The initial promise of the Xbox One was an all in one console that brought gaming and entrainment features together into one box. At launch the media features were somewhat limited but we are now starting to see some real progress in that area. Today Microsoft have released details of future changes to the Xbo One that are really going to help deliver that vision of one box.
Coming soon there will be a new Media Player that finally enables playback from attached USB storage or from a DLNA server on your home network. The preview version of the app will only support USB devices, DLNA will be added soon and the list of file formats support is pretty impressive (well compared to preview apps from Microsoft). You can see from list below a lot of formats are supported with MPEG 2 TS and MKV support being added “by the end of year”. Once DLNA support is up and running you should be able to store all your media on a central server and then use DLNA to play it on the Xbox One, including ripped movies. Currently the lack of local and network media playback is one of the biggest limitation in using the Xbox One as a media device and this addition is very welcome.
Another great new feature is Stream TV to SmartGlass, with the Digital TV tuner for the Xbox One that was announced last week you will be able to stream live TV from the Xbox One to a phone or tablet running the Xbox One SmartGlass app (Windows, iOS and Android). You will be able to pause, play, rewind and change changes from the app without interfering with the gameplay on the Xbox One, almost like a Windows Media Center software extender!
If you have the new TV tuner you will be able to set the Xbox One to boot to TV so when the console comes out of connected standby it will go back to live TV. There is also a Live TV mini guide that is an overlay of the currently playing TV.
The addition of the Media Player, TV streaming and the TV Tuner (and BBC iPlayer for the Xbox One) makes the Xbox One a pretty capable media device to use in the home and the only thing that is really missing would be DVR features and that surely is a matter of time before it’s added.
Details from Major Nelson’s blog:
Media Player – a new app will be available soon that enables users to play media files from either an attached USB device or from a network connected home media server that supports DLNA protocols. The preview version of the Media Player app will initially only support USB devices, with DLNA support coming soon. Xbox One will support more formats than Xbox 360, including support for dozens of new file formats like mpeg 2 TS, animated gifs and mkv which will be added by the end of the year. See below for additional file formats.
Xbox One Digital TV Tuner –announced last week, this new accessory will enter a limited preview program in Europe (UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain), in advance of its retail launch beginning in October.
Stream TV to SmartGlass – launching first in markets receiving the Xbox Digital TV Tuner, Xbox One owners will be able to stream their TV across their home network to their smartphones and tablets using the Xbox SmartGlass app. They can also pause, play and rewind as well as change channels, without interrupting gameplay on the Xbox One. This will work for SmartGlass apps on Windows, iOS, and Android.
Boot to TV – Now Xbox One owners will be able to set their console to boot directly to television when coming out of connected standby.
Live TV mini guide – for markets where OneGuide is available, a new mini guide on the bottom of the screen will display details about the TV content that is currently playing. Users can quickly change channels and see what’s on other channels, while still watching TV.
List of formats support by the Xbox One Media Player:
- o3gp audio
- 3gp video
- animated gif
- avi divx
- avi dv
- avi uncompressed
- avi xvid
- h264 avchd
- mpeg 1 ps
- mpeg 2
- mpeg 2 hd
- mpeg 2 ts
- mpeg 4 h264 aac
- mpeg 4 sp
- wma lossless
- wma pro
- wma voice
- wmv hd