Microsoft is testing out a feature that lets you navigate the Xbox Dashboard using a TV remote.
The feature, which has already rolled out to certain members of the Xbox Insider Program, enables Xbox Series X and Series S users to negotiate media apps like Netflix using an HDMI-CEC remote control.
As reported by Windows Central, Microsoft’s new implementation also enables you to switch the input on your TV by pressing the Xbox button on your Xbox controller. When activated, this means that there’s no need to switch sources manually using your TV remote.
CEC stands for Consumer Electronics Control, and was created to enable devices connected by HDMI to work together. At a basic level, an HDMI-CEC set-up will mean that turning your TV off will also turn off your soundbar or Blu-ray player.
It also means that you can potentially use one controller for all of your home cinema equipment, regardless of brand, thus stemming the tide of remote controls that has flooded our living rooms for decades.
The Xbox Series X and S already had limited HDMI-CEC integration, enabling you to control your TV’s volume or turn on your TV along with your console. But this additional integration would make using your Xbox as a full-on media centre a much more viable proposition.
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There’s no word on when these HDMI-CEC features will roll out to the general Xbox community, but Microsoft has been extremely active in improving and expanding its Xbox controller functionality of late.
The latest firmware update improves compatibility with older Xbox controllers and adds Bluetooth Low Energy support, making it easier to switch between devices.