The Xbox One is finally here, and we’ve had time to setup with a Windows Media Center PC. You can watch our video walk through of the features below. At a high level we can definitely say that Windows Media Center does work with Xbox One’s TV features, but we wouldn’t give it much more praise that just working. One of the problems is that Windows Media Center isn’t always sending live TV out through its HDMI port in the way that most cable boxes operate. When using a Media Center setup you often end up stopping the live TV, and that really throws a wrench into things. We never really expected to be able to use Windows Media Center through an Xbox One without needing to grab a remote control, but you may need it even more than you had originally planned. The other problem comes from a lower “spouse acceptance factor.” This is due to the fact that in order to watch TV at all you’ll need to turn the Xbox One on, and then go to TV (or say “Watch TV”). This might be one too many steps to ask of other family members, babysitters, etc.
Despite the problems, pairing Windows Media Center and an Xbox One does still offer some nice features. If you’re just casually watching TV while playing a game, looking through the latest Netflix options, or checking out what your Xbox Live friends are doing, then being able to snap TV off to the side is a really nice feature! Fortunately many of the shortcomings can be fixed with software changes, and Microsoft has a history of making many revisions to the Xbox software. Keep an eye on the DMZ as we’ll be sure to let you know if/when TV updates are released for the Xbox One.