Conversation Piece: The HDMI pass through doesn’t pass through much!

Ok, that sounds slightly like a click-bait headline. You’re ready to tell me that the HDMI pass through works fine, because you can plug any HDMI device into it, and use the OneGuide app to watch it.

Yes, you’re right, but I still have a gripe with it.

One of the big selling points of both the Xbox One S and Xbox One X is their 4k capabilities. It’s great for 4k games. It’s great for 4k video streaming. It’s great for 4k Blu Ray discs.

But what about 4k pass-through.

I own an Apple TV 4k. I love the convenience of plugging it into the HDMI port of my One S and not having to change the inputs when I want to use the Apple TV (I primarily use it for watching DirecTV Now and Disney Now, since neither app is on Xbox One). 

However, I’ve gone back and forth about biting the bullet and directly plugging the Apple TV right into the TV set. I want to watch my 4k movies, and right now, the Xbox One S won’t let me. 

I, frankly, don’t understand that.

If you’re going to push 4k as a major capability of these consoles, there’s no reason why 4k pass through shouldn’t be a thing — this is especially true of a $500 premium machine like the Xbox One X. 

If 4k pass through was a thing, I would be happily watching the 4k movies that Apple has graciously upgraded me to, but as it stands I can only watch them in 1080p (yes, this article could’ve been called “Me and my 4k first world problem!)

If a software fix can make this happen, I hope it happens soon. If it requires some type of hardware tweak, then I can only bow my head and wonder why this boat was allowed to sail off on its own, away from the group. 

As for my Apple TV, it still sits in the HDMI port, but – just like the One S it’s attached to – it’s only teasing its full potential.

Author: Marques Lyons

We should all view today as another chance to better tomorrow. Microsoft Xbox MVP. Fitbit user. Wokeish. Music connoisseur. Disney enthusiast. UC Irvine alum.

One thought on “Conversation Piece: The HDMI pass through doesn’t pass through much!”

  1. I always thought the HDMI passthrough could use a better implementation. I’d love to see it used as a “simple” passthrough, to basically have the Xbox just be a conduit so I could, for example, let my family watch what is hooked up to the passthrough, while I stream a game to the Windows 10 Xbox App.

    I do know that 4k HDMI does have some hardware requirements on the port, but I do not know if the input HDMI on the Xbox has that capability hardware wise, and if not, I’m with you on the head shaking. Might be possible to update the port via firmware, but that depends on if the port can handle the standards set.

    But at this point, I just use Hulu and Netflix either on the Xbox or baked into my TV directly, so I don’t have anything hooked up through the passthrough.

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