Technology XBox One OneGuide

Published on May 30th, 2014 | by Omar

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XBox One as a media center

I’m trying to decide what to buy, a PS4 or an XBox one. I don’t play alot of video games at home or at work for that fact (I work for Electronic Arts). So I’ve been leaning towards the XBox One due to it’s intent on being a media center. Most of the articles I’ve read about the XBox One’s media center capabilities have been US based. Given that I live in Canada so I wanted to test out how it works in that function for us Canadians. I borrowed on from work and did the following tests:
Objective: Can I use the XBox One as a media center
Tests:
  • Voice control
    • Works pretty well but seems to struggle in a house as noisy as mine
      Context: I did the test just after dinner and the kids were getting in trouble for not eating fast enough :)​
  • Hand Gestures (via Kinect)
    • Neat but would take some time to get used to using them
    • It bothers me that a machine is teaching me how to interact with it rather than the other way around. Overlord phobia 🙂
  • Controlling my IP TV receiver (Telus Optik)
    • Can it turn on my TV Receiver for me? – No
      • Therefore I have to turn the XBox on, TV and receiver on (first world problem)
    • OneGuide (XBox TV guide) It turns out that in Canada this could be available in June
      • Right now it can’t turn my TV receiver on but in theory the next update should allow this
      • That being said it appears that it just handles simple functions on your receiver
        • ie changing channels but not the DVR functions
  • Skype
    • ​Works great
    • We Skype a lot with my sister so it’s nice to not have to use the IPad and have everyone in the video feed.
    • Note: Skype isn’t available on the PS4…yet anyway
  • Kinect
    • Works well but in game functionality is minimal to none
  • Would this make watching TV easier
    • In some ways Yes
      • Skype use is easier and more comfortable
      • Access to Netflix without the use of an IPad
      • Once/If OneGuide works in Canada it would make live viewing easier
    • In some ways No
      • We live in a DVR world so we don’t watch much live TV and rely on our DVR quite heavily
        • Not having access to the DVR functions would lead to having yet another remote in hand
      • Having to turn on multiple devices
        • XBox
        • TV Receiver
        • This could be simplified by buying a Logitech Harmony remote but ideally an “XBox On” command would turn on everything…could fixed with the “June update
It doesn’t seem to be quite there yet for what I’m looking to achieve as a true media center. I’ll wait a bit longer to see if the june update makes a change. Otherwise I’ll be buying a PS4.

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