Turn your Xbox One around!
On the back of an Xbox One lies an HDMI-In port. When the console was first announced, this port was going to be the method, by which, you could watch cable television through the Xbox One.
It’s a great convenience, that’s for sure, but over time – with the rise of streaming TV services like Sling TV and YouTube TV – the necessity of this port as a place to centralize cable TV became less and less important.
Well, what if I told you that you could plug *anything* into that HDMI port, as long as HDMI is the connection system?
You could plug in your Roku Stick, Apple TV, Fire TV, or any HDMI capable device (heck, you could even plug in a Playstation or Xbox 360, if you wanted to). They will all work just fine, and broadcast out of the same OneGuide app, that’s designed for cable TV.
I’m telling you all of this because for one thing, it actually is a nicety to have. Having a media device plugged into your Xbox One, supplements all of the native apps available on the console, so you can have one place to enjoy all of your entertainment.
I’m also telling you because I wanted to mention two pain points (consider it personal gripes): One, I really miss the snap feature of Xbox One. It was nice to be able to watch a video (TV show, etc) while browsing the Xbox store to look for games. Background audio is great, but some video overlay would be fantastic.
Secondly, the HDMI pass through (at the moment) doesn’t allow for 4k. I have an Apple TV 4k, but I’ve decided to plug it directly into my TV, because I want to enjoy the 4k movies and content that I have. Neither the One S nor the One X have this capability. It’s more disappointing that the One X doesn’t have this feature. Sure, it’s a monster, but it’s a monster with a little less roar in its voice.
This allows me to sneak in one more thing: Why the hell doesn’t the Xbox One S have the YouTube app that allows for 4k streaming?
With that said, go ahead and enjoy the HDMI port. If you have a Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and the like, the Xbox One makes it easy to centralize all of your entertainemt – at least until the native entertainment options on the Xbox One catches up with the rest of the world.