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Microsoft will let you control an Xbox with a TV remote soon

Microsoft will let you control an Xbox with a TV remote soon


Xbox Series S / X consoles are getting more HDMI-CEC features

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Picture of the Xbox Series X, showing its power button and vent.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Microsoft is starting to test the ability for TV remotes to navigate around the Xbox dashboard. A new version of the Xbox dashboard for Xbox Series S / X consoles is being tested with selected Xbox Insiders, and it enables new HDMI-CEC features that let ordinary TV remote controls navigate around the Xbox dashboard and control streaming apps like Netflix.

While the Xbox Series S / X consoles have had some HDMI-CEC features to control TV volume or turn on TVs when an Xbox boots up, these new additions mean you won’t have to reach for an Xbox controller if you just want to watch content from Netflix, Twitch, YouTube, or many other streaming apps.

The new HDMI-CEC features also include an option to enable your TV to switch input to your Xbox simply by pressing the Xbox button on a controller. You may already have a TV remote that can control your Xbox using infrared commands, but the addition of HDMI-CEC control should make input switching more reliable.

The new options can be found in the HDMI-CEC settings part of the Xbox dashboard, and are currently available to testers in the Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha Xbox Insider rings. We’d expect these new features to rollout to all Xbox Series S / X consoles in the coming months.

Microsoft is also currently testing a new version of the Edge browser, an Xbox night mode feature, a higher resolution dashboard, and improved firmware and features for older Xbox One controllers.