Kodi Select Stream (VIDEO) How-To Guide: SQUASH Buffering & Lag

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So you installed Kodi and got your TV Addons too, but you need to know how to choose the best stream in Kodi?  Use this Kodi select stream step-by-step How-To guide (with Video tutorial below!) to solve your stream-selecting woes.

Selecting a Stream in Kodi: Differences Between TV Addons

From one TV Addon to another TV Addon, you’ll have different “menu setups” for playing streams.  Most TV Addons will present the user first with a list of categories to choose from.  Then after you choose a category, it’ll display the movies in the category as thumbnail icons or as a text list.  Then, once you choose an individual movie, the TV Addon will usually display a list of Sources which you can choose from to play the movie / TV show.  Exodus, for example, presents the user with a list of sources sorted from highest stream quality to lowest stream quality.

VIDEO:  Kodi Select Stream How-To Guide for Exodus & Other TV Addons

What Is Kodi Stream Quality Really?

Kodi Stream Quality refers to the general level of detail of a digital video or audio stream in Kodi (formerly known as XBMC).

For streaming online video, the stream quality often refers to the overall perceived experience.  For example, if the movie was recorded with a handheld camcorder, the stream quality would be relatively low when compared to a Blu-Ray copy.

Torrent Stream Quality

If you’ve perused movie torrents, you’ve seen the “Stream type” in the title of the movie.

For example, inspect this sample movie stream title with us:
  • Big Buck Bunny BDRip XviD-MEDiC Torrent
    • In this movie torrent title sample, “BDRip XviD” is the stream type and “MEDiC” is the person or group who “released” it.  “BDRip XviD” indicated the movie was “ripped” from a Blu-Ray Disc and compressed using XviD compression, resulting in a medium-high end stream quality.

Common video stream compression types in Kodi select stream choices:

  • XviD:  XviD is code for “low file/stream size, medium-to-high quality” and has existed for years.  If you have an average Internet connection speed, XviD movies should be perfect for you.
  • BDRip:  These streams are taken directly from Blu-Rays.

Stream Quality Levels & Ranges (SD, BDRip, XviD etc.)

Below is a list of video stream quality designations.  This list changes and shrinks and grows, so keep an eye out for changes as you browse for movie streams and torrents.

High Stream Quality Movie Stream Type Index

HD, or High Defintion streams, are common throughout the Internet.  However, with bandwidth requirements increasing daily, HD streams become laggier and laggier every day.

  • BD Rip:  These movies were ripped from a Blu Ray Disc (“BD”).
  • HD:  The “HD” designation is a general term that means the stream or source is typically High Quality, or High Definition.  “HD” is usually a decent indicator of stream quality, but the actual stream type is a better indicator.
    • HD is supposed to mean 1080p, but the term is thrown around so loosely that even 720p can be considered “HD” by some.
  • WebRip:  A webripped stream is a stream that was taken from a stream source on the web.  This could be a paid or unpaid service site – really anywhere that might host a movie stream.  These streams are typically higher quality than CAMs because they’re digitally copied from the source – not analog using a shaky camcorder, for example.
  • Blu-Ray:  Blu-Ray is one source for movie streams.  Years ago, the Blu-Ray encryption algorithm was cracked and since then we’ve seen Blu Ray movie rips all over the Internet.
  • BD Rip / XviD:  These movies were ripped from a Blu Ray Disc and compressed using XviD video compression.  They typically tend to be medium-high quality, somewhere inbetween DVD and Blu-Ray.

Medium Stream Quality: Devices Which Produce SD Streams

Also referred to as “SD”, or Standard Definition, medium quality streams are common.  They’re relatively easy for servers and networks to push through, since the amount of data transferred is lower than HD streams.  The picture quality is relatively high and difficult for many people to differentiate between SD streams and HD streams.

  • DVD Rip / XViD:  These movies were ripped from a DVD and compressed using XviD video compression
  • HDCAM:  HDCAM streams were recorded using a High Definition camera, such as a GoPro or a high-end camcorder.  These recordings typically result in medium quality movie streams.

Low Stream Quality: Devices Which Produce Low Quality Streams:

Even though some of the devices below can record HD video, they would not be great for recording a movie to be streamed online.  The “low stream quality” indicates the end product in comparison to a direct digital copy like mentioned above (Blu-Ray, 4K, etc).

  • CAM:  Handheld camcorders
    • Camcorders are often used to record movies in theaters.  These streams are referred to as CAMs.  Yes, these are the streams you’ve seen where you can see the movie theater itself, possibly some of the people in the theater watching the movie, and even maybe some popcorn being thrown.  CAMs are usually low quality and appear around the same time that a movie reaches the box office.  This is a quick, easy way for people to watch In-Theater movies, even though they’re low quality.
  • Smartphones
    • Smartphones have been used like camcorders to record low-quality streams, but using a smartphone to record a movie is not wise and not common, due to the low stream quality, short life span of phone batteries, and other factors.
  • Webcams
    • Webcams typically produce low quality streams, even though they have HD capabilities.