August 2017 Update: new TVAddons repo alternatives
TVAddons, a website that provided third-party Kodi add-ons does not exist anymore. With a staggering 1,500 add-ons listed on its website, TVAddons was shut down and the domains operated by the website were transferred to a Canadain law firm. Alarmingly, 40 million users were connected to the TVAddons servers during March 2017 before it mysteriously disappeared. Experts fear that the new domain owner can steal data of former TVAddons users. “These are unsandboxed Python add-ons. The person [in control of] the repo could do whatever they wanted,” said Kodi Project Manager Nathan Betzen.
40 Million Users
TVAddons was used by millions of worldwide users to install illegal Kodi add-ons. These extensions let users watch copyrighted content. On the other hand, dish networks started a crack down on Kodi add-on websites. Without much success, there are tens of websites that have mushroomed since the closure of TVAddons offering customers an alternative to TVAddons.ag
Alternatives Mushrooming Up
There are several new services providers who’re now trying to fill the market gap created due to a mysterious and abrupt closure of TVAddones.ag. Services such as Exodus, BOB, iStream, BlackHat Christian TV, and Noobsandners are some TVAddons alternatives.
Some Kodi-centric websites are also encouraging users to create their own Kodi add-ons anonymously. “It’s easy to make your own Kodi add-on that pulls from YouTube movies uploaded by anybody,” wrote Ian from Kodifiretvstick.com
The way TVAddons closure was reported in media shows that there’s a love-hate relationship of reviewers when it comes to Kodi’s illicit add-on services. Trustedreviews.com carried the news with the damning headline that reads “another nail in Kodi’s coffin as popular TVAddons site shuts down“.
The popular website TorrentFreak tapped the opportunity to describe the situation as “TVAddons’ domains are now being run by a law firm which refuses to answer questions but has the power to do whatever it likes with them, within the law of course,” observed Torrent Freak. ““If some malware author wanted, he could easily install a watcher that reports back the user’s IP address and everything they were doing in Kodi. If the law firm is actually an anti-piracy group, that seems like the likeliest thing I can think of,” observed Andy of Torrent Freak.
While Kodi itself is not illegal, the set-top and pre-loaded boxes with copyrighted content are illegal. A recent ruling by the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) declared that ‘sale of media players deliberately pre-loaded with links to copyrighted content is illegal’.
Why Doesn’t Dish Networks Roll Out a $10/month Service?
Some problems have rather simple solutions. One reader provided some food for thought for the dish network companies in the following comment he made.
“What I find ironic in this is that Dish and all the others like them don’t stop for a second and think…If they would just release a service like Netflix at an affordable $10/month for basic and more for sports etc add–ons. They could stop this now. People are just tired of paying $100s for scheduled TV, when we want on demand content…what we want, when we want it… but no no they will continue to polarize us from them.”
How To Tackle Illegal Add-ons?
Apparently, this might be what dish networks will ultimately do but only after the fuss, in the form of crack down on Kodi add-ons. I’ve already reported that the use of Kodi add-ons is widespread, as revealed in the report by Sandvine Broadband Networks. There has to be a creative solution to this problem of illegal Kodi add-ons because simply cracking down on add-on services one after the other is proving counter productive.