Use the Xbox One and Kinect sensor as a universal remote

Microsoft's new console can be used to control your TV, cable box, and home theater system. Here's how to set it up.

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Voice commands are a large part of what makes the Xbox One unique, the other, of course, being its deep TV integration. Both of these features utilize the new Kinect sensor, which Microsoft bundled with the Xbox One; a decision that resulted in a $100 premium over the PlayStation 4 .

In addition to supporting facial recognition and gestures, the accessory can be used to navigate the console's user interface, open games and apps, and even control your TV, cable box, and home theater system using only your voice.

Here's how you can set up the Xbox One as a universal remote control:

Step one: Plug your cable or satellite box into the HDMI-in port on the back of the Xbox One, and connect your HDTV to the HDMI-out port. If you have an audio receiver, connect it to the HDMI-out port on the system, and plug the TV into the back of the receiver.

Step two: Power on the Xbox One and go to Settings, TV & OneGuide, and select the "OneGuide" option. Click on TV Lineup, enter your zip code, and choose your cable or satellite provider from the pull-down menu.

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Step three: Go back to the TV & OneGuide settings and select Devices. Choose your TV's manufacturer from the pull-down menu, or select "I don't see my brand" and enter it in manually.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Step four: After choosing your brand, select Next, choose Automatic setup, and click on Send Command. If the system is able to mute your TV, you're good to go. If not, try a few more automatic commands, or select the manual setup option, which will require you to type in your TV's model number.

Note: Not all TVs are compatible with the Xbox One's TV integration feature. We never managed to get the Philips 46PFL5907F7 or Sharp Elite PRO-60X5FD we had in CNET's Labs to register with the system. While this won't prevent you from playing games and using other features, you will be required to use a normal remote to change the volume on your TV.

Step five: From the Devices menu, enter the manufacturer of your cable or satellite box, as well as your audio receiver model (if applicable).

Step six: Go back to the TV & OneGuide settings, select Power settings, and choose which devices will be turned off when the Xbox One is powered down. The console can be configured to turn off your TV, cable box, or audio receiver with the command "Xbox turn off." You can also set the Xbox One to power on all of your devices with the "Xbox on" command.

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Now that your TV and cable box are compatible with the Xbox One, check out this article for a list of voice commands and other features supported by the Kinect.

 

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