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Xbox Series X will soon be controlled via a TV remote

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You will soon be able to control your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console with just an ordinary remote — at least that's what Xbox Program Manager Brad Rossetti recently shared on Twitter. That's right, if you're one of the lucky owners of Microsoft's next gen consoles, you can soon forget the hassle of constantly switching between your controller and a TV remote. 

According to Rossetti, Microsoft has been reportedly assigning its Xbox Insiders to test new HDMI-CEC features in order to use TV remotes to navigate through the Xbox dashboard. This should provide for a more seamless experience when controlling streaming apps, such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu and more. 

While both the Xbox Series X and S consoles have already had some HDMI-CEC features included, so far they've only allowed you to use your controller to adjust your TV's volume and turn it on when you're booting up your console. 

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Some users have already noticed that they're able to use their old infrared TV remotes to control their Xbox console via a hidden feature. However, Rossetti also claims that with the new update, users can switch their TV input to an Xbox console using a controller, too, meaning there will be no need to switch back and forth between your remote and controller in order to start gaming.

The option to enable the use of a TV remote with your Xbox console is available in the HDMI-CEC settings found under "TV & AV power options". However, at the moment, this feature can only be accessed by testers that are part of the Alpha Xbox Insider and Alpha Skip-Ahead programs.  

There's no clarity on when the update will be available to all users, though seeing as Microsoft has just started testing, we're going to take a wild guess and say that it may be a little while until this feature is live.

Denise Primbet

Denise is a news writer at Tom’s Guide covering all things tech, gaming software/hardware, streaming, and more. She regularly produces short-form news articles as well as long-form content, including reviews, buying guides, how-tos, and features. When she's not live-streaming horror games on Twitch, she can be found exploring East London while playing Pokemon Go. She’s also a part-time piano enthusiast and regularly experiments in the kitchen. You can reach her at denise.primbet@futurenet.com.