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4 reasons to connect your TV service with the Xbox One

Did you know you could connect your TV service with your Xbox One? Doing so makes the Xbox even more than just a gaming console in the living room. Still undecided whether or not you should set up your TV service with Xbox? We've got four reasons that might convince you. Watch our hands-on video.

1: Turn on the TV with voice

The first reason you'll love about connecting your cable box to the Xbox One is the ability to turn it on with your voice. When you say 'Xbox, On' your Xbox One will turn on along with your television, and immediately show the previous channel you were watching. You'll need to change some settings. Make sure the to enable 'On start, go to TV' under Settings – Power & startup.

Another reason to connect your cable TV to the Xbox One is to see the list of what's currently trending. The Trending tab displays the top 20 most watched TV shows, which is updated every minute. You can see a list of what's trending based on conversations from Twitter or the number of Xbox One owners currently watching that show.

3: OneGuide listings and favorites

The third reason is OneGuide. You bring it up by pressing X on the Xbox One controller. You can see TV listings here and even add your favorite channels for quicker access. One thing we'd like to see in an update is the ability to search for shows.

4: Snap TV app

Last but not least, the fourth reason to connect your TV service to the Xbox One is that you can snap the TV app. This means you can play a game while watching TV on the side. This is so awesome! You can play Call of Duty or FIFA 15 while watching football at the same time. In order to do this, just double tap the Xbox button on your controller and select TV from the list of snappable apps.

Have we convinced you? Will you connect your TV and use OneGuide on your Xbox One? Know another reason to connect the TV with the Xbox? Sound off in the comments!

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

225 Comments
  • Never miss Skype calls.
  • I also like that you can see Twitter comments on whatever show you are watching or looking at in the Xbox miniguide. I hope that they will make the interface better so that it is easier for people to discover and use.
  • Completely agree.
  • Be nice if Mirracast wasn't a crap shoot for the 1520.
  • My 1520 works fine with Miracast, don't lie.
  • Agreed, I use Miracast when showing photos and streaming video. All from my Lumia 1520. Works great.
  • Windows Media Center, Xbox is for babies.
  • Yep, xbox one has no DVR function which is a deal breaker for me.... A pity they stop the dev of media centre PC... I use it on my win 8.1 PC but still the same interface as Win7 and less customisation / theming etc capability, yet still a strong DVR system.
    Until xbox One get a DVR function and multiple tuners support, it's a no go for me! PC is better for TV and media center (sure I can't start the TV with voice... But who cares?)
  • Plus it works like crap to put an extender behind the One. Without Media Center I have very few reasons to keep a Windows PC at home.
  • I'd be all for it if I could connect my Xbox One to an HDHomeRun tuner. Last time I tried though, that wasn't an option.
  • You could try adding something like the iView 3500STB in between
  • This is the first I am hearing of this, let me look this up since the homerun prime is on sale right now on slickdeals
  • Me too. Microsoft missed the boat, the Xbox one should be a DVR without the need for a cable box. They've already written the software, I'm using it on my PC. Would be nice to remove the PC and use the Xbox one instead.
  • Yes. But I think they should recommend using a second HDD so you don't burn out the non user replaceable HDD, which I am still pissed about. I'd use a 512GB SSD if I could.
  • MS don't missed anything, cable companies are the guilty, go to complaint to cable companies.
  • Exactly. There were so many leaked rumors that Microsoft was working on a device with DirecTV and it was killed. Would have been an awesome device, but DirecTV and other providers wanted their own devices for lock in.
  • You know how much in royalties they'd have to pay out for that?... Don't get your hopes up.
  • They;ve already done it with media center.  They already know how to do it. 
  • @rantanamo, exactly. They've written the software and also spent the money to be the only solution in the US to play copy protected content. Don't know why it wasn't included in the Xbox one.
  • Yes they know how to do it, but they won't. My theory is that these features were intentionally left out in order to get more favorable license agreements with content owners for Xbox Video. Microsoft tried to be the cable solution for Telecommunications companies, and then sold the software right before XBOX One launched.
  • There are no royalties.  Look up "CableCard".  Cable providers are required by law to provide them. Windows Media Center can already be used as a cable box/DVR by using a provider issued CableCard. Xbox could do the same.  My DVR is a Windows 8.1 PC and its so much better than the POS overpriced box that verizon was leasing to me by the month.
  • I have an HD Homerun prime and it connects fine with the Xbox one using the XBOX One Media Player App. Streams much more smoothly than the XBOX 360 Media Center. Can actually watch two TV feeds simultaneously - one cable box, one HD Homerun - through snap. No guide or DVR though. Anyone try Plex App and server?
  • Copy protected channels? Which would be HBO and Cinemax for me.
  • wait, what? i was under the impression you had to use the old media center/360. Does it connect as a dlna device? Please tell me more. Can you record to your PC and use it as a DVR? Copy protected HD channels too?
  • I will check on the HBO and Cinemax, but so far every channel I have watched has been fine. Yes, streams as Dlna. While I cannot record from the media player app, I can play what I have recorded on my WMC PC through the Xbox one app. Xbox one has a Plex app. I am not familiar with plex, but I think you might have a guide and record through the Plax app if you have Plax media server on a PC.
  • What are your thoughts on pros and cons for HD Homerun and Slingbox?
  • Same here, I have no cable box but get digital \ clear qam through coax. That is 1 reason not to use Xbox for tv because you can't easily, unless you live in UK then you can use the adapter.
  • you haven't used the Mediasonic HomeWorX HW150PVR?  It's a built-in option on the One.  I get all my OTA through that.  Of course, the device is for the US. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qt6qqNyJXw
  • looks good but I doubt it works with cable.  I'm don't have OTA, I have coax digital cable without a box connected to my tv.  I've never seen a guide get the clear qam channel numbers correct including the wiiu.
  • I had to use my Xbox 360 to run Media Center so I could access my HDHomerun Prime while using the pass-through on my XBox One.  Worked for me that way.
  • Still can't connect to a basic cable coax or I would
  • Yes you can, you just need to get some kind of converter box that changes the cable into an HDMI output
  • Are you sure you cant do that with a simple digital converter box?
  • I think you need a newer cable box , the cable box should have a hdmi port
  • I haven't done that much research and there could be better choices, but this might be an option for you: http://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-HW180STB-HomeWorx-Converter-Function/dp/B00G5RXM16/
  • the hwpvr150 definitely does (I use it), and allows you to have DVR functionality (if you connect some time of memory to it such as an external harddrive or usb drive).  i would imagine this works too since it is made by the same company.
  • HWPVR150 works great for me.
  • Hauppage makes a couple, too. Used them in the past. ​
  • Yes, while it (Oneguide) doesn' work in The Netherlands (Ziggo) because off licences, It will work in 2015, so I am told. This makes Xbox One just that more then a gameconsole. Really nice feature.
  • I hope that for TV integration, one or more of these things happen: Smart Card support; get rid of the cable box entirely and plug directly into the Xbox One (It'll never happen, but the idea was the entire point behind the smart cards in cable boxes.) -or- Something better than using the Kinect as an IR blaster to control the entertainment center. Either through HDMI or whatnot, using the IR blaster is kludgey. -or- Release a NTSC-capable digital tuner so I can at least still watch and record network TV through the Xbox without the need of a horrible, horrible, horrible digital box.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought it controlled the box over HDMI if it supported it and only used the ir blaster as a fallback. When I set mine up I was surprised that my Comcast X1 was still getting controlled via ir.
  • I have Comcast and I don't need an IR Blaster for voice controls.
  • The Kinect is the IR blaster.
  • Possibly... Have no idea what actually works with it though.
  • Bravia Link devices, for one. My Sony TV was automatically detected and doesn't require IR to work.
  • Check out the third paragraph in the CEC section here for other names that mean the same thing. As it's a standard it should work with Xbox automatically without the Xbox being required to support the specific STB. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#CEC
  • Kinect is the IR blaster. Xbox One works with IR commands, not HDMI Sec.
  • Cable card is a dying technology, cable companies only support it because they are required to by law. There is movement to label cable card obsolete so it gets phased out.
  • fine and dandy, but it works right now.  Not to mention they were able to get the 360 to work with some IPTV services.  I think the point some are making is, Microsoft has already gotten past some of the hurdles that everyone mentions and could actually make the "One" box, but as usual they remain incomplete or a few steps from going all the way.  If anything, they came the closest with the xbox 360 as an media center exrender.  The Xbox One is supossed too be the next evolution of that, and heck they even give tuner support in Europe.  But no DVR capability?  Even if this is done via CEC, we are talking about things that have already been done with lesser devices.  The question is, what is holding them back?
  • A basic win 8.1 PC with media centre and the right TV card can cover all your requirement easily... As for remote control and IR blaster, have a look at the Logitech Harmony range. It does it all (IR, RF, Bluetooth blaster)...
  • Works great with Armstrong Cable
  • Only issues I've had had been with their boxes showing no signal at times. Flipping the channel then coming back fixes it.
  • I miss there internet service. Brighthouse sucks my lower left nut. I had em in Aberdeen, SD, now in Orlando. I don't miss the fuckin winters. Two years of that shit was enough.
  • What speed do you have with bright house? RR lightning or lower?
  • Can it replace the cable company's set top box?
  • No it just controls it. So you only need one Interface for everything.
  • No.
  • Still need it. Instead of connecting the HDMI cable from cable box to TV, you connect it to the Xbox One.
  • MS tried this approach. However, cable companies won't allow it. They get roughly $10/month for each cable box they rent plus an additional $10 or so per month for DVR service. They were forced to provide cable cards after much resistance. Letting another company like MS step in and stop some of those revenue streams is not something cable companies are very excited about.
  • Cable Card is only 'Murican. HDMI is global. But, I would like CC to be global.
  • It's America. You can sound ignorant if you wish. I'm not sure how working that into the conversation made any difference.
  • Not an option without a kinect.
  • Really? Why not?
  • For voice commands that is...
  • Because the xbox controls your cable/sat box using the infrared blaster on the kinect. You can watch tv through the xbox without a kinect, but you cant use one guide or change channels etc without reaching for the cable/sat remote.
  • Yes you can, by using SmartGlass. It has both a miniguide and a built in remote (modeled after a DirecTV remote).
  • Wrong. There is no ir blaster on the 1520, so no changing channels.
  • That remote uses Kinect ir to do the remote stuffs thorough ir.
  • Read my first comment. It says no kinect.
  • Unless the STB supports HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control). Then it needs no IR blaster.
  • SmartGlass uses Kinect IR, communicates to Xbox over wifi and does not support voice control at this time.
  • I don't have a kinect. Read first then comment.
  • You can use TV without Kinect, you can use an IR blaster like this: http://www.snapstream.com/images/store/pvr-150_ir_blaster.jpg
  • I actually would love it if they let us turn off the social/trending stuff.
  • Agreed.
  • If Microsoft would sell an o.t.a. antenna adapter here in the U.S. I would love to use these features. I pay for internet but wont pay for TV.
  • And Canada.
  • It looks like it is hard to release something like this because cable companies.
  • cable companies have nothing to do with OTA.  There are lots of OTA DVRs out there.  Any television has OTA built in.  Even locals over QAM from cable companies is required.  Either would allow a true cut the cord experience.
  • No DVR, no atsc, no media center extender, no tuners in Canada. It's a good concept but totally not powerful enough. Will stick with windows media center, thanks.
  • WMC is going away along with cable card within about 10 years or less, wmc is already dead with no support.
  • The Xbox one will be gone in 10 years or less with no support.  You're totally incorrect.  I personally use wmc and it has support from Microsoft as its a Windows 8.1 program.  They still support it for Windows 7 as well.  The only reason it is dying because people like you think its a dinosaur when its working perfectly fine.
  • DVR: Your cable box or antenna->HDMI can provide DVR and Xbox One can use it.
    ATSC: Your cable box or antenna->HDMI will provide this
    Tuners: The same the the last one.
  • Well, the idea here is not to have a cable box ! But all integrated in one single box...
    A pity WMC is no longer supported, nor dev as their are no better alternative on the Microsoft side so far. The Xbox one is far behind on TV integration, DVR and multi tuners support compare to WMC... And with the right TV Tuners, WMC can take anything...
    Mine currently has a terrestrial digital tuner AND a Satellite tuner card.... All seamlessly integrated under one interface, one tv guide etc...
  • Recently purchased a $10 antenna for $5 and a $25-30 converter box. We live about 35 minutes from downtown St. Louis and catch 20+ channels. And running it through the Xbox One is awesome. Voice commands, control from Smartglass, etc. I love that the OneGuide is in the Smartglass app, so you can browse what's on there and just tap when you find what you're looking for.
  • Huh?  How are you doing this without a cable box???
  • Witchcraft.
  • Da voodoo... Nah, digital antenna goes coaxial to converter box. Converter box goes HDMI to Xbox One. Voila! My converter box has DVR, but haven't tried it yet. Mainly was just getting something cheap to pass TV to Xbox. Wish OneGuide would add DVR someday...we can dream. Let me know if you want me to send links to products on Amazon so you can do your own browsing. I've been fairly pleased though. More than pleased, as it gets a lot of HD channels and the major networks.
  • If you could recommend a reasonably priced converter box like you got, I'd really appreciate it.  I have a tuner in my TV so never really needed one, but being able to use some advanced features and definitely the XB1's tv features would make all of that much more appealing to me.
  • I believe this is the one I got. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G5RXM16/ref=cm_sw_su_dp?tag=hawk-future-20&...
    -
    I felt it was reasonably priced. Some boxes run higher. And Amazon usually has it on sale for some reason or another. We've only had it about a month, so can't speak to the longevity of it, and it is mildly clunky...the actual remote and software on it. But I like using as much of the X1 side of it as possible, so barely notice its clunky shortcomings. Figure I'm getting mild clunkiness for cheap price.
  • The Mediasonic HomeWorX HW150PVR is directly supported by the Xbox One.
  • Still waiting to be able to control my DVR, I watch almost nothing live except for sports, and that's the tiniest portion of the things I watch. Need to be able to set recordings etc. with voice.
  • In think I'll be getting One.
  • Stupid question.....dont you need a 'smart TV' to be able to turn it on and off using voice control? Irrespective of the Xbox One with Kinect, an HDMI lead cant do miracles, right?
  • My Xbox turns my not smart Samsung tvs off and on. Samsung audio receiver as well
  • The Xbox sends an IR command via Kinect or IR blaster cables (not included). Voice recognition is currently only supported via Kinect. This works with all TVs, cable boxes, and AV receivers. It also supports digital media streamers like Roku and Apple TV. Theoretically you could also do voice via SmartGlass on a phone/tablet but the app takes a while to launch and connect so it would not be nearly as fast and easy as using Kinect.
  • HDMI does support simple commands via the CEC protocol. My Xbox communicates with my Sony TV without using the IR blaster.
  • Single commands? maybe, but not like an IR blaster cable or Kinect.
  • No
  • all those things are pretty useless if you live in Europe, sadly   or am i wrong?
  • They offer a TV tuner card in Europe. Which is better since you can get rid off the cable box.
    http://www.slashgear.com/xbox-one-tv-tuner-launches-in-europe-with-new-f...
  • Also better in Europe because you can remotely view your TV on SmartGlass app on your phone or tablet. Very similar to Slingbox. Would love if US cable supported this feature. Not sure what they are afraid of.
  • There's a cable TV tuner you can buy in the European regions for the Xbox One. :)
  • You are wrong, so wrong.
  • the TV tunes is for DVB-T or Antenna. useless if i have a cable subscription where i need to put a smartcard into my receiver to get anything.
  • Does anyone know if this will work with Freeview and/or Foxtel in Australia?
  • I haven't tried it myself, but I can tell you that the T.V. Tuner they offer in Europe does not work in Australia.
  • Are you sure? Isn't it a plain DVB-T tuner? Or have they locked down the frequencies / codecs to those used in Europe? Australia and NZ use much more modern codecs than the rest of the world (at least as of a couple of years ago).
  • I bought one a little while ago to test it. The setup is simple enough; it's just a matter of plugging in the tuner and changing the region to one that supports it. But, I think that's the problem. It searches for stations but only finds a handful, and when you try and watch a station it loads to a blank screen. I haven't done much else to see if I could get it to work so I could possibly be doing something wrong. Admittedly, I'm not well versed on the finer points of television frequencies and the hardware that powers them, but yeah, I think Europe and Australia share the same frequency type.
  • Right, so yeah it could be the software limiting it rather than the hardware. That's a shame. I'd love to use it in New Zealand. I don't watch much broadcast TV any more, but sometimes there's something good on and we occasionally have local content worth watching.
  • I'm sure I've read somewhere that it work guy just had to use a UK postcode
  • Possibly. I've not tried that but I might and then report back on my findings :)
  • Yep, anything that has HDMI out and can be controlled by an IR remote. OneGuide could be a different story, though. TV networks in Australia and New Zealand are pretty precious about not letting other companies broadcast their programme guides.
  • No DVR ability...no thanks
  • You can still use your remote control!
  • That is not because of MS.
  • I think you don't understand how Xbox One works, you don't need that Xbox One support DVR, your cable box or tv converter is the one with DVR support.
  • I don't think it'll ever support DVR. I'd imagine if a recording is taking place, you would not be able to game without pausing the recording due to performance issues. Too many usability problems there.
  • If someone would invent an OS and CPU that could handle multitasking, that would solve your problem. :) ​Joking aside, I can do other things while I'm recording a program, but my system chokes because of limited resources. So I wouldn't say never. They just need to boost the processing power. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
  • Yea Xbox one is leading the pack with that option! Mines works perfectly, that's the way I hooked my Xbox one up straight out the box.
  • This sounds crazy, but I signed up for cable TV just to do this with my XBox One.
  • I did the same thing ... Just for Xbox one tv integration..
  • I use the £25 tv tuner and I have to say I love how the xbox provides all my entertainment needs. Just hope they add programme recording, and remote tv viewing. Oh and ITV player would be kinda nice :) I feel this is going to be an epic year for Microsoft on all fronts :)
  • Smart glass for remote tv viewing streams to my Lumia 930 perfectly. Watch TV and play gta5 no problems
  • how about a USB ATSC tuner do we could just use the XBOX as a tuner??
  • They offer that in Europe
  • Europe doesn't use ATSC.
  • Not available because problems with cable providers.
  • I was so frustrated with making Frontier work with Xbox One and gave up, instead moved to Tivo, after that Xbox One feels subpar.
  • Probably you didn't know how to setup your console.
  • Yeah, it was too hard. Only if Frontier had a set top box without HDMI protection check, that would allow passthrough via AV. Anways, TiVo worked with Xb1 but experience was subpar than what I got within TiVo. This is despite getting DVR replacements to latest models from Frontier. Its Frontiers fault for not having good DVR, and TiVos win over Xb1 for nailing TV experience.
  • If I would've known Microsoft STILL refuses to produce a Kinect Extension Cable, I would've told Santa to take the thing back. We have our electronics stored in a closet away from the TV and no wires showing. The Xbox 360 had a 30ft cable available. Nothing apparently exists still for the new Kinect. What kind of stupidity is that?? You can tell your XB1 to make coffee for you as long as its got a cable attached???
  • Because your problem isn't a real problem, no demand for that extension cable.
  • Just because its not a problem for you, doesn't mean its not a problem. If your positioning your product as the center of your media experience, you need to think of this stuff.
  • There are some solutions that get us most of the way there now.  Check out this thread on AVS.  http://www.avsforum.com/forum/141-xbox-area/1498930-xbox-one-kinect-extender-22.html  Watch out for the IR blaster issues when using the Kinect for WIndows extender pack on the XBOX One though. As for the post below from the clown who says that this isn't a problem there are 22 pages of this thread to prove you otherwise.  That is also just ONE thread of people looking for an extender in the Home Theatre world.  A little searching around will reveal plenty of others.  It's a little difficult to take MS seriously about the idea of using this to revolutionise the living room when you cut out people in a whole market segment....those with projectors and media racks.
  • Thanks much. I did some searching but missed that one!
  • Call me a newbie, but is it possible to use a digital TV converter box with it? I don't like paying for cable but wouldn't mind getting simple local channels...
  • If it has HDMI it should work.
  • What about xbmc kit with Raspberry pi its amazing what you can do with it.
  • Hows the sound work when TV is snapped? Which source does the sound come out of? At one time, people complained it came from both.
  • Its does come from both. With an option to change the %balance to either app.
  • This is an absolute game changer!!! I'm blown away how well this setup works, more importantly how long I've been missing out!!
  • How about an article with video showing how to set up an Xbox One for TV if you have cable but no cable box.
  • Here is how it works for OTA signal.
    http://forums.windowscentral.com/xbox-one/241339-4.htm Using a Mediasonic HomeWorx HW-150PVR ATSC Digital Converter Box w/ Media Player Function
  • But I don't have OTA.  I do get cable TV via a coax cable but I do not have a set top box because I'm only paying for basic cable.  Thanks for the link but in the threads the concensus seems like there is no fix for set ups like mine.  I can't drop cable TV completely and go OTA because of where I live.
  • Here is the big problem I have.  Using Xbox One and DirecTV just plain doesn't work.  I know it isn't officially supported, but the one guide does actually work and I can change the channel. The issue arises when viewing a SD TV prgram.  For some reason, the Xbox scales this down and it becomes half the size of the TV screen (I have a 60" and the SD program is roughly 27" diagonally). While I don't watch too much SD TV, when I do, this is just really annoying and something that I can't deal with.
  • I couldn't use mine with my TiVo
  • I was able to but TiVo itself is far better especially when you put DVR and suggestions into picture.
  • I'd like to be able to have the same app open twice, once in the main window and again in Snap mode, so I can watch TV while I watch TV (grew for sports), then be able to say "Xbox, swap" to instantly flip them if a big play happens.
  • I'd love to hook my 360 up to the One. But don't want to try yet.
  • It works! Though there is about 100-200ms delay so it's not worth it for gaming.
  • But can you trust the servers at this moment in time as its prone to let's say Disruption, As one or two have pointed out in the past who is watching you
  • I love tv integration. This is why I got sat tv again.
  • well yeah if only i could do this.. but ALAS, being in Australia prevents this from bing possible (for now at least)  
  • Only OneGuide ... other than that it would work fine.
  • Ive got my VirginMedia Cable tv, a 360 and my surface pro connected to a hdmi auto switch, that goes into the hdmi in on the xbox one, ive also got a usb tv tuner to stream tv to any room using smartglass.
  • Can anyone confirm if the TV tuner works in Australia?
  • I love all of the listed features, but how could they have omitted true HDMI passthrough? If I just want to watch TV, I shouldn't have to turn the XBox on, but it should be there if I want it on when I'm on the XBox. 
  • This!  Tried running DirecTv though the One...didn't like it one bit.
  • That's a great idea! May be difficult to implement it while powered off without hardware changes, but you would think it could be implemented in sleep mode with only software changes.
  • I'd love for the XB1 to be able to be used as a DVR on Comcast. Also, I am not impressed with OneGuide. IMO it is too slow to load. I prefer to simply use the guide on the cable box. As for voice controls, I do enjoy them. But lately XB1 has said it cannot pause or record the tv via voice. Not sure why.
  • Does anyone know of a way to control t