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How To Add Netflix and Hulu to Kodi

NOTE: This article generally applies to Windows machines; however, Linux machines have been addressed in the comments.

Netflix and Hulu are two of the most popular streaming services on the market today, offering thousands of titles on demand and leading the cord-cutting charge against cable’s content monopoly. Unfortunately, neither service has offered official, dedicated plugins for one of the most popular home theatre software applications available. While plugins like NetfliXBMC and Bluecop’s Hulu plugin exist, they tend to be sketchy in quality and often broken. In this number, I’m going to explain how to add Netflix and Hulu to Kodi using a web browser.

To me, the best HTPC Netflix or Hulu experience (outside a dedicated app such as the ones for Xbox 360) comes from the services’ own websites. The only drawback to this is having to hang onto a wireless keyboard and trackpad combination, but it’s a small nuisance that can eventually be rectified with some clever hackery (more on that in a later article).

To launch the respective website from Kodi, we’re going to use Firefox with the Advanced Launcher plugin. Firefox supports command-line controls, so it will be perfect for our needs. Inside Advanced Launcher, right-click or press C on the keyboard to call up the context menu. Click “Manage Sources” to bring up the source manager screen. Select “Add Source” and “Browse” when the source window appears. Select the root folder for your hard drive, then click “OK”. Press backspace to return to Advanced Launcher.

Back in Advanced Launcher, create a new category and call it “Firefox Links”. Inside the new category, choose “Standalone Launcher” and browse to the Firefox executable located on your hard drive. In the next window, you will need to enter the following command-line arguments to load Netflix automatically when Firefox runs:

-fullscreen -new-window http://www.netflix.com

Press Return and then you will be prompted to name your launcher. “Netflix” seems like a reasonable choice (unless, of course, you are launching Hulu or another service). Press Return again and you will be prompted to select the platform that your application runs on.

On the following screens, you will be prompted to browse for a path where thumbnails and fanart is stored. This is unimportant, so you can browse to an empty folder or a placeholder if you wish. In the Aeon MQ5 skin, you will be able to select custom artwork for these menu items later.

After selecting the artwork locations, the launcher is officially completed. I’ve taken it a step further and added a custom macro in EventGhost that disables closes Firefox with a particular keypress on the remote or the Escape key on the keyboard, seamlessly returning to Kodi.

Pro Tip: If you add your launchers to you “Favourites” list, you will be able to add custom menu options for them on the Aeon MQ5 home screen. Under the “Settings” menu, choose “Customise Main Menu” and add them to any open slots!

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14 thoughts on “How To Add Netflix and Hulu to Kodi”

    1. The only drawback to this is having to hang onto a wireless keyboard and trackpad combination, but it’s a small nuisance that can eventually be rectified with some clever hackery.

      I’m working on a solution involving mouse emulation with an IR remote control, but for now, yes, you will be back to keyboard/trackpad navigation.

    1. In Ubuntu (and possibly other distros), use Google Chrome instead of Firefox as it comes with native support for both services. Parameters should be similar (fullscreen, new window). Check Chrome’s Linux documentation for the specific commands.

  1. I have run across the problem of navigating in Chrome (using it to run Netflix through Chrome in Ubuntu 14.04) in that if I select the return to menu or even go from full screen to windowed, it kicks me back to the launcher status screen in Kodi (15 and 16) while leaving Chrome running in the background. Any ideas on how to fix it so it will stay in Chrome until I select close?

    1. Having a native app is nice, and I would absolutely recommend using that method on Windows 8.1 or 10. Thanks for the tip on the remote tool!

  2. Another clean way to do this on Windows is to download and install the free version of PlayOn (https://www.playon.tv/features). PlayOn exposes itself as a UPnP share, so you can simply add Netflix, Hulu, and other channels via UPnP and away you go. You don’t even have to leave Kodi. The only thing this isn’t good for is searches, since there is no interface for inputting a search.

    1. PlayOn is a great suggestion, but does require the Plus subscription to stream through Kodi–unless you can show us how you were able to skirt that requirement. The only way that I found to do so is to launch PlayOn as an outside application, but then you’re back to keyboard and mouse navigation.

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