One of the main contributing factors to Kodi’s runaway success is its open source architecture, which has opened the door to entire worlds of customization. From the large number of third-party add-ons that allow users to view endless streaming content to skins like Estuary that greatly improve the appearance of the interface, Kodi offers nothing if not options.
Custom Kodi builds are versions of the base software that have been customized to offer different skins and a number of pre-selected add-ons, all in one convenient package . One of the newest and most popular is the Horizon build, which features a truly fantastic skin, as well as 26 plugins that work intuitively with its menu layout. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the download and installation process, while delving into what Horizon has to offer.
Before continuing with the rest of the article, let’s take a brief moment to discuss your safety when using Kodi. While the platform is 100% legal to use, its open source nature opens the door to third-party developer plugins that can grant access to restricted content. As a result, ISPs and copyright holders have taken a somewhat grim view of Kodi, and can pre-emptively criticize its users with notifications and warnings (even when their activity is kept strictly above the board).
For this reason, we recommend getting a good VPN, which will protect you from this liability by anonymizing your online activity. There are many services on the market to choose from, but we have narrowed the field using the following criteria:
- Fast speeds
- Strong privacy provisions
- No restrictions on the types of traffic or bandwidth.
- Wide server availability
Best VPN for Kodi – IPVanish
Hands down , the best VPN we’ve found to use alongside Kodi is IPVanish, which is packed with features that users really need. For one thing, top-notch 256-AES encryption is nearly impossible to crack, even by the world’s most sophisticated computers. DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch ensure that your data remains safe even when your connection is not. A strict no-log policy will protect you from subpoenas by overreaching authorities. To boot, more than 40,000 shared IP addresses are available through 850 proxy servers in 60 countries around the world, ensuring that you always remain completely anonymous. Did we mention that IPVanish is always blazing fast, even when streaming in HD and 4K? This VPN checks all the important boxes on our criteria list and more,
How to install Horizon Build on Kodi
Once Kodi and its VPN are safely installed on your device, you are ready to download and install Horizon Build. Horizon can be found in the Ares Assistant, which can be downloaded to your Kodi as follows:
- First, you will need to download the files from the Ares Wizard repository to your device. To do this, you will need to visit http://ares-repo.eu and download aresproject.zip.
- Next, open Kodi and select Add-ons, then click the open box icon at the top of the menu on the left side of the page.
- Click Install from zip file, navigate to where you download the repository.aresproject.zip, and click Open.
- Go back to the Plugins menu and then click the open box icon again . This time, click Install from Repository> Ares Project> Program Add-ons> Ares Wizard.
- Finally click install to install the Ares wizard repository. Once the repository has been installed, a notification will appear in the upper right corner of the screen.
By following these five steps you will install Ares Assistant on your Kodi. Once you’ve successfully done that, there are just a few simpler steps to download and install the Horizon build:
- On the Kodi home page, click Add-ons> Programs> Ares Wizard.
- From the menu at the top of the screen, select Browse Compilations , scroll down and select
- Click on SamWich1986
- Click on Horizon Krypton
You can now choose to install the build on top of your existing Kodi or reinstall from scratch using the Horizon build. If you don’t mind losing any add-ons or other content on your existing Kodi, you can choose Fresh Start. This will remove your existing Kodi and reinstall a new version with the Horizon build, which should automatically restart once the installation is complete.
On the other hand, if you want to keep your existing Kodi setup and install the Horizon build as well, you’ll need to do the following:
- When the Options screen appears , you will need to verify all of the following:
- Keep my favorites
- Keep my sources
- Keep my plugin settings
- When Horizon build has been installed, you will be asked if you want to create a backup of your skin / profile. Choose Yes .
- You will then be asked if you want to enter to win prizes. We suggest that you select No here, as it seems likely that this option involves sharing user data with the developer.
- You will then be informed that Kodi needs to close to complete the installation. Select Ok. Kodi won’t restart automatically, so you’ll need to manually reopen it. Occasionally, an error message appears at this point. If you get one, quit Kodi and then reload the app. Once Kodi has opened, you should see the Horizon build, rather than the existing one.
Horizon Build: An Overview
Once you have the Horizon build installed, what exactly can you expect? The answer is a Kodi build that is tailor-made for those who want to stream multimedia content. It has a bright and cheerful appearance, and the first thing you will notice is that the menus and sub-menus are quite different from what you are used to. Horizon build offers the following streaming menu options directly from the Kodi home page:
- On live Tv
- TV shows
These menus provide a quick link to the various add-ons that are included with your Horizon build. You can scroll through them on the Kodi home page using the left arrow on your keyboard or the left button on your Amazon Fire TV remote. Here is a brief summary of what users will find in each section:
- On live Tv: The Live TV menu tab opens a long list of 129 live TV channels. Most of these are from the UK or the US, but a few others are included as well. It is not the easiest option to use; when we tested it, quite a few links just didn’t work, which was disappointing. Under the Live TV menu tab on the Kodi homepage are a few other options that are mostly self-explanatory. It includes Sky Movies, UK Turk Playlists, Filmon.TV, and 24/7 Shows, which are Kodi add-ons that expand the amount of content you can access from your device. There is also a very useful tab called Countries that allows you to search for content by country or region of origin. It’s really good for users looking for non-English content,
- Sports – The Sports menu basically offers quick links to several of the included Kodi add-ons that offer sports content. These include Maverick, Project D, SportsDevil, Halow TV, and Stream Army. Clicking on the Sports Menu tab will open Stream Army, which is a bit strange and can be annoying until you get used to it. Once there, all the plugins work normally, although some may not be the latest versions, so you may need to update.
- Fitness – The Fitness menu is essential for a number of links to popular YouTube fitness channels and allows you to stream them directly. Available channels include PopSugar, Fitness, Body Rock, and Sarah Fit.
- Kids – The Kids Menu tab takes you directly to Bobs Unrestricted Kodi addon, which has a large variety of kid-friendly content and is included in the Horizon build. Under that main menu tab are a number of sub-menu options including TV shows, cartoons, Disney, classics, and movies. These links to relevant and mostly kid-friendly content from various other plugins, including Covenant, Bobby’s Cartoons, Maverick, and Stream Army.
- Mars and Venus – These two menu options are designed to accommodate all gender stereotypes of what men and women like to see. On Mars, you’ll find science fiction, comedy, documentaries, car shows, and adult cartoons, while Venus offers soap operas, romantic comedies, musicals, exercise videos, and reality TV. The actual content, which is pulled from various plugins including Covenant, Maverick, The Pyramid, Bobs Unrestricted, and DandyMedia is pretty decent if you can get past the rather stereotypical genre titles.
- Wildlife : Predictably, the Wildlife tab includes documentaries and movies with nature and animal themes. These seem to originate primarily from the Pyramid plugin. Below the main menu tab are submenus that link to National Geographic, Animal Planet, Ray Mears, Brian Cox, and Nature Docs. Much for nature enthusiasts to enjoy here.
- Movies – The Movies menu option is heavily based on the Covenant plugin and in fact clicking on the Movies menu tab will take you to the main menu of that plugin. Below this tab are a number of sub-menu options including Genres, Year, Most Popular, In Theaters, and Box Office. These are all identical to the ones that can be found in Covenant and appear to link to the plugin. But Covenant is great for movie content, so it’s certainly not the worst in the world.
- Music – Like movies, the Music menu options are also primarily based on a single plug-in. This time it’s The-Music-Source that you link to directly from the Music menu tab. Meanwhile, the various sub-menu options below also link to their counterparts on The-Music-Source. While there is a lack of variety of plugins in this section, the one you use is quite adequate for the task.
- TV Shows – Once again, the TV Shows menu option is based on the Covenant plugin and links directly. Submenu options, including Genres, Networks, Most Popular, New Shows, and Airing Today, also link directly to the plugin. But again, Covenant is one of the best add-ons for TV content, so this makes sense.
PRO: What’s so great about Horizon?
There are a number of main benefits to building Horizon. First of all, it looks great with a bright and exciting design that differs markedly from the Estuary skin that most Kodi users are used to. Perhaps most importantly, it is a really user friendly build. The menus are clear and the layout is easy to use, and as a new build it is also regularly updated. We’ve had remarkably few complaints from users struggling to find their way around Horizon, which is to the developer’s credit.
There are some nifty features included in Horizon that also deserve praise. Live TV country search option is not available everywhere and it really works, which is a huge plus. Horizon’s selection of add-ons is spot on too. For the menu options they offer, they have chosen the right plugins to maximize available content without duplication issues or too many broken links.
CON: What’s not so great about Horizon?
We have already mentioned the problems with live TV channel links not working. It’s a shame because Live TV is a huge draw for Kodi users. The problem seems to be with the build plugins rather than geo-restrictions or any other issues as well. This is something the developer should urgently try to address.
There are also some menu options that lead to blind allies with limited content offers at the end of them. This can be very frustrating for users. It would be much better to have fewer menu links, but make sure they all work while keeping a good range of options available.
For some users these could be big issues, but for many they are minor annoyances and don’t detract from what would otherwise be an understandably popular new version of Kodi.
The Horizon build offers a streamlined user interface and a smart range of plugins. Did you have a problem with the installation? Do you have any more suggestions on how this new version could be improved in the future? Leave us a comment below!