news\ Apr 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Xbox One TV, SmartGlass improvements on the way


Since its reveal, the Xbox One has been marketed as the "all-in-one" system, capable of playing games, watching television and movies, and basically acting as the electronic hub of your living room. Unfortunately, the entertainment aspect of the machine has sort of taken a backseat to the gaming portion as Microsoft has been catering more towards gamers. Looking to finally deliver on its "all-in-one" promise, Microsoft has plenty of updates and features planned to helpimprove your TV watching experience on the Xbox One, many of which were detailed in a post today on Xbox Wire.

Starting this week, Xbox Video will add the "rent once, play anywhere" feature across various platforms. This will allow you to rent (or buy) a movie on Xbox Video, begin watching on one screen and then pick-up right where you left off on another.

Additionally, new SmartGlass features are being implemented to help makde navigating Xbox One even easier. Now you can easily navigate game options to quickly get to the full list of Achievements, challenges and game clips without having to go through multiple screens. You'll also be able to view recent players, add them as a friend, or issue a rematch challenge. The ability to receive Xbox LIVE messaging alerts on your mobile device is also being added.

"So in addition what you can do today, we also want to explore some new ideas. That’s why we’re making a range of new features available to select Xbox Live members by invite only in the U.S., Europe, and Canada. Designed to improve the TV experience on Xbox One, the features bring elements of OneGuide to new markets, and they add OneGuide and universal remote control to Xbox SmartGlass," said Xbox Group Program Manager Ben Smith.

Here's what those select Xbox LIVE members can expect to see in preview updates:

  • An enhanced TV watching experience (that’s already available in the U.S.), which sees TV listings added to OneGuide, alongside Favorites and App Channels. This will work for people in Europe and Canada who have their TV connected to Xbox One via HDMI-in.
  • More control over Xbox One, their TV, and set-top box, including setting new recordings and watching recorded content from their DVR, all from a tablet or smart phone. Xbox SmartGlass also adds a cool new feature to show the most recently-watched channels.
  • New Kinect voice commands in Europe and Canada (already available in the U.S.) which let you control your set-top box and other AV equipment.

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