Microsoft is kicking off its press event at Gamescom today by announcing some significant improvements to the TV experience for Xbox One owners. Preview users will soon get access to a streaming TV feature on the Xbox One, allowing you to watch TV on a Windows, iOS, or Android phone or tablet using the SmartGlass app on a home network. Microsoft says the streaming TV feature will be available initially in countries where its digital TV tuner will be available, so it looks like the US might have to wait to stream TV.
Other improvements in an upcoming Xbox One dashboard update include the ability to boot the console straight to TV, a live TV mini guide at the bottom of the screen to change channels, and a new media player that supports content from USB devices or via DLNA. The media player will only support USB storage out of the gate, with DLNA compatibility (and MKV support) coming later. Microsoft is also adding threaded messages, a Snap Center to improve side-by-side apps with games, and a new friends section so you needn’t open the dedicated app as frequently. Not everything hitting at once for preview members; Microsoft's announcement has the full timing details. Microsoft is also avoiding one big rollout with the general release. These features will come to regular Xbox users "at different stages" over the coming months.