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Xbox Series X|S can now control your TV's input

Xbox Series S
Xbox Series S (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Xbox Series X, Series S, and One X can now switch the input source of a TV back to your console.
  • The new feature just rolled out with an update that brings Xbox consoles to version 10.0.22000.4158.
  • Xbox consoles can already turn TVs on or off and send volume commands to televisions.

Microsoft just released an update (opens in new tab) for the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One X that allows the consoles to control the input of a television. Now, when you press the Xbox button on your controller, the console will switch the input source of your TV back to your Xbox. As a result, you can now swap from watching a TV show to gaming without having to use your remote.

Xbox's Larry Hryb showed off the feature on Twitter and shared a screenshot of the HDMI-CEC options for the console.

See more

Controlling TV input is only the latest HDMI-CEC feature to roll out to Xbox consoles. Here are all of the ways you can control your TV from your Xbox, as outlined by Microsoft (opens in new tab):

  • Console turns on other devices: Turning on your Xbox console will also turn on your TV or AVR.
  • Console turns off other devices: Turning off your Xbox console will also turn off your TV or AVR.
  • Other devices can turn console off: Turning off your TV or AVR will also turn off your Xbox console.
  • Console sends volume commands: The console can control the volume on your TV, AVR, or soundbar.
  • Switch TV input using controller: Pressing the Xbox button  on your controller switches your TV input to your Xbox console (this allows you to quickly switch your TV back to console video without using your TV remote).

Of course, you'll need a TV that works with HDMI CEC to take advantage of any of these features. Many of the best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X and S support HDMI-CEC. In some cases, the feature will be disabled by default.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

10 Comments
  • Nice! A very welcome feature.
  • My Samsung TV already did this when I turned the console on, but this is a nice feature for those who leave the console on constantly. I'm still hoping they'll bring back the ability to receive control input from a TV. I used to be able to use my Samsung remote to navigate on the Xbox and the TV together, making it more convenient for media consumption. Oh well, baby steps.
  • This isn't about switching when you turn it on. It is when it is already on and you've switched to a different input on your TV or receiver. Tapping the Xbox button once will switch the display input back to the xbox.
  • My lg remote works on the Xbox at least in apps like Hulu and Netflix... I'll check for the UI navigation....
  • I have a Samsung TV and navigation used to work well too, now it is a pain (but works if you insist and try pointing the controller to different directions). I think this is an issue with Samsung TV's, and not the Xbox system, but I don't have any other HDMI-CEC controllable device to test.
  • So I checked it works in the Xbox dashboard too on my side...
  • Good to have feature. However it is missing an option to switch back to what you were doing. So I can be watching something on my Nvidia Shield and tap the xbox button to switch inputs but I can't then go back to the Shield without getting the TV/Receiver remote or turning the Shield off and on. Other problem with this, though it is a CEC problem, is there is no way to say "don't turn off TV & Receiver if This/These device(s) are still on'" So in my example if I have the Shield an Xbox on and I turn one of them off, it turns off the TV and receiver even though the other device is still on. Same issue if you have a 'power-off/go to sleep after X amount of inactivity'. If you leave one on while you are doing things on the other, it will go to sleep and turn off the TV and receiver even though you are active on the other device. So this option is nice to have but actual usage will likely stop you from needing to keep your receiver/tv remote close.
  • I just turned this option on. You were saying there is no way to go back to the other input, but I have a Roku on another input. I just hit a button on the Roku remote and it switches to the Roku input, then I hit the Xbox button on Xbox controller and it switched back to the Xbox input. I can do that back and forth endlessly.
  • This is pretty cool, so this should mean if I'm watching Binge on my TV but then want to game, I can turn the Xbox controller on and it will automatically switch inputs? Although I feel like the Xbox already did that, at least from off it does. If I have been using a TV app, turn off the TV, then turn on my Xbox, then the TV starts already set to the Xbox input without having to change it.
  • Yea, I think this new option is for when the Xbox is already on.