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First Look: Xbox One Media Remote: A must-have clicker to simplify the Xbox One
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First Look: Xbox One Media Remote: A must-have clicker to simplify the Xbox One

2:32 /

The Xbox One Media Remote is a must-have accessory that makes it much easier to accept a gaming console as the hub of your living room.

[MUSIC] When I first reviewed the Xbox One living room experience I wrote that it cried out for a dedicated remote. As Microsoft's vision of using voice commands and the Kinect for everything can get a little annoying. And surprisingly Microsoft apparently agreed. Releasing the Xbox One Media Remote just a few months after the launch of the console. Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET and if you're using your Xbox One to watch TV and Blu-Rays, you're gonna wanna check out the $25 media remote. It's a small clicker that runs on two AAA batteries. And it's covered in a soft textured finish that feels nice to hold. The remote in backlight and it illuminates as soon as you pick it up. So it's easy to see even in a dim living room. The buttons are unusually flat on the front, which is usually a bad sign for a remote. But Microsoft has added just enough tactile cues that it's easy enough to navigate without having to look at it. The buttons are well laid out and labeled, with the exception of the view, menu, and one guide buttons. It's not immediately obvious what they do, especially for non gaming members of your household. The remote requires almost no setup out of the box. And it works by sending traditional IR signals to the Xbox One console. And as long as you've setup your Xbox One properly it can also act like a universal remote. As the Kinect is capable of firing out IR commands to your TV, soundbar or AV receiver. It's actually a little surprising that the remote uses IR since newer devices like the Amazon Fire TV and Roku Streaming Stick have transitioned to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Direct. But in practice I didn't run into any major issues with the IR based media remote. Using the media remote on a day to day basis makes watching TV and movies on your Xbox One a lot easier. Voice commands for simple stuff like volume up just aren't very convenient, and it's a lot more comfortable to kick back with a small clicker than a clunky game controller. It also makes the Xbox One a lot easier for non gamers, who often are forced to use the console since it takes over the whole TV experience. So the bottom line is the Xbox One Media Remote solves one of the major problems I had with Microsoft's living room experience and it's especially nice for households where everybody is in the game room. Given the $100 premium over the PS4, it feels like perhaps the media remote should have been included with the Xbox One, but it's definitely worth your $25 especially if you're tired of using your controller or your voice to watch TV. [MUSIC]

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