The Xbox One's TV-controlling powers are a great feature; having a list of just the channels you watch is how all TV surfing should be. But if you use a set-top box, you probably also have a DVR, and the Xbox One has been useless at controlling it. Until now.
With updates rolling out to Xbox One users in the near future, Microsoft is adding DVR control to Smartglass by way of emulating a touchscreen version of the remote you use to control your set-top box (Virgin, Sky etc) that you love to hate on your phone or tablet. That's great—no more fumbling around the sofa cushions—but unfortunately there's no One Guide-esque menu to freshen up your list of recorded shows; you just have a new way to browse it. Still, it's a step in the right direction.
And speaking of One Guide, the channel menu you want and deserve is also coming to Smartglass, effectively turning any and all of your touchscreen devices into supersmart remotes, and giving the Xbox One more TV-powers that you don't have to open your mouth and say "Xbox!" to use. That is always welcome.
These minor-but-awesome updates will definitely help the Xbox One solidify its position as the most powerful (if also the most expensive) set-top box out there. With DVR control, your phone should become the only remote you need unless you have to change inputs or do some weird picture calibration or something.
The continued rollout of more features means that hopefully the Xbox One's media powers will only get better. Now if only those TV providers would take a hint and start working on this stuff themselves.
We are told that these features will be available to select Xbox Live members by invitation while they gather feedback, and will be launched officially for everyone later this year. [Xbox News]