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Input Devices XBox (Games) Microsoft Entertainment Games

Xbox One's HDMI Pass-Through Can Connect PS4, PCs and More 171

Posted by timothy
from the wish-my-laptop-had-hdmi-in dept.
MojoKid writes "The Xbox One has both HDMI-in and HDMI-out capability. The point of HDMI-in is to allow you to hook up a cable box, with output then running from the Xbox One to your television. As it turns out, however, that's not the only thing the Xbox One can do. Since the HDMI-in port is a standard option, it can accept video input from a PS4 and also accept a video stream from a PC. According to Xbox senior director of product management, Albert Panello, "any application can be snapped to a game... this could be the live TV feed, so if you wanted to play Ryse and Killzone (a PS4 exclusive), you could snap that." Keep in mind, snapping a title to the Xbox One doesn't mean that you can actually keep using Xbox One controllers in the game. If you want to snap in a PS4 game, you still need PS4 controllers. If you want to hook a PC into the Xbox One's video output, you still need mouse and keyboard, though if the Xbox One's controllers are eventually PC compatible, then you might be able to use the same controller on both platforms without doing much more than flipping a switch."
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Xbox One's HDMI Pass-Through Can Connect PS4, PCs and More

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  • Non story (Score:5, Informative)

    by Optimal Cynic (2886377) on Sunday September 22, 2013 @04:04PM (#44919309)
    Socket accepts plugs it's designed to accept. What's the story?
    • by frovingslosh (582462) on Sunday September 22, 2013 @04:53PM (#44919649)
      This is a great feature for people too stupid to just use the other HDMI input on their TV.
      • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Sunday September 22, 2013 @05:05PM (#44919729)

        This is a great feature for people too stupid to just use the other HDMI input on their TV.

        My TV only has one HDMI input - and my receiver has two. (Not everyone has whatever you have.)

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          My receiver has 4, my TV has 3. And there are HDMI switches out there that could be used that are much cheaper than the XBO
          • And there are HDMI switches out there that could be used that are much cheaper than the XBO

            Somehow I doubt that the point is for somebody to go out and buy an XBox when they need an HDMI switch. The idea is that if you've got an XBox and a shortage of ports, you don't have to go out and buy an extra switch.

        • The cheapest TVs available when I bought mine (to use as a TV monitor) had 3 HDMI inputs. I never understood why, but mine (a 1080p one) was one of the cheapest and has 3xHDMI, 1xVGA, 1xRS232 (??), and a few 3 others that I can't be bother to google and fine out what they're called.

          • by toddestan (632714)

            It seems that a lot of smaller TV sets only have 1 or maybe 2 HDMI inputs. Not everyone wants or needs a gigantic television in every case, but sadly it seems that anything smaller than 32" your options become kind of limited, and many brands like Panasonic and Sony don't even offer anything that small.

          • The cheapest TVs available when I bought mine (to use as a TV monitor) had 3 HDMI inputs.

            Sometimes, you're limited by what's available when you actually *need* to replace something.

            I have a 40" Sony Bravia I bought in early 2006, when my previous 32" CRT died, and it only has one HDMI input - which is attached to a Sony DA3200ES receiver. The Blu-ray player is attached to one of the receiver's HDMI inputs. The TV's VGA port is attached to my MythTV system @ 1280x768 (the video card flakes at a higher res.) All the other (Pioneer) media components, including two 150W 16" front speaker cabine

      • by dywolf (2673597)

        cause every tv has more than one...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I wouldn't dismiss it so immediately. Given that an Xbox One is a much more advanced piece of hardware than a TV, I'm guessing that there's some neat stuff which can be done by adding the Kinect's voice/motion controls and/or the console's controller to the mix. Whether you think these things are a worthwhile improvement over using a standard TV remote, that's entirely up to you. I, for one, look forward to any opportunity to avoid touching something with an order of magnitude more buttons than it needs.

        • Kinect isn't only for changing channel, the point is to collect audience data. Think about it: Kinect knows who's in front of the screen, their gender and approximate age (maybe even their race), who's awake, who's shuffling and bored, who leaves the room and at which point in whatever it is they're watching. If MS know who's signal is going through the box then there's a lot of valuable audience response data that production companies currently pay to research right there. If MS goes into production a l
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        This is a great feature for people too stupid to just use the other HDMI input on their TV.

        How many TVs out there let you see the content of both HDMI ports simultaneously?

        When you "snap" the TV view, it shows side by side your game so you can see both at the same time.

        Not many do, and if you're waiting for your game to load (xbox or ps4), you can snap and play the other while waiting. Or if you're waiting for your friend to get on and log in, no one said you can't play a quick game on the other port while

        • by donaldm (919619)

          How many TVs out there let you see the content of both HDMI ports simultaneously?

          My HDTV will let you display picture on picture on a selected HDMI port and the TV tuner, however I actually found it pointless.

          When you "snap" the TV view, it shows side by side your game so you can see both at the same time.

          Honestly do you really think many people will use this?

          Not many do, and if you're waiting for your game to load (xbox or ps4), you can snap and play the other while waiting. Or if you're waiting for your friend to get on and log in, no one said you can't play a quick game on the other port while waiting.

          Again do you honestly think many people who own an Xbox-one and/or Xbox360 and/or PS3/4 are going to do this? While I wont comment on the Xbox360 I find my PS3 loads a game in well under a minute (usually 20~30 seconds) and that is not even enough time to play one round of Angry Birds. Not only that but the controllers are tot

          • by Ash Vince (602485) *

            Well I have not played the PS4 and not many have so who's to say Sony have not considered doing this although in my case if I am playing a game the last thing I want to do is monitor a friends list.

            I guess you never play online with people from your friends list then. If you are gaming online it is quite nice to know when your friends come online so you can invite them to join your game.

            Another reason this might be useful is while waiting for matchmaking to find you a game. I often have my laptop on the desk next to me so I can sit there browsing the web while waiting for it to find enough players if there are 4 or 5 of us joined on each other trying to get a match of BlackOps2. Sometimes the wait is

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            While I wont comment on the Xbox360 I find my PS3 loads a game in well under a minute (usually 20~30 seconds) and that is not even enough time to play one round of Angry Birds. Not only that but the controllers are totally different so you would play one or the other but both?.

            I don't play my consoles daily, so on the PS3, everytime I turn it on, I have to go through the entire update rigamarole, which can easily take 40+ minutes (system update, game update, blah blah blah). Yes, I timed it once and I gave

    • It really -is- a story because it isn't monopolistic by design. I saw a show on public tv about stocks and the broker was saying how Microsoft was still in a good position because they had Office software that was completely inoperable in other platforms which forces you to buy Windows. That surprised me because they are planning Office on Apple, Android and Libre Office is usable as a replacement ( you see I didn't say compatible ). It seems that even brokers don't understand that Microsoft must eventuall
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The NSA has access to the XBOX, so now they can watch what you are watching?

      (In that case, would be a crime to watch a "Keeping up with the Kardashians"-Marathon if the NSA-Agent commits suicide...?)

    • by weharc (852974)
      I had to check the comments to validate that I wasn't having a stroke or had left my brain at home. I couldn't work out why it was a story either.
  • So what. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kamapuaa (555446) on Sunday September 22, 2013 @04:06PM (#44919329) Homepage

    This is one of the most trivial articles I've ever seen on Slashdot.
    XBone lets HDMI input pass through it for all sorts of HDMI devices, no just cable boxes.
    So what.

  • by swaq (989895)
    I don't see how this lets me do anything that my receiver doesn't. Plus my receiver has 7 HDMI inputs instead of just 1...
  • 2 Port HDMI Switch (Score:5, Informative)

    by profplump (309017) <zach-slashjunk@kotlarek.com> on Sunday September 22, 2013 @04:07PM (#44919345)

    I don't understand why there's a story about a video device including a 2-port HDMI switch. Your TV probably has a much larger one already, and if it doesn't you can buy one for like $9 from Monoprice. How is this news?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 22, 2013 @04:23PM (#44919481)

      The Xbox One's killer feature is that it allows you to use other consoles.

    • by fermion (181285)
      I think MS wants us to believe that Xbox one can be their central switch of the living room, just like the A/V amplifier used to be. It is standard with MS type hardware. We have more ports than anyone else, so we are better.

      This would tend to prove the idea that MS thinks control of the living room is the primary goal. Simply being hooked up to the ztv is not enough. All content must flow through the XBox.

      • by adolf (21054)

        It is standard with MS type hardware. We have more ports than anyone else, so we are better.

        Which MSFT hardware has "more ports than anyone else"?

        Certainly not current-gen hardware, nor the generation before that. So what, then? Please be specific.

    • Because it's not a 2-port HDMI switch. It's a fully-decrypting HDCP receiver; note the mentioned usage of grabbing input and inserting it into a game, not just passing it through.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      The only positive thing out of this is it allows you to game PS3/4 on one half while skyping with Mom on the other half of the TV. But Mom usually hangs up when you start shouting at the game.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... does the hdmi still pass through surround sound?

  • Can. But shouldn't (Score:5, Informative)

    by EdZ (755139) on Sunday September 22, 2013 @04:15PM (#44919409)
    It was later clarified by Penello that the latency of the HMDI input would be too high for gaming, and using it to pass the PS4's (or any other console, e.g. 360) output is not recommended [neogaf.com], presumably because of the overlay. Odd, as my AV receiver can overlay it's UI with no more than 1 frame of delay, but if it was only intended for overlaying of TV, then MS may never have bothered to optimise it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lgftsa (617184)

      The intent may be to introduce a delay in the other consoles' UI responses.

      When a non-tech user buys a competing console in a year or so, and it's easier for them to daisy-chain it through the xbox than hunt around behind the TV, it may be enough that they tend to play the xbox more than the new console because it's more responsive and gives a better gameplay experience.

      Too paranoid? Check out the cryptographically signed charging cables from Apple, and then try to persuade me otherwise with a straight face

      • by coolsnowmen (695297) on Sunday September 22, 2013 @06:50PM (#44920277)

        Input lag has been non-trivial for a while now. One of those non-marketable numbers so not all TV manufacturers spent time on them.

        I remember it was impossible to play certain fast paced games on 1st Gen DLPs ( Car racing games).

      • by Anonymous Coward

        What kind of idiot would connect their PS4 through the XBone anyway? If you do that then you need to have both consoles on when playing the PS4.

      • Classic X-Bone move - XD
      • You're saying that Microsoft considered the number of people who would buy an XBone first, manage to hook it up by hunting around behind the tv, then purchase another console, and decide not to hunt around behind the tv, find the lag annoying but not too annoying to search online for answers, and as a result spend less time online with the competition, will bring in more money than whatever it would take to optimize the pass-through.

        That they balanced the choice of fixing or not fixing, and it was these few

        • This [dailymail.co.uk] explains why Apple would sign charging cables.

          AIUI with the apple stuff you have a "wall wart" power adaptor which has a USB A socket on it. Then an apple cable with a security chip inside which goes from the USB A socket on the wall wart to the lightning connector on the device.

          It's the bottom of the barrel wall warts which are dangerous peices of shit, so if you use a non-apple wall wart with an apple cable you would still be at risk and would not be blocked by apples crypto crap while if you used an apple wall-wart with a non-apple cable you would b

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is bullshit. "if you want to snap in a PS4 game". This is beeing explained in a way that makes it easy for non-tech gamers to misunderstand and think that the Xbox ONE can play PS4 games or that you can use your PC apps on you Xbox ONE. Which of course is false.

    If this kind of trickery is all Microsoft has to contribute, then it is obvious that they know that they have lost the console wars to Sony. End of story.

    I look forward to a snapless PS4 experience.

  • That's a really nice feature. That'll allow one to run video to a TV, and stereo to a stereo. After all, who wants to use crappy TV speakers if you're doing HD stuff (games and movies)?
  • Touching the topic, let me ask a video question that I have been wondering for a while. My challenge to you is to find a way to center the 720p image from PlayStation 3 to a 1366x768 screen. My display only supports scaling the image to full screen. Are there external video processors (probably expensive solution) which have this feature, or possibly other solutions to the problem?
    • by Psyborgue (699890)
      I have a DVDO Edge which can do this [dvdo.com]. You set the output resolution to something fixed and set the scaling (and other settings) for each input individually. You could presumably get the exact scale you're looking for with a test pattern and tweaking. I don't recall if there is a shortcut to what you want but I wouldn't be surprised.
  • by jfengel (409917)

    What does the verb "snap" mean in this context? "Any application can be snapped to a game"? It makes it sound as if something is being done to it, but I get the impression that it's just being passed through (and so the only thing being "snapped" is the video sockets being snapped together).

    Is there some technical or colloquial definition that I'm missing here?

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      No. It's apparently MS marketing speak for a picture-in-picture type feature. The XBox can display it's own output side by side with the passthrough video from whatever you plug into it.

      MS seems to be all about the snap now. Snapping tablets, snapping xboxes.

    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      Oh, snap!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      'Snap Mode' is the name of a feature of the new console discussed at their Xbox event back in May:

      It's essentially a port of a well-known Windows 8 feature: separate apps can be pinned to the edge of the television's screen in isolated panels, allowing gamers to use Xbox apps while playing a game, or watch TV while simultaneously using Internet Explorer

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The M$ product is a fixed part of your home cinema/surround sound/media experience. The Sony product can then be plugged ("snapped" or clicked) in as a special treat for that rare rental Sony game or 4k movie rental experience.
      MS products are to be the on going gaming, rental and movie experience, other products can be dusted off and "snapped" into place if needed.
  • Interesting..... The Xbone may be a great way to break HDCP issues.

    That would be cool that micrisoft screwed things up and broke HDCP with this.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      *yawn* -- It's been utterly amazing to me that people who troll /. haven't realised that HDMI and HDCP have been circumvented for YEARS already....

      HD-Fury [hdfury.com]

      Circumventing HDMI+HDCP has been dead-simple for half-a-decade already, PLEASE try to keep up with the times...

      -AC

  • WOW ! a "Record In" jack. Is it 1982 again ?
  • The HDMI output port will produce video and the audio output jack will, in fact, produce audio. Welcome to the 21st century!
    • by SeaFox (739806)

      I don't know about you. But in my 21st century the HDMI port produces both video and audio.

  • Without doing much actual investigating is snap actually picture in picture? That would actually be great as I'd finally be able to dump Directv and just stream the Yankees next year without having to change inputs to see what's going on.
  • How is this news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Monday September 23, 2013 @12:37AM (#44921545) Homepage Journal

    How is this even interesting? Anyone with a receiver has had HDMI pass-through for ages now. My Yamaha receiver has HDMI pass-through and switching, why on earth would I want to use the Microsoft version?

    Seriously, there is nearly zero benefit to this (and it sucks more power from the XBOne being turned on while not in use).

  • Seems like the implication is that it can do more than just pass through. I suspect it can manipulate the video stream as well. Imagine having live tv you can watch in a game. Locations like apartments, in front of electronic stores, up on a giant screen in times square! I think they've already kind of shown the idea of watching a football game overlaid with your fantasy football league app. Examples Here: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/entertainment [xbox.com] The xbox can also presumably talk to your cable box
  • The ability to use the XBone as a PVR would have been a significant feather in MSs cap; instead they are trying to sell the most minor of features.

    The XBone is boned.

  • Is HDMI getting feature parity with 1980s SCART cables? Back then it was pretty common to daisy-chain set-top boxes. Well, now we only need bidirectional audio-video, although I have a feeling that DRM will get in the way of that.
  • And plugging two Xbones in a "SLI" like configuration to double the rendering power?
  • by Apharmd (2640859) on Monday September 23, 2013 @11:14AM (#44924133)
    for users who are disappointed that their cable company isn't showing them enough ads. No, but seriously, this feature sucks. You get voice-activated input swapping, but when you go to the Xbone's interface to swap it shows a pane completely bordered by advertisements ala Idiocracy. Who would find such a thing desirable?
  • I plug my PS4's HDMI cable into my TV instead of plugging it into the XBox One then plugging the XBox One into my TV.

    That method will be absolutely necessary because there won't be a XBox One anywhere inside my home, much less near my TV or the HDMI jacks.
  • They are trying hard to make it sound like Xbox-one is actually doing something.

    All its doing is passing the signal through. Hardly justifies a buzzword, does it?

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