Tried turning your Raspberry Pi into a media center but feeling disappointed?
Missing the important channels, like Netflix and Amazon Video, on your Raspberry Pi? Fancy installing Plex for accessing content on your home network.
Fortunately, Kodi isn’t all about illegal add-ons. Here’s how to install Netflix, Amazon Video, and Plex on your Raspberry Pi.
You Need a Raspberry Pi 3
Before you go any further, make sure you’re using a Raspberry Pi 3 or later. We’ve used the Raspberry Pi 3 B+. While the Raspberry Pi 2 is okay, the later models are superior for streaming and decoding data from Netflix and Amazon Video.
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Reality check: if you’ve ever tried to get Netflix or Amazon Video add-ons working on a Raspberry Pi-based Kodi box, you’ll know how tricky (and frustrating) it can be.
Typically, these problems are due to a combination of poor add-ons (or ones that will only work with desktop PC Kodi installations) and the low spec of older Raspberry Pis. If you’re using a Raspberry Pi 3 B+, the following steps will allow you to access your existing Netflix and Amazon Video subscriptions via Kodi.
Install Kodi on Raspberry Pi With OSMC
To get Netflix, Amazon Video, and Plex working with minimal effort, you’ll need to use OSMC (Open Source Media Center). OSMC is one of several Kodi versions available for Raspberry Pi
Download the installer from osmc.tv, which automates the process of writing OSMC to your microSD card. (You can alternatively download the disk image and install on your Raspberry Pi in the usual way.)
Work through the installer, making sure to select the most recent OSMC build. You might also like to set up your wireless network when prompted.
Once installed, insert the SD card in your Raspberry Pi, connect it to your router via Ethernet (you can set up Wi-Fi once everything is configured) and your TV’s HDMI port, then connect the power cable.
Downgrade OSMC for Better Stability
Although you have installed OSMC, a specific version that isn’t available to write as an image to your microSD card is required. This “nightly build” is stable enough to run the Netflix add-on which you’ll install later.
First, open the Terminal or connect to OSMC via SSH and enter:
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
In the file, append this line to the bottom; this adds a new source.
deb http://download.osmc.tv/dev/gmc-18 gmc-18 main
Press Ctrl + X to save and exit. Next, add the GPG certificate to validate the source:
wget -qO - http://download.osmc.tv/dev/gmc-19/public/pubkey.asc | sudo apt-key add -
The next step is to update the sources list:
sudo apt update
You can then run a kernel upgrade:
sudo apt dist-upgrade -y
Follow this by downgrading to a new build.
sudo apt install rbp2-mediacenter-osmc=17.8-433 -y
This may take a while, so be patient. Once this is complete, install pip:
sudo apt install python-pip python-crypto build-essential -y
Follow this by installing these dependencies:
sudo apt install python-all-dev python-setuptools python-wheel -y sudo apt install python-crypto-dbg python-crypto-doc python-pip-whl -y
These dependencies will ensure that everything you’re about to install will work as intended.
Install and Configure Plex for Local Media Streaming
Want to stream video, music, or photos from another device on your network? You’ll need the Plex server installed on your PC, and the client add-on installed on your Raspberry Pi.
With OSMC running on your Raspberry Pi, browse to Settings > Add-on browser > Install from Repository > Video add-ons. Scroll through the list until you find Plex, select, and Install. Click OK to confirm and wait while this finishes.
Once done, use the Restart option to reboot the Raspberry Pi.
While that’s happening, why not check our Plex guide for information and tips for this great streaming solution?
Install and Configure Amazon Video on Raspberry Pi
Want to stream Amazon Video on your Raspberry Pi? Here’s what you need to do.
Staying in the terminal (or SSH client), it’s time to install the Amazon Video add-on. Begin using a wget command to download the ZIP file directly from GitHub:
With this done, switch your attention to your TV and navigate to Settings > Add-on browser > Install from Zip File. You’ll be informed that installing isn’t possible from unknown sources, so select Settings, then check the box against Unknown sources. Confirm the decision by selecting Yes, then go to the home screen and return to the Install from Zip file option.
Here, select Root filesystem, then find your way to home > osmc > repository.sandmann79.plugins.
Select this, and wait as it unpacks, then browse back and find Settings > Add-on browser > Install from repository. Go to Sandmann79s Repository and find Video add-ons. From here, select Amazon VOD (the alternative called “Amazon” is for German users).
Select Install, then confirm with OK. Note that some additional add-ons will be installed (see above image). Leave it to finish, then reboot your Raspberry Pi. When it restarts, it’s time to configure the add-on. Browse to Settings > Add-on browser > My Add-ons > Video Add-ons, and select Amazon VOD.
Go to Configure, and in the General view change the Playback option so that Input Stream is selected. Then, in the Connection view, select Sign In and input your Amazon account credentials. If you have two-factor authentication enabled on your Amazon account, you’ll be prompted to enter the code that has been sent to your device.
With this done, you’ll be ready to watch Amazon video content! You’ll find Amazon VOD listed under Add-ons.
Install and Configure Netflix on Raspberry Pi
Let’s look at streaming Netflix on the Raspberry Pi next.
To install a Netflix client on your Raspberry Pi, you’ll need to perform some minor configuration first. In the terminal, enter:
pip install pycryptodomex
This is a dependency required to run Netflix. The add-on needs to know where this is, so add a symbolic link:
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/Crypto /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/Cryptodome
Next, download the add-on itself from GitHub.
Return your attention to the TV and browse to the ZIP file: Settings > Add-on browser > Install from Zip File. Under Root filesystem, find home > osmc > repository.netflix-1.0.1.zip, and select Install.
Wait for the notification, then go back and browse to Settings > Add-on browser > Install from repository > Netflix Addon Repository, and then Video add-ons. Here you’ll find Netflix; select Install, choose the most recent version, then OK.
With this done, restart your Raspberry Pi. When it reboots, you’ll need to configure the add-on with your Netflix credentials.
Open Settings > Add-on browser > My add-ons > Video add-ons > Netflix, select Configure, then find Account. Under Switch Account, enter your credentials.
You’ll also need to configure the InputStream module. In Settings > Add-on browser > My add-ons, find VideoPlayer InputStream and select InputStream Adaptive.
Choose Configure, then set Max Resolution general decoder and Max Resolution secure decoder so that they match the resolution of your TV.
Click OK to confirm and exit.
Lastly, Install and Configure Widevine CMD
So far, you’ve installed Plex, Amazon Video, and Netflix. You’re almost set, but before you can watch anything, the Widevine CMD decryption module must be downloaded. You cannot do this manually, however; instead, it needs to be done by the Amazon or Netflix add-on.
Choose either add-on, select a video, and play. You’ll instantly be notified that the Widevine CMD needs to be downloaded. Note that as this is a proprietary module, it is not open source.
Select Install Widevine and follow the instructions.
A Chrome OS recovery image much be downloaded from which the Widevine CMD is extracted. This can take a while to download and extract, so let the Raspberry Pi work at its own pace, following any requests OSMC displays to complete installation.
Once Widevine CMD is installed, it’s a good idea to reboot your Raspberry Pi one last time.
Your Raspberry Pi Is Now the Ultimate Media Center
That’s it: you can now stream Netflix and Amazon Video on Raspberry Pi, and it can easily stream video from another computer on your network via Plex. In short, your Kodi-based Raspberry Pi media center is awesome again.
Got another Raspberry Pi handy? Here’s how to set up your Raspberry Pi as a Plex media server.
Author: Christian Cawley