A Few Things That You Might Not Know About The Xbox One

Recently, I’ve had a little trouble with my Xbox One. By a little trouble I mean that it now no longer plays discs and has chosen to swallow my copy of FIFA 15, meaning I need a new console. Thankfully, Microsoft are well versed in sorting out faulty consoles, so I’ll be getting my new Xbox One, free of charge, within the week. Still, the issues that I was having with my console did lead me to learn one or two new things about it (other than that it likes the taste of FIFA 15). So, I thought I’d share them with y’all!

There is an auto-release button at the side of the console to dislodge stuck discs

If you ever have the same issue as me (that your Xbox One has eaten your disc as if it were a chubby kid at a cookie factory), it might be helpful to know that there is a manual release button on the left hand side of the console. If you look at the image below (excuse the dust, it’s the only problem with the high gloss finish of the Xbox One), the button is a few centimetres to the left of the orange rectangle. Microsoft’s literal advice on this issue is “stick a paperclip in it”, so you basically unfold a large paperclip and insert it into the small hole. The disc then pops out slightly, and you can remove it from the console. Happy days! It goes without saying that there’s literally no need to do this unless the disc is stuck AND make sure you unplug the console from the mains before shoving anything metal inside it… you’ve been warned!

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You can hard shutdown the console by holding the white button for around 10 seconds

The majority of Xbox One fans will openly admit that their console isn’t perfect. It has its issues, but what piece of tech doesn’t these days? The majority of issues are easy to fix by, ironically, switching it off and on again. However, most people have their Xbox One’s set to ‘always on’, so that it auto-updates. That means that, when you do press the white off button, it doesn’t actually switch it off – it just puts it into a sort of sleep mode. It means that the console will boot up quickly whenever you want to play it without the need for seeing the Xbox One start up screen. However, if you want to hard reset the console, this isn’t ideal. Some people might not know that, if you just hold the white button for 10 or so seconds, it properly switches off the console as if you had removed the plug. That’s something worth remembering, as it will save you from routing around behind your console to try and find that pesky power socket.

You can use a universal remote (provided it uses the same infrared signal as the Xbox One) to control DVD / video playback and more

So I’ve not personally tried this one, but I have seen it working. Basically, if you have a universal remote (usually Logitech) that uses that same infrared code as the Xbox One, you can tune it to control your console. Obviously, you can’t use it to play games, but you can use it to navigate the home screen and play, pause, rewind and fast-forward DVDs and the likes. The Xbox One media remote isn’t exactly cheap, so this could save you a few bob assuming that the Logitech counterpart is cheaper, or you already have a universal remote that could work.

You can play your Xbox 360 through your Xbox One and use the same power cable (ish) – you can even play a PS3 or PS4 through it

So the Xbox One can work as an HDMI hub, in a way. It has two HDMI slots, one in and one out. That means that you can plug one other product that runs through HDMI into the console, and control it through the Xbox One. By ‘control it through the Xbox One’, I don’t mean that you can use the Xbox One controller to play 360, PS3 or PS4 games – what I mean is that you can run these consoles through your Xbox One, whilst being able to snap other Xbox One apps in the background, or switch between those consoles and your Xbox One with ease (without having to turn one off and plug in the HDMI cable into the TV). It basically works by utilising the Xbox One’s TV integration, so you’ll say “Xbox, go to TV”, but instead of going to your TV provider, it will go to your 360, PS3 or PS4. You can then snap apps like the Party app, or Xbox Music or videos so that you can enjoy your Xbox One related media whilst playing games on a different console. Happy days! It basically frees up constantly switching between HDMI cables, and it means that you can play on two consoles at once, like switching between Halo: The Master Chief Collection and The Last of Us Remastered, in a matter of seconds, whilst still chatting to your friends through Xbox Party Chat.

Just as a side note, you can also use the same power cable for the Xbox One as you do the Xbox 360. You can’t use the power brick, or the cable that plugs into the Xbox One itself, but you can use the removable cable that runs from the power brick to the wall. This is interchangeable between the consoles, so it means that you can save on how many plugs you have running off of an extension cable, for instance (assuming you have both the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 plugged into the same TV).

You can stream videos from your Windows Media Centre 7

If you’re a big user of Microsoft’s Media Centre 7, you’ll probably have a fair few videos or films on there that you like watching. Sometimes, however, it’s a bit of a nightmare plugging an HDMI cable into your laptop, surface or PC so that you can play it on a bigger or better screen. Thankfully, you’re now able to stream Media Centre 7 through your Xbox One; and it’s pretty simple to do, too. Once you’ve got Media Centre 7 installed on your Windows PC, laptop or Surface, you can then stream the content through your Xbox One by right clicking on the video and then selecting the options ‘play through’ and ‘Xbox One’. You need to make sure that the Xbox One is on the same network as your device with Media Centre installed, and that you’re Xbox One is set to ‘Allow Play To Streaming’ in the preferences in the ‘Settings’ app. But, once you’ve done that, you’re good to go!

Record game DVR with a double tap

Since the recent update, I’ve noticed that we can record game DVR by double tapping the white ‘Home’ button on the centre of the controller and then pressing ‘X’. I’m not sure if this is a new addition or not, but it’s definitely a good one! Gone are the days of me hollering “XBOX RECORD THAT!” whilst the Xbox can’t seem to hear me, and the moment I wanted to record slips away. Now, after a couple of attempts of saying the command, I can just double tap and press ‘X’. You risk accidentally pressing it once and sending yourself home, but in the most part it works pretty well. You can also snap some of your most used apps by using the double tap home button technique, too. It saves a lot of time, I must admit!

So there you go, a few functions or aspects of the Xbox One that you might not have known about. Hopefully one or two of these might be new to you, but if I’ve missed a few (which I more than likely have), feel free to add them to the comments section below!

  • Paul

    Record game DVR with a double tap:

    This feature is with the November update along with other functions added to the D-Pad when you double press the Home button.
    The feature was introduced to support all those customers who have bought the Kinectless console and didn’t have an effective way to quickly do things like DVR recording or Snapping, etc.

    • I remember that being in the notes for the early access update, now. It’s pretty handy to have (and it saves you looking like an idiot whilst you shout “Xbox record that” in a full house)

  • Paul

    Record game DVR with a double tap:

    This feature is with the November update along with other functions added to the D-Pad when you double press the Home button.
    The feature was introduced to support all those customers who have bought the Kinectless console and didn’t have an effective way to quickly do things like DVR recording or Snapping, etc.

    • I remember that being in the notes for the early access update, now. It’s pretty handy to have (and it saves you looking like an idiot whilst you shout “Xbox record that” in a full house)

  • murk lurb

    routing another game system through the xbox one’s hdmi input adds a ton of lag.

  • murk lurb

    routing another game system through the xbox one’s hdmi input adds a ton of lag.