The New Xbox One Has a Secret Feature That May Change TV Forever

Tech Talk 14

The new XBox, called the One, is a heavy-duty gaming machine that is sure to be on a lot of Christmas lists this year. The games are going to be incredible - graphics have gotten much better even since the last console generation. However, the One has a secret, rarely-discussed feature that could change the way you watch TV. 

The secret is the Xbox's TV viewing feature. It works by connecting to your cable or satellite box and adds a few cool features to your boring old DVR.



First, the Xbox One has powerful voice and facial recognition. When you sit down in front of it the new Kinect sensor can tell who you are, who you're sitting with, and it can change the entire user experience to match your preferences.

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It can also understand multiple voices so you can simply say "Xbox watch TV" and the TV app will pop up. Then you can say "Watch ESPN" or "Watch HBO" and the Xbox will change the channel. And that's just the basic stuff.

The coolest part of the TV experience is the abilty to set favorite channels and watch TV in a small side window while playing a game. The favorites work just as you'd imagine them: you select a few favorite channels and add them to a list. Instead of jumping through hundreds of channels you can simply pop over to favorites and jump between your four and five favorite channels. Because each user can add their own favorites it ensures that everyone is represented in the list and that you can easily find your favorite programs with just a few button presses.

While the Wii U lets you play games right on the handheld controller, allowing the rest of the family to watch the TV, the Xbox improves the situation considerably.

You can easily split the screen between game and TV - the content appears in the upper right side of your home screen - and the game continues playing. You can also pause any game you're playing and pop over to the TV app so you can watch the big game and then get back to the big game. While this kind of multitasking might be hard for us adults, the kids will figure it out immediately.

The One doesn't yet have a DVR built-in and you can't record a show using the Xbox. However because of this built-in and seamless integration the One could be a Trojan horse that allows Microsoft to sneak into the living room without ruffling any cable company feathers. Add in some live video streaming of various channels online and you're pretty darn close to cutting the cord.

Do you want an X Box?


Image via YouTube

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nonmember avatar rdh252

While the "PiP" feature the Xbox One has is pretty nice, the screen it provides is very small. VERY small. Unless you're using an accommodatingly large television it's no substitute for the dedicated screen that the Wii U's gamepad provides. We have a 32" television, nothing extravagant like a 50" and so the picture provided by "Snapping" TV with the Xbox One is fairly miniscule. About 3" by 4" and being seated at a far greater distance from the screen than I would be with a Wii U gamepad, or even tablet or smartphone, it's simply insufficient. (However I have not yet tested whether you can change how much of the television is allocated to the "Snap" feature. If it can be further enlarged without sacrificing too much of the primary screen it may be pretty nice.)

epuffer epuffer

ps3 FTW!!

mrsb17 mrsb17

We just bought our Xbox one yesterday. It works perfectly with our tv. We love it.

funmo... funmommy123

Just bought one for my kids as a christmas gift. Split screens erc...shouldn't be too bad for us since we havw a 52 inch tv.

Brigg Barsness

Got the Xbox one and so far have only watched TV (through DirecTv satellite), netflix, and last week's Almost Human show on the FoxNow app. Haven't played any games with it yet, but I've been very happy with it so far.

nonmember avatar Cindy

Wow, great girft for some lucky guy! Too bad he has never given you his address so the lady can pop a box in the mail.

nonmember avatar Gary Oak

Yo i just got this bad boy earlier. My live username is GaryOakGC, smell ya later!

nonmember avatar Anthony William

^^^^epuffer - ps3 isn't even in this convo...

An for the rest of ya'll hit me up on that ps4 AWillliamsniq , i'll smash anyone on 2K15

2ofth... 2ofthesame

This isn't top secret... It was in a comercial a month ago... 

Rebekah Krishak

You can also control the screen with your hand not using a controller

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