Great Scott! It's Version 13!

No matter how much I love Plex, there's still nothing that comes close to XBMC for usability when it comes to watching your network media on a television. I've probably written a dozen articles on Plex during the last few years, so you know that's tough for me to admit. Still, no matter how many Plex-enabled devices I might buy (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, phones, tablets, Web browsers), I run XBMC on all my televisions. The interface, when coupled with a back-end MySQL database, is just unbeatable.

My ultimate dream is that XBMC and Plex would somehow merge together into an incredible living room experience that also kicks butt on a mobile device. Until that day of convergence, I'll keep supporting two platforms. And, the XBMC platform recently got a significant upgrade. Version 13, code-named Gotham was released in May 2014. By the time you read this, 13.1 should be out, which fixes some bugs.

I'm most happy to see continued improvements with the Live TV and PVR features. Add to that further optimization for Android and Raspberry Pi devices, and XBMC is by no means out of the game. I'm excited to see XBMC continue along at a steady development pace. So, my weekend project once Saturday rolls around? Upgrading all my televisions to Gotham. Get a copy today at


Shawn Powers is a Linux Journal Associate Editor. You might find him on IRC, Twitter, or training IT pros at CBT Nuggets.