The Phenomenal Skin

Our next Skin review is the Phenomenal Skin by tomer953, version 4.2.8.1, “whose Elegance, Simplicity and Professionalism are the Skins Guidelines. With Phenomenal, you are able to enjoy all of Kodi’s Newest and Sophisticated (sic?) features while still maintaining a clean and beautiful design.” Some really intriguing features can be found in this Skin, some over the top and others uniquely placed. More on those as we go thru this review. Can be used with a Remote/Mouse & or a Keyboard, so what ever device you currently use will be fine. If you have a clean 17 install, you will have to enable unknown sources first.
  • Click Settings (cog)
  • Choose System Settings
  • Select Add-ons
  • Toggle Unknown Sources
  • A warning pop-up will appear
“Add-ons will be given access to personal data stored on this device. By allowing, you agree that you are solely responsible for any loss of data, unwanted behaviour, or damage to your device. Proceed?” This is your choice, if you wish to install 3rd Party add-ons you must agree. We strongly advise against installing headline grabbing “the best add-on ever….” etc. and use only official developers with a proven track record.  

Installing Phenomenal Skin

The following instructions and photos represent what you the user will see during the initial installation of the Phenomenal Skin. As a result, the next time Kodi is opened, only the Home Page will appear.   phenomenal  
  • System.
  • Interface.
  • Skin, click to open installed Skin Menu.
  • Click Get more…..
  • Scroll down to Phenomenal.
  • Select to Install.
  • Select Yes when prompted “to allow this change”.
  phenomenal   After selecting yes, that prompt will disappear leaving you at the Skin Folder located in Interface. Using a Remote, Mouse or Keyboard, to exit hit the Back Button, Right click or hit the ESC key to exit this Screen.   phenomenal   The screen you see is the Settings page. Please keep in mind that these steps only Occur at the Initial Setup and installation of this Skin. Exit one more time same way as described earlier.  

Home Page/Main Menu

  phenomenal   To save space and time, I’ve had to combine some photos in pairs or in this case 4. The top left Photo A is the Home Page and instead of naming each one I’ll provide you with a Photo. From the Side Panel on the left, We’ll start with Videos in the top row and Add-ons in the bottom row. I’ve done this for a reason and I’ll explain: After the initial, you will see the “splash screen” (see very first photo of review) the next screen will be what you see in Photo A. There are a number of ways to Access Videos.
  1. Click Videos where you will next see the Photo B at top right above. From there you can Select Video Add-ons from that list.
  2. Or, if you look at Photo A, to the far right in the corner there appears to be another set of icons. Move the cursor over and hover over the selected icon and Photo C Indicates what you will then encounter. from there you may Click on the Add-on to access it.
  3. Selecting Files as shown in Photo B will take you directly to the Add-on page as shown in Photo D.
  4. The end result is the same, just too many ways to get there. And this is just from the first page listing in the Home page.
         

MUSIC

phenomenal   The Music Folder has the same options as Videos & Add-ons. Because I do not have any Music installed or saved, there is nothing to show in Photo A.Photo B is the File Folder that can be accessed by clicking on Music from the Side Panel.  

PICTURES

phenomenal Once again, as with the other two examples above, Pictures can be accessed the same way. Once you add you Pictures, these will appear when selected.  

PROGRAMS

phenomenal Select Programs, Photo A, and that Folder, Photo B will open.   FAVORITES & SEARCH phenomenal   For either one, Simply select to continue. No favorites saved so that’s why there are none in Photo A.  

SETTINGS & POWER ICON

phenomenal   In Photo A, you also have the option of selecting an individual Setting from the list shown in the Bottom Right Corner. Or By Clicking on Settingsfrom the Panel. In Photo B, the Power icon, located in the Lower Left Corner on the screen will appear as shown above. You may also access Settings from there as well. So there are numerous areas to access the folders you frequent the most thru out the layout of this Skin.  

File Manager

  phenomenal   To access File Manager,
  • Select Settings from the Panel in the Home Page.
  • On the Right Side Panel, scroll down to File manager and select to continue.
  • Select Add source as shown in Photo A.
  • Click None as shown in Photo B. You may have to click twice (2) to continue.
  phenomenal   In the new window, Enter the URL. When happy with the spelling, click Done. Repeat when asked to Name the source.  

Installing from repository

  phenomenal   As a result of selecting Settings in the Home Page, as shown above, scroll down to Add-ons in the Right Side panel. Once selected, you will then have access to Install from repository. Click to continue.   phenomenal   Select Video Add-ons from the list provided.   phenomenal   Because I used the Blamo Repo, you must scroll down to Video Add-ons and click to open. The add-on 69 Death Squad Tube was randomly selected, Click Install to continue.   phenomenal   Unlike other Add-ons, this installed rather quickly and was confirmed by the Notification shown in the Photo by the Red Arrow at the top. All Install Notifications will appear when successfully completed in that area.  

Phenomenal Skin Player Settings

  phenomenal   For a change of pace, I decided to use a TV Show instead of a Movie. For this review, Westworld Season 2, Episode 7 was used. Take note of the information made available about the Source and the Plot.   phenomenal   We’ll skip the usual settings to the left, still do the same thing. A nice feature in the Phenomenal Skin is under A. Provides the Resolution-Video Aspect Ratio- Video Codec- and the Audio Channel. Almost as good as when I press the O Key on my keyboard. I’ll just provide the links for those who are curious about how Video Codec Works as well as what H.264 vs H.265 means to you in the future. The Icons listed under B are as follows :   phenomenal   SUBTITLE DOWNLOAD: To find Subtitles for a stream, you must first have a service enabled in Kodi prior to using this setting above. Once enabled, select the first Icon. The stream will pause, search for a compatible link for you to select. Not all links will match your stream just like this one. My Stream is a 1080 HD bit there is only 720 available. Normally I’ll select the first one shown or the first one that has any type of rating like the one shown here. Click Here for the link on how to enable Subtitle Service in Kodi.   phenomenal VIDEO & AUDIO SETTINGS: Use these settings to fine tune or tweak the Video/Audio to your liking, select Close when done to exit.   phenomenal   BOOKMARKS: If for any reason you have to stop viewing for a prolonged period of time, click Bookmark, pick where you wish to save your place. Then click on Create bookmark. When you return, open, select bookmark and the stream will start from that point.   phenomenal   i INFORMATION: Well what can I say about this ? Not much is there. Since I did not check any other streams, this may be just what is available.  

Views

  phenomenal   Views can be accessed from just about anywhere in the Skin as long as you can see the little Cog located to the far right. See next photo. You can open that setting by moving the Cursor over and just hover on the Cog Icon or with a keyboard, move to the right with the Right Directional Key. Scroll up or down until you find a View you like, click to select and you’re done.   phenomenal   As shown, when you open the Views Side Panel via the Cog Icon, there are new Options available to you. To Access Views, click on Switch view: Fanart. The List Shown are all self explanatory except for two. View Options which I’ll deal with shortly and Party Mode.
  • Party Mode when selected came back as an”aborted install” due to the fact that I do not have any Music/Music Videos installed. I’ll get back to this at a later date and update what this all entails. Sounds interesting.

View Options

  phenomenal   This is Totally new to me. Never seen it before, never heard of it before. So I’ll do my best to explain what I discovered. Starting from the Top:
  • TOP BAR– This toggles the information you see at the very top of the screen. Light on = Enabled.
  • TRANSPARENCY– It reads 60%, and that is for the Top Bar. Selecting Transparency will toggle thru the % by 10 at a time. You will be able to see the effect after each click. Stop when happy.
  • SIDE-MENU ICON– When the option is light, then the Cog icon you selected will be visible. Off = Disabled.
  • DISABLE FANART– Selecting this will remove the Current FanArt being Viewed. For example, selecting it now in the photo above, the background would revert to a Default Image in the Skin.
  • ITEM OVERLAY– You can’t see it in the Photo, but any item you are scrolling thru for example a List of Movies. What ever one you have stopped on will be Highlighted. When Enabled, the radio bar will be on (the little dot) as it is here.
  • CHOOSE COLOR– Well, this is what you see when selected. I have enough trouble at the Ice Cream Parlour when they ask what kind of topping would I like on my Ice Cream! :eek: Now what color should I select from the list shown ! By the way, if selected……. and I know many of you will so you can see for yourselves…… it does take a moment for All of those colours to load.
  • CHOOSE TEXT COLOR– Yup, now you get to go thru the same list for the Text. Kill me now. Please.
  • BIG FANART– Changes the current Background Fanart to ……… yes …… Big.
  • TRANSPARENCY– 90% is the current setting for the Transparency of the Information bar shown at the Bottom of the Screen.
 

In Conclusion

I’ll be honest with you, I’m not big on what a Skin does or how to reconfigure most settings in a Skin, but up to the point of the View Settings I thought the Phenomenal Skin was great to use, it still is to be honest. But these last bunch of settings are really unnecessary. While these options may be better served in Skin Settings, for me it just doesn’t make sense. It may for others, but not for me. Once again this review is here to show you the user, what to expect when using Phenomenal Skin and others for the first time.

I do like the Background Images, nice selection. Furthermore, it’s very easy to maneuver your way thru out the entire skin. And I did use both just a Mouse and just a Keyboard with no issues at all. I’d love to hear back from those who are willing to try this. Let us know what you think in The Streaming World Forum, it’s free to join to!