What you need to know
- Microsoft constantly tests new features and additions to the Xbox experience weeks before public release.
- Today, in the Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead Insider branches, Microsoft is testing brand-new Xbox Series X|S features.
- The update enables new HDMI-CEC features, meaning Xbox Series X|S consoles will be able to talk to your TV more.
- New features include being able to control your Xbox using your TV remote, and letting your Xbox automatically switch the TV input with the controller.
The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are in a constant state of improvement, as Microsoft works tirelessly to add new features and improvements over time. The Xbox Insider Program is picking up new builds today, as both the Alpha branch and Alpha Skip-Ahead branch are being lit up with new builds, both of which include new features for Xbox Series X|S owners.
The builds enable additional features for Xbox Series X and S consoles connected to TVs over HDMI-CEC, which effectively allow a greater level of communication between the devices. With the new features, users will now be able to control their Xbox Series X|S in the Dashboard or streaming apps using their TV remote, which helps mitigate the dwindling list of best Xbox Series X|S media remotes for many. Additionally, users will be able to automatically switch the input on their TV by pressing the Xbox button on their controller, which is useful for users with multiple devices connected to their TV.
HDMI-CEC is already partially in use on Xbox Series X and S, depending on your TV, and is also present on older Xbox One consoles. However, it's great to see the feature improve on Xbox Series X|S. For the best experience, pair your Xbox Series X or S with one of the best Xbox Series X|S 4K TVs, many of which fully support HDMI-CEC and can take full advantage of your console's capabilities.
In case you missed it, the same Xbox Insider flights that include the aforementioned HDMI-CEC features also include a firmware update that adds new features to older Xbox controllers, including Bluetooth Low Energy and Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) support.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.