Xbox One S 4K Guide: Features, Problems & Which TVs to Buy

Microsoft didn’t quite change the nature of gaming completely when it unveiled the Xbox One S this past June. No mater, Xbox One S 4K support is here and it’s a great reason to upgrade your living room experience. The feature offers better visuals in games and apps. When paired with a television that also has HDR 10 support, players get an even more vibrant picture.

In the right circumstances the Xbox One S 4K resolution and features makes HD video and games look bad side-by-side. But, to get the most out of the Xbox One S 4K capabilities you need the right television set.

Many televisions support 4K UltraHD content, but they may not offer the best 4K experience possible. Of course, you actually need the right kind of content too. All streaming video apps on Xbox don’t support 4K video. There are other thing to consider too, like how much bandwidth your internet service provider allows you to consume a month.

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Here’s what you need to know about using Xbox One S 4K features.

Read: 4 Reasons t Buy an Xbox One S & 3 Reasons Not To

Xbox One S 4K Guide: Which TVs to Buy

Your journey to getting the Xbox One S 4K features working starts with your television set. If you don’t have one that supports 4K Ultra HD resolution, you’ll need one. Don’t go dashing off to go look at sales ads though. For the best picture possible, you don’t want to go choosing just any 4K Ultra HD television.

Though 4K UltraHD is a standard that guarantees a screen has four times the resolution of a high-definition screen, display makers have implemented in different ways. Some panels don’t have the right bit-rate, for example. Ideally, the television should also support HDR, but you don’t need it to unlock the 4K resolution, just a wider range of colors.

A Samsung curved 4K TV. Credit: Samsung.
A Samsung curved 4K TV. Credit: Samsung.

You’re looking for a television that offers 4K 10-Bit 24hz processing, plus supports the HDR10 standard, if you want the full capabilities of the Xbox One S. If just getting 4K resolution is important to you, you can save money by buying a television that has 4K 8-Bit processing and no HDR.

If you already have a 4K television, there’s an easy way to learn about your display’s capabilities. Just head to the Display Settings area of the Settings app. The Xbox One S will give you a break down of which standards your television supports and which it doesn’t, divided by apps and games.

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Which TVs to Buy for Xbox One S 4K

The r/XboxOne Community on Reddit has a listing of all the recently announced televisions that support the Xbox One S’ 4K television standard completely.

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Notable units in the list are the 2016 versions of the LG OLED E6, LG UH9500, Samsung KS9800 and the Vizio P-Series C1. 2015 models include the LG OLED EF95500, Samsung JS9500 and the Sony X930C. Each of these televisions are going to run you around $2,000. The cheapest in that list was the Sony X900C, which is available on Amazon for $1,547. Again, these are just the televisions you want to stick to if you absolutely must-have HDR10 and the best 4K experience possible. Cheaper 4K televisions will work with the Xbox One S, but not at 10-Bit.

Xbox One S 4K Guide: Finding Content

Once you’ve found the right television to unlock Xbox One S 4K capabilities, you need the right content.

Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all feature 4K video streaming on the Xbox One S. Their 4K library isn’t as big as their high-definition content library is. Amazon’s 4K library mostly consists of its own Netflix Originals programming. The same thing goes for Amazon and Hulu. Microsoft recently started selling 4K video content in its own Windows Store for streaming on the Xbox One too.

Skyrim Special Edition in native 4K.
Skyrim Special Edition in native 4K.

Read: Xbox One S Bundles: Free Battlefield 1 & Minecraft

When you find content from any of these services that isn’t 4K resolution, the Xbox One S will upscale it, Microsoft says in a guide to 4K streaming on Xbox.com. No game on Xbox One S supports native 4K resolution, but they’re all upscaled to the resolution.

If you want your Xbox One S to only switch to 4K video when there’s content to support it, you can switch the Settings in the Display & Sound menu to HD. In the Advanced Settings menu there’s an option to only allow 4K video when the piece of content you’re enjoying supports it.

If you have an internet service that forces you to watch how much data you consume, it’s a good idea to stick with physical 4K Blu-Ray DVDs. Comcast and some other large internet providers track how much bandwidth you consume, but don’t limit you. Contact your service to find out what their policies are. Luckily, the Xbox One supports them. Don’t be surprised by the sticker shock though, they can run as much as $29.99 a film.

Good luck with Xbox One S 4K video streams and gaming.

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