When it launched last year, Microsoft’s Xbox One console probably wasn’t the all-in-one entertainment system many were hoping for. Having to make big changes to it based on feedback last year appeared to have held up crucial features that the Xbox One needed. You couldn’t watch your videos on the Xbox One.
Microsoft kicked off the first full year of Xbox One availability with updates that just didn’t stop. Today there are more features, more enhancements, more must-haves than casual entertainment lovers might know what to do with. For games that includes external hard drive support. For video lovers, that includes DLNA support and a new media player application that’s separate from Xbox Music and Xbox Video.
Here’s how to watch your videos on your Xbox One with the help of the newly available Media Player app.
For the purposes of this how to, it’s important to break down all the variables that go into getting content on your Xbox One. When it’s your content and not the DRMed content of someone else, say Netflix, there are two methods. Either you can stream your content to your PC or you can use USB storage. They each have their own advantages and requirements.
Streaming video to your Xbox One doesn’t usually require you to do a lot as long as you’re already prepared. The device you’re streaming the content from will need to be connected to the same wireless network and your Xbox One. One trade-off is battery life. If you’re streaming from a laptop, tablet or phone you’ll want to plug your device in so there’s no danger of it running out of power before hand.
Using USB storage to get media on your Xbox One is pretty simple and doesn’t require that you keep an eye on battery life. You’ll just need a compatible USB hard drive or flash drive at the ready.
We aren’t going to cover how to get the video files themselves. For the purposes of this tutorial we’re using video recorded by the Moto X 2014 because it’s what we have on-hand. DVD rips and other video files should work just fine – provided they’re formatted properly and are in a format the Xbox One can understand. As the Xbox One can play almost anything using the Media Player app, it’s safe to say you’ll be hard press to find some video you have that won’t work.
Download the Media Player App
First turn on your Xbox One. You’ll need to download the Media Player app from the Xbox Store since it’s not available on the console out of the box. You’ll want to make sure you have an internet connection and have successfully logged into your Xbox Live account. If you have a Kinect to sensor say, “Xbox, Bing..” then “Media Player”
Pick up your controller and scroll over to the right until you see the Xbox Store. Select Apps from the categories on the right.
On the left select Search.
Now enter the word Media.
Select Media Player from the results.
You can select launch to immediately go to the app. Or just launch the app from the My Games and Apps area whenever you’re ready.
Now let’s get some video going with a USB flash drive. Load your USB flash drive with video from your PC or Mac. Then plug it into the side-mounted USB port on the left-side of your Xbox One console. If you have a Kinect 2 sensor say “Xbox, go to Media Player.”
Then open the My Games and Apps.
Select Media Player from the list of installed Apps
Immediately, you’ll notice your USB flash drive listed under the different devices that the Xbox One Media Player app can see. You may also notice some Windows PCs or other devices that might have content on them too. Select your USB flash drive.
Now select the video you’d like to play.
DLNA streaming isn’t as simple as a file transfer. Instead of storing the video on a flash drive and then walking over to the Xbox One and selecting it, typically you’ll want to start DLNA streaming from a device you already own. For this example we’re using Windows PCs. Windows Phones and Android-powered smartphones support DLNA streaming, but you’ll have to start the video from those devices and the process is different based on the app that you choose. For Android, use AllCast. For Windows Phone use Play To. Windows 8 devices do need an extra app since they support it by default.
Turn on your Xbox One and go to the My Games and Apps area. If you have a Kinect 2 sensor say “Xbox, go to Media Player.”
Select Apps on the left.
Scroll over on the right until you see the Media Player app. Then select it.
Now select the device you’d like to stream from. In this case, it’s HarlemXPS.
Select All Videos then wait for the app to look for videos on your device.