It is possible to use the RPi and Kodi to watch Hulu and Netflix... sort of. Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, etc. are reluctant to serve content to open source platforms like Linux/Kodi. They release apps on closed platforms like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, etc. and use DRM protection to keep it where they want it: on only authorized platforms. My guess is they get a kickback from the platform developers, which is then rolled into the price of the hardware. I don't know the ins and outs of the politics/arrangements, but I think that's how it works.
If you are set on using the RasPi/Kodi approach, you can subscribe to PlayOn, which has a Kodi plugin (last time I checked, which was last year). It works a little like Plex, where you run a backend server on a PC (which is DRM compliant) and the software transcodes the video and streams it to the PlayOn client app in Kodi (or on your phone/tablet).
A couple caveats:
- PlayOn is not free. They have a 30 day refund policy and were pretty good about refunding me.
- The Kodi app is clunky (again, this info is 1+ years old). It works, but it's not pretty.
- PlayOn will not stream HD from Amazon Instant Video. This was the deal-breaker for me. Amazon adds HDCP protection to its content and PlayOn can't circumvent that (as of a year ago). It will send an SD stream.
- Although PlayOn says this is all legal, it is, in effect, circumventing DRM. So the content providers may disagree.
If your only goal is to watch Hulu and Netflix, you'd be better off going with a Chromecast or FireTV stick, which is still at the same price point as a Raspberry Pi. However, I would NEVER discourage anyone from buying a RasPi! If nothing else, it's a fun project to fiddle with and maybe PlayOn's limitations aren't a problem for you.
EDIT: According to the fine print on PlayOn's website, upgrading to XBMC Helix will fix the HD streaming issues. Kodi 14 is Helix, so...
Last edited by kphammond9
on Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.