When it comes to gaming it is quite hard to choose between the Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4. However, when it comes to media the Xbox has the edge. Here is how to get the most out of you Xbox One’s media capabilities:
1. Pass your DSTV through the Xbox One
You can plug your DSTV HDMI cable directly into the Xbox One’s HDMI input port. This will allow you to watch DSTV through the Xbox interface which means that you can easily switch between gaming and TV. You will of course still need your DSTV remote to change channels. This is a great way to integrate viewing and also free up extra HDMI ports on your TV or home theatre system.
2. Install Plex Media Centre
Plex is a fantastic media streaming service. You can setup your home computer as a server (where all your movies and series are stored) and stream shows via your home network, direct to your Xbox One.
Plex has a lot of great features but the best is the way it indexes your shows, pulling in posters, cast info, IMDB ratings and even trailers for movies. In my experience Plex has the most seamless media indexing (less error prone and finicky than XBMC).
The only caveat is that you need to pay for the Plex Pass service in order to use it on Xbox One. You can either pay $4.99 monthly, $39.99 each year, or plop down $149.99 for a lifetime subscription. Benefits include Plex Sync, which lets you download content to your phone or tablet to bring with you on long flights or the daily work commute. There’s also Cloud Sync, which uploads media files less than 2GB to cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive so they can be watched anywhere you’ve got Wi-Fi. Plus you also get multi-device streaming so you can pickup a show on your iPad/iPhone/Android where you left off on your TV.
3. Install the YouTube App
Not much to say here, but the Xbox One YouTube app is great and seamlessly brings the world of video to your fingertips. Great for catching up on your subscribed channels or just browsing funny videos in between your more serious Plex binges.
4. Get an Xbox One Media Remote
Having to turn your controller on and off can be a bit of a pain when watching TV, the media remote solves all of that. It turns itself off and wakes when you pick it up, extending battery life and increasing convenience.
It has all the controls you need for controlling your Xbox, Plex, YouTube etc all within a beautiful little design. It’s matte feel is also great in the hand. It is hands down the best accessory that you can get for your Xbox One.
Add all of these together and you can understand why Microsoft was aiming for the Xbox One to be the centre of your living room – thanks to the steps above it is the centre of mine.