With the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, Microsoft announced that all of the best Xbox One accessories and your best Xbox One headset would remain compatible with the console, but there are, of course, some outliers.
Kinect is dead, gone and buried, and the lack of an IR Blaster on the Xbox Series X and S certainly raised questions about how devices like media remotes would function. To that end, PDP has unveiled a shiny new PDP Talon Media Remote, designed for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, although the previous one should still work as well.
Today, Major Nelson revealed reiterated that the Xbox Series S and X do have an IR Receiver, cleverly hidden away inside the pairing key on the front of each console. To control TV sets, though, you need to be able to send that signal to those external devices. You can use a bridge like the Amazon Echo to set up routines, that let you communicate with several devices simultaneously over WiFi. However, if you want to keep things simple, most modern sets like those in our best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X, Series S roundup will utilize HDMI-CEC instead.
HDMI-CEC sends command signals over HDMI to your TV set, eliminating the need for the IR Blaster, which is a holdover from the Kinect days of the early Xbox One generation. Back then, the PDP Talon Media Remote was widely regarded as the best-in-class solution for controlling your TV and Xbox without reaching for the gamepad. Now, PDP has unleashed an all-new remote, designed for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles.
The main difference between the new PDP Talon and the old one is the removal of the number buttons. The previous Xbox console, the Xbox One, had deep TV integration, complete with HDMI pass-through to effectively take over and control your cable box using its IR Blaster, right down to changing TV channels. From what we can tell, the software for this has been completely removed from the Xbox Series X and S, meaning you won't be channel surfing or using the old Xbox TV tuner on the new-gen consoles. Thus, there's no need for number keys as a result.
The old PDP Talon should still work regardless, but if you want a slimmer, smaller, and more compact version for using Netflix, Disney+, and all the other media apps available on Xbox Series S and X, this will likely be your best option at just $20. It's up for preorder now on Amazon, ahead of a November 5, 2020 launch.
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