That sounds about right. When you playback in any player it's a very simple process of basically displaying the stream. With Emby it's doing several other steps that allow all the cool features to be used such as sharing one stream with multiple users, sharing the stream with the DVR, being able to have multiple different transcodes going to different resolutions (if multiple users), etc.
IMHO, Any client app that also has a server counterpart on the same platform should be able to locally transcode or at least be able to remux the file for it's own playback or handle the opening of the TS while feeding the streams to the player.
Kodi (formerly XBMC) is a free and open-source media player software application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. Kodi is available for multiple operating systems and hardware platforms, with a software 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most streaming media, such as videos, music, podcasts, and videos from the Internet, as well as all common digital media files from local and network storage media. It is a multi-platform home-theater PC (HTPC) application. Kodi is customizable: skins can change its appearance, and plug-ins allow users to access streaming media content via online services such as Amazon Prime Instant Video, Crackle, Pandora Internet Radio, Rhapsody, Spotify, and YouTube. The later versions also have a personal video-recorder (PVR) graphical front end for receiving live television with electronic program guide (EPG) and high-definition digital video recorder (DVR) support. The software was created in 2002 as an independently developed homebrew media player application named Xbox Media Player for the first-generation Xbox game console, changing its name in 2004 to Xbox Media Center (abbreviated as XBMC, which was adopted as the official name in 2008) and was later made available under the name XBMC as a native application for Android, Linux, BSD, macOS, iOS/tvOS, and Microsoft Windows-based operating systems. Because of its open source and cross-platform nature, with its core code written in C++, modified versions of Kodi-XBMC together with JeOS have been used as a software appliance suite or software framework in a variety of devices, including smart TVs, set-top boxes, digital signage, hotel television systems, network connected media players and embedded systems based on armhf platforms like Raspberry Pi. Derivative applications such as MediaPortal and Plex have been spun off from XBMC or Kodi, as well as just enough operating systems like LibreELEC. Kodi has attracted negative attention due to the availability of third-party plug-ins for the software that facilitate unauthorized access to copyrighted media content, as well as "fully loaded" digital media players that are pre-loaded with such add-ons; The XBMC Foundation has not endorsed any of these uses, and has taken steps to disassociate the Kodi project from these add-ons, including threatening legal action against those using its trademarks to promote them.
Kodi uses one multimedia video player "core" for video-playback. This video-player "core" for video-playback is an in-house developed cross-platform media player, "DVDPlayer", which was designed to play back DVD-Video movies, and this includes support native for DVD-menus, (based on the free open source libraries code libdvdcss and libdvdnav). This FFmpeg based video-player "core" today supports all widespread mainstream formats. One relatively unusual feature of this DVD-player core is the capability to on-the-fly pause and play DVD-Video movies that are stored in ISO and IMG DVD-images or DVD-Video (IFO/VOB/BUP) images (even directly from uncompressed RAR and ZIP archives), from either local harddrive storage or network-share storage.
Kodi features several open APIs to enable third-party developers to create capabilities which extend Kodi with a multitude of addons, such as audio and video streaming plugins for online sources, screensavers, skins and themes, visualizations, weather forecasts, web interfaces, web scrapers, widget scripts, and more. Kodi developers encourage users to make and submit their own addons to expand media content and value-added services accessible from within Kodi.
Kodi/XBMC media center source code have over the years become a popular software to fork and to use as an application framework platform for others to base their own media player or media center software on, as if Kodi were a GUI toolkit, windowing system, or window manager. And today at least Boxee, Plex, Tofu, MediaPortal, LibreELEC, OpenELEC, OSMC, GeeXboX, Voddler, DVDFab Media Player, and Horizon TV are all separate derivative products that are all openly known to at least initially have forked the graphical user interface (GUI) and media player part of their software from XBMC's source code. Many of these third-party forks and derivative work of Kodi-XBMC are said to still assist with submitting bug fixes upstream and sometimes help getting new features backported to the original Kodi-XBMC project so that others can utilize it as well, shared from one main source. However some which was initially a fork of XBMC have since fully or partially been rewritten to use closed source proprietary software. For more information see the main "List of software based on XBMC" article.
Kodi is thus officially not yet available for MIPS upstream in mainline source code repository from Team-Kodi, nor does it as yet support DirectFB or DRI (Direct Rendering Infrastructure) rendering without OpenGL/GLES hardware accelerated graphics support. The combination of MIPS, DirectFB, and DRI is a popular architecture used today by simpler set-top boxes like digital broadcasting (cable/satellite) boxes and low-end digital media players, such as those based on MIPS architecture chipsets from Sigma Designs or Realtek. Kodi ports to MIPS is, however, currently being actively worked on by several independent development teams.
After two years of heavy development, XBMC announced a stable point final release of XBMC 2.0.0 on 29 September 2006. Even more features were packed into the new version with the addition of RAR and zip archive support, a brand new player interface with support for multiple players. Such players include PAPlayer, the new audio/music player with crossfade, gapless playback and ReplayGain support, and the new DVDPlayer with support for menu and navigation support as well as ISO/img image parsing. Prior to this point release, XBMC just used a modified fork of MPlayer for all of its media needs, so this was a big step forward. Support for iTunes 6.x DAAP, and Upnp Clients for streaming was also added. A reworked Skinning Engine was included in this release to provide a more powerful way to change the appearance of XBMC. The last two features include read-only support for FAT12/16/32 formatted USB mass storage devices, and a "skinnable" 3D visualizer. 2b1af7f3a8