When Microsoft announced the Xbox One in May, the company claimed the console was built to take over entertainment centers. Much to the enjoyment of the Internet, the console’s functionality with cable TV was a big part of the Xbox One announcement. However, the TV experience on Xbox One is anything but a joke. Entertainment junkies will have the ability to search and seamlessly switch between live TV and apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus without even using a remote. Not only is Xbox One introducing a new generation to gamers, but also to anyone who consumes media.
How TV on Xbox One Works
Xbox One also offers more media aside from what is available on live TV. Users will be able to tune into apps including Netflix, FOX Now, ESPN and the NFL on Xbox One at launch with more expected to be available in 2014.
Why Use a Remote?
Despite the fact that cable box guides and menus will still appear when watching TV on Xbox One, the console’s OneGuide is significantly better for viewers that use multiple forms of media. Like a set-top box, the guide system will display a schedule of programming on live TV. However, the OneGuide also integrates entertainment apps based on user preferences. For example, users can see what’s on Comedy Central while also searching through recommended stand-up comedy movies on Netflix.
Xbox One’s $500 price tag is partly due to the Kinect sensor that comes in every box. Microsoft believes the motion and voice-detecting camera is so vital to the console’s use, it is necessary for every user own it. The Kinect sensor and OneGuide work together to form a non-physical universal remote.
Users can control the TV through the voice capabilities of the Kinect. The sensor will recognize demands such as “Xbox Volume Up” and “Xbox Mute.” Commands are self-explanatory and easy to remember. To change the channel, viewers simply state “Xbox Watch” followed by the network of their choice. The process does not displace a quality universal remote but basic controls have never been more easy.
The Return of Picture-in-Picture
A key feature Microsoft is touting for Xbox One is the console’s Snap Mode. Snap Mode brings multitasking to game consoles in the form of a picture-in-picture type display. While this feature is not limited to TV, it is easy to see Xbox One owners using the feature as a picture-in-picture mode on steroids.
Snap Mode allows users to perform two tasks at the same time. That means TV viewers will never have to miss their favorite programs. While playing a game, players will be able to Snap live TV into a smaller screen that appears on the right side of the television. The feature can also be used as a second screen experience. Movie buffs who are want to explore a film deeper while watching can pull up IMDB in Snap Mode or even Skype with friends to watch together from afar. Snap Mode brings back picture-in-picture in a unique and innovative way.
Gamers want more from their consoles and TV and movie buffs are always looking for a new way to watch. Xbox One blends the two worlds together in an effective way. An impressive interface, multitasking capabilities and voice-control integration make watching TV on Xbox One the easiest device to watch TV on.