A lot of people assume that using an application like XBMC means that you are pirating all of the material you are going to watch, but there are plenty of legal video streaming solutions available as well. There are a bunch of developers that have put together plugins so that a lot of online video streaming sites can be accessed directly through add-ons in XBMC.
What you’ll want to do after you get XBMC installed is head on over to the video plugins section, which can be found in Settings -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> All Add-ons -> Video Add-ons. Here you’ll find plugins available to stream shows from HGTV, Food Network, and dozens of other video sites including podcast networks like TWiT.
You aren’t limited to just what’s available in the default add-ons repository either. If you venture over into the XBMC forums you’ll find that there are a lot more add-ons available for services like Hulu. So just because you don’t see one of your favorite video services listed in the add-ons repository doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find an add-on that works with it. Since Hulu is so popular I thought I’d give a quick rundown on how to get it set up in XBMC:
- Download the “repository.bluecop.xbmc-plugins.zip” file
- In XBMC navigate to Settings -> Add-ons
- Select the option to Install From ZIP File
- Browse for the repository file you downloaded and add it
- You may need to wait a few minutes before continuing on otherwise the add-on may not show up yet, or you can just restart XBMC.
- On the Add-ons screen go to Get Add-ons -> Bluecop Add-on Repository -> Video Add-ons -> Hulu. You should now see the Install button to install the Hulu add-on.
- You can configure some of the settings (such as how many ads you want to see and when you want to see them), or you can just flip over to the Videos section of XBMC and starting watching shows from Hulu.
Keep in mind that the list of shows can be pretty overwhelming (currently over 1600), but you can save your favorites by highlighting the show, pulling up the context menu (“C” on the keyboard), and choosing the Add to Favorites option. That will serve as a makeshift bookmark, and will be accessible directly from the Videos -> Favorites menu in XBMC.
CyberNet’s XBMC Guides:
- XBMC: Introduction to Our Upcoming Guides
Our introduction provides some of the deciding factors for switching from Windows Media Center to XBMC.
- XBMC: Build Your Own HTPC
Our extensive guide on the hardware we chose for our home theater PCs (HTPCs), the cost, and some tips on choosing the hardware for your own HTPC.
- XBMC: Prepare and Optimize Windows 7
A helpful list of tips to optimize the performance of Windows 7 so that the system is able to offer as many resources to XBMC as it can.
- XBMC: IR Receiver and Remote (Harmony, Xbox 360, and More)
If you want your HTPC to operate like a set-top box you’ll definitely want to get a remote control configured, and for me this was a critical step so that I wouldn’t have to be concerned about less tech-savvy users trying to use my TV.
- XBMC: Share and Sync Media/Settings Between Multiple XBMC Installs
Configuring XBMC to share settings between multiple instances means you’ll be able to stop a show in one room, and seamlessly pick up where you left off in another room.
- XBMC: Fit the Picture to Your TV with Overscan
If XBMC doesn’t fit your TV screen perfectly there are a couple of steps you can take to get it just right.
- XBMC: Installing Skins
How to tweak the appearance of XBMC so that it looks the way you want it to.
- XBMC: Custom Home Screen Menu Backgrounds
Make the backgrounds of your chosen skin/theme a little more interesting by having it flip through artwork from your favorite TV shows and movies.
- XBMC: Dynamic Weather Backgrounds
If you’re using the Aeon MQ 3 theme you can have it use dynamic wallpapers that change based on the time of day and current weather conditions.
- XBMC: SMB on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion)
I use a Mac to serve up files to my XBMC instances running on Windows, and so my preferred protocol for sharing files is SMB. This guide explains how you can get a XBMC-compatible version of SMB running on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
- XBMC: Adding Media Sources
Learn how to add your media to XBMC and turn on the appropriate content scrapers.
- XBMC: Troubleshoot Buffering Issues
Trying to troubleshoot buffer issues in XBMC can be quite a pain, and so I lay out some of the most common culprits.
- XBMC: Test Your HTPC with High Bitrate Sample Videos
Want to see how well your HTPC performs? Throw some of these high bitrate 1080p sample videos at it.
- XBMC: More Advanced Settings
Configure some of the settings that you won’t find anywhere in the GUI.
- XBMC: Stream Hulu, Food Network, and More
Thanks to add-ons you can stream videos from some of your favorite sources including Hulu, Food Network, HGTV, TWiT, and more.
- XBMC: AirPlay on Windows
Send videos from your iOS device to any XBMC instance with very little configuration.
- XBMC: Web Interface and Chrome Extension
As long as you are on the same network as your XBMC box you can control it from any browser using the built-in web interface, or you can install a Chrome extension to make it even easier.
- XBMC: iPhone and iPad Remote
If you own an iPhone or iPad you can enjoy one of the best XBMC remote control experiences I’ve seen, and it will only cost you a few bucks.
- XBMC: A List of Our Guides, Plus Helpful Wiki and Forum Posts
A recap of all the guides we’ve written as well as useful wiki and forum post from the official XBMC.org site.
- XBMC: Free and Official iOS Remote for XBMC Released
This is the free and official XBMC remote control iOS app (optimized for both the iPhone and iPad). It will let you easily control all of the XBMC instances in your house as long as they are all on the same network.
- XBMC: Running XBMC on Startup in Windows 8
Learn how you can make XBMC start automatically when Windows 8 boots.
- XBMC: Send YouTube Videos From Chrome to XBMC
Send YouTube videos from your PC to any XBMC instance in a single click.
- XBMC: Aeon MQ 4 Skin
If you’re looking for one of the best and most popular XBMC skins the Aeon MQ 4 is a great choice.
- XBMC: Android Widget Remote Control
Control multiple instances of XBMC without ever having to open an app on your Android device!