So I've got it all set up at this point and have had a few hours to mess with it. It works well with my cable box thankfully(a Cisco box from Time Warner). I had wondered if it would need IR cables to control stuff, but it talks to the cable box through the HDMI without trouble. Not instant as when it changes a channel it types in the number slowly, but it works.
I have a Logitech One that already supports the Xbox One so I've been playing with settings for it so that I don't have to use the Xbox controller or voice commands if I don't want to. That's partially working. I mean I can make it do whatever, but it's an extra step here or there from just watching TV like before. I'm trying to give the OneGuide a chance so I'm focused on using that instead of the cable box guide for now since it's easier to customize. But one thing to note is the DVR controls only work if you have the remote talk to the cable box, and that includes playing back recorded stuff. Easy enough with my remote, but still something to mention. I think having this remote may take away some headaches others could have as I can just revert to the remote using the cable box guide if I want to avoid issues.
The voice commands are spotty so far. Half the time it's because I'm not sure what to say, the other half because it doesn't understand me. I assume this will get better, and it's far from bad right now.
My son and I fired up FIFA and snapped live TV to the side which really was slick. Note that after snapping something you need to hit X to swap control between the main item and what you snapped. I dig that I'm always online with the Xbox while just watching TV so I can get notifications or invites(not that I get a ton of those, but it's still nice).
The facial recognition of Kinect is amazing. My son, my wife and I were sitting on the couch during setup. It pointed at me when I set myself up, then picked out my son when I set up his account. Maybe chance, but I was impressed.
Also the system is really quiet. I've yet to notice it being on. Overall I'd say there's going to be an adjustment period and Microsoft needs to tweak a few things, but I'm already happy with the choice I made. It's somehow lived up to what I had hoped thus far.
Canadian cable systems aren't supported yet, and that's unfortunate. I'm fascinated with TV aspect of the system.
Then again, I would love to try the system before I buy it, but there aren't really any rental places here anymore. EB Games and Gamestop here don't do rentals here, and if for any reason one doesn't like a system they sell you, too bad so sad, they won't refund or exchange for another system.
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