Getting Microsoft’s Xbox One entertainment console up and running is exciting, but it isn’t without its headaches. Sometimes we’re so excited to get a new device home that we forget about the essentials. We don’t even realize that there are things we need that we don’t have. Sure, you’ve purchased a subscription to Xbox Live and picked up a second controller. Next you’ll need to connect an Xbox One to a monitor or TV.
The good news is that connecting an Xbox One to a monitor or TV is incredibly straight forward. With the right cables and accessories, you’ll find yourself gaming in no time. The bad news is that you can also find yourself forced into purchasing an adapter or some other accessories if your equipment is a little outdated or doesn’t meet the Xbox One’s requirements.
Here’s how to connect an Xbox One to a monitor or TV.
How to Connect an Xbox One to a Monitor or TV: Finding the Right Xbox One
If you have yet to purchase an Xbox One, your process starts with deciding which of the Xbox One consoles that Microsoft sells is perfect for your setup.
First, take some time to find out whether your television has 4K Ultra HD technology or whether it’s capable of 720P or 1080P. Without this information, you can’t be sure whether you’re buying the right Xbox One for your needs. The Xbox One S is the only Xbox console that’s able to output video at 4K Ultra HD resolution. It can also output 1080P and 720P resolution. In short, it’s the Xbox to have for every type of entertainment setup.
That being said, you can save money by buying the original Xbox One if you don’t have a 4K display. That original console works just fine on televisions that support HD resolution. If your television wasn’t purchased in the last two years, it will not have 4K support anyway.
Read: Xbox One vs Xbox One S
The Xbox One and Xbox One S only have a single way to output to a monitor or television: HDMI.
How to Connect an Xbox One to a Monitor or TV: Finding the Right Display
Finding the right display for your Xbox One is crucial. You’ll need a monitor or TV with a resolution that you’re comfortable with and all the right ports. You’ll want to consider sound too.
The Xbox One and Xbox One S both have HDMI out, making them compatible with just about any television or monitor that you can purchase today. HDMI ports have been a defining feature of monitors and television sets for years now. Look at the back of the television or monitor that you want to plug into your Xbox One. If it has an HDMI port, you’re ready to go.
If you’re planning to connect an Xbox One to a monitor or television that you haven’t yet purchased, be careful to buy a display that has an HDMI port. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself in need of adapters and possibly troubleshooting resolutions.
There are cables and adapters that you can buy to connect an HDMI port to a VGA equipped display, but that experience is going to vary greatly. Amazon offers more than a few options to choose from. Likewise, there are DVI to HDMI converters if you have a monitor equipped with that port on Amazon too.
Regardless of whether you’re purchasing a new monitor or reusing an existing display, be sure that you have a way to get sound out of your console. We’re so used to televisions having speakers that we often forget that most monitors don’t. If the monitor you have on hand or purchase doesn’t have speakers, you’ll need to connect some through the Optical Audio Port, also known as the S/PDIF port. You can also plug in a pair of headphones to your Xbox One Controller.
How to Connect an Xbox One to a Monitor or TV
To connect an Xbox One to a monitor or television, unbox the free HDMI cable that came with your console. If the monitor or television has an HMDI port built in, simply connect one end to the Xbox One’s HDMI Out port.
Next connect the other end to the HDMI port on your display. Monitors should begin working immediately, but televisions may need to be turned to their INPUT channels to work. How you get your TV to INPUT depends on its make and model. Refer to the manual that came with your television if you don’t know how.
Some setups are more complicated. If you find that the Xbox One S isn’t outputting 4K to your television, or something is keeping your display from running correctly, you need to open the Settings app on your console. To do so, press the glowing Xbox logo on your controller to bring up the Xbox Guide.
Next, navigate to the Settings pane. It’s the second from the bottom.
Select All Settings.
Now select Display & Sound from the menu on the left side of your display.
The Video Output menu lets you decide what resolution your monitor or television gets from the Xbox One and what its refresh rate is.
You can also toggle borders around some apps downloaded to your Xbox One. The Advanced Video Settings’ 4K TV details menu is great for troubleshooting issues with 4K video.
Good luck connecting an Xbox One to a monitor or television.