Microsoft has announced an Xbox One update and invite-only trial for Xbox Video and Xbox SmartGlass, with a focus on TV elements like DVR control and using OneGuide on multiple devices in new global markets.
Starting with Xbox Video, Microsoft said you can now rent or buy a movie, then begin watching on one screen, and pick up where you left off on another screen. To go along with the update to Xbox Video, Microsoft has revealed The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will soon launch on Xbox Video.
Microsoft basically wants you to find it easier to use Xbox Video whether on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, or XboxVideo.com. As for the SmartGlass update, there's new features available that streamline the navigation experience on Xbox One.
You can currently use the Xbox One controller, Kinect voice or gesture commands, the new Xbox One media remote, and Xbox SmartGlass on your smart phone or tablet to navigate, but now there is additional SmartGlass features like access to a full list of achievements, challenges, and game clips without having to switch between multiple screens.
Other new SmartGlass features include the ability to view recent players in order to find, add, and re-match people you recently gamed with, as well as sort the Friends list by online status, view a console-matching Activity Feed, launch an app in Snap from your mobile device, and receive Xbox Live messaging alerts on your mobile device.
And finally, Microsoft said it'll make a range of new features available to select Xbox Live members. Members in the US, Europe, and Canada will receive an invite to try the features, which are "designed to improve the TV experience on Xbox One". These features bring elements of OneGuide to new markets and OneGuide and universal remote control to Xbox SmartGlass.
Specifically, selected Xbox Live members will see an enhanced TV watching experience with TV listings added to OneGuide (as long as their TV is connected to Xbox One via HDMI-in), more control over Xbox One and set-top box with the ability to set new recordings for their DVR from mobile devices, and access to recently-watched channels on Xbox SmartGlass.
But that's not all: selected Xbox Live members will be able to use Kinect voice commands in Europe and Canada - though US members could already use the feature - to control their set-top box and other AV equipment. If you aren't one of the lucky ones to be invited to trial these features, Microsoft said they will launch for everyone later this year.
For more information, check out the video below, where Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson, sat down with Ben Smith from the Xbox TV team to discuss OneGuide and Universal Remote on Xbox SmartGlass.