Microsoft is still listening to fans when it comes to adding features to the Xbox One. A new update that will begin rolling out to people in the early access program this month adds a number of top requests, including media playback from USB or DLNA that will support a bunch of new file formats, including mpeg 2 TS and MKVs. The One will also gain the ability to stream TV on a local network to smartphones and tablets running the Xbox SmartGlass app.
Streaming TV requires that users have the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner, which was announced last week and will initially be available to a limited pool of launch countries, including the UK and France beginning soon and ahead of the full-scale launch in October. The Tuner will allow people to directly connect free-to-air digital broadcast signals on the Xbox One without requiring an intervening device, and to navigate channels and use the OneGuide on their consoles. Streaming will work with SmartGlass apps on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
The media player is the big news here, with users having complained from the beginning about the Xbox One’s lack of support for streaming via DLNA, the wireless media streaming protocol that lets you broadcast from a local media server or other connected device. Xbox 360 supported DLNA, as well as USB playback, but Microsoft says it’s going farther with the Xbox One by allowing playback of a broader range of file types than were ever available to the Xbox 360.
Other improvements include a new Friends section, a new Snap Center that gives players easier access to messages, friends, parties and achievements without having to leave their game; threaded messages; a way to boot directly to TV; a live TV mini guide that shows at the bottom of the screen and acts as a pared down OneGuide; and more. These updates will roll out to the general public over ‘the coming months,’ according to Microsoft.