as a general rule your Fully Loaded Kodi ‘Droid Box, will only have Widevine Level 3. If you want to watch Netflix, and or some other Pay for OTT Service, you are going to need a Widevine L1 Device. Which itself will have to be also certified by Netflix itself.

      I don’t know if the rumors of Team Kodi being in talks with Netflix, and Nagravision are truth, or mere rumors. But, even if there were some truth in it. I really doubt it will suddenly give those with a Fully Loaded ‘Droid Box, access to such services.

      • Tinwarble

        Yes, already know that but wasn’t referring to Android Chrome. Chrome on PCs is what I was referring, Kodi doesn’t just run on Android after all. As I stated “with Android DRM is already present”. Kodi will only use the DRM present, whatever that DRM is. It’s not a matter of being a “savior” it’s about having more options.

        And as a Team-Kodi member I can tell you that most rumors are not true.

        • Michael Habel

          Well only as a point of bemusement, was it even worth a thought exercise, and while there are some here that would be… Shall we say upset? Over such a possible DRM implementation of Kodi. I for One would welcome it! But, I would seriously ask how that would even work with Widevine L3? Where Widevine L3 is pretty much the same thing as having no DRM at all! Having had a certified Widevine L1 Box that I screwed up with a firmware update that left me with Widevine L3. The lack of Netflix is killing me.

          • Tinwarble

            Well, again, there will NOT be any implementation of DRM in Kodi. The only people that should be getting upset (and really there is not even cause for them to) is the GPL purist.

            If your system only provides you with L3, then you would only get L3. You will get no more or less support than the Widevine level your box currently supports.

            But it’s pretty much all explained here: https://kodi.tv/article/dev-journal-kodi-and-drm

    • Nick Felker

      Thanks for the clarification. I’ll update the post to make that more clear.

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