It's About To Get Easier To Stream Media On Your Xbox One

One of my major complaints about the Xbox One when it first released was that, as a device that badly wanted to be the centre of your living room, it was remarkably difficult to stream media from your home PC to your console. Now, thanks to some new updates to the Xbox One's firmware, that's about to change.

I've recently started running Plex on my Xbox One, which has been a great solution to all my own personal streaming woes, but now Microsoft's own media player app will enable DNLA streaming, meaning that you can watch movies stored on your PC hard drive using the Xbox One. Thankfully, MKV support is also available with this update. You'll be able to watch MKVs using streaming or via USB.

The Plex solution, for me personally, has worked seamlessly over the last couple of weeks, and I love the presentation and the user interface. The only issue is that you have to pay a subscription fee of $5 per month for the privilege. Now that the media player app allows for the same kind of streaming, it's going to be difficult to justify paying that extra $5.

DNLA and MKV streaming is just one of many new features being added to the Xbox One through this update. Another personal favourite of mine is the new 'Find my controller' function, which will make your controller vibrate if you're struggling to find it. This might seem silly and pointless to some, but parents with young children will understand. My kid has a natural ability when it comes to messing with my stuff. It not completely unheard of for him to pick up a controller and put it in the fridge.

You can find out more about all the different features being added to the Xbox One here at Major Nelson's blog.


    I still don't get where this $5 fee comes from. Never been forced to pay for Plex. Sure, there are optional subscriptions for more features etc, but I stream to my PS4 for nothing.

    Oh well, good to see Xbone are getting into gear I guess

      In order to use the Xbox one plex app you need to have the premium plex subscription called Plex Pass. Yes you can use Plex for free, but if you want to use the Xbox app you need Plex Pass.

        Wow, Xbox owners got the short end of the Plex stick!

          There's a bunch of other mobile and home server functions you get with the Plex Pass. A friend of mine swears by it, because it makes it super-easy for him to stream stuff across iOS, android, chromecast, and now xbox. It also gets cheaper with a yearly and lifetime cost.

          One big feature is the ability to wirelessly Sync video/media to your iPad/iPhone or Android device for offline viewing, this is amazingly convenient when you've got a long car or plane trip, or just need to fill in a gap of waiting time.

    @markserrels do you ever sleep man. I was awake at 6am and saw and article posted by you at 4 am

    Or are you secretly the Scottish Batman?

      Would that make him the Scatman?!

      Ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-bop :P

        We need a Bat I mean Scott Signal. If Serrels can't save us who can?


    I think this is my 50000th post on this topic.
    Why can’t I play a custom soundtrack like I could AT LAUNCH on the ORIGINAL XBOX?!?

    I’m not downloading any Trials Fusion DLC until I can be guaranteed I can replace “Welcome to the future” with something a little less annoying!
    Just make it so you can 'unsnap' the music app without turning it off! It's f*cking ridiculous that it's taken a year to fix it.

      hahaha i feel your pain man. I complained directly to Microsoft about this, That probably wont help us much but hey, someone has to do it

      Haha I love Trials but I agree I'm getting a bit sick of hearing "Welcome to the futuuuuuure" every time I start it.

    I'm still a little sketchy on this. Does this mean I'll be able to use MKV files with Play To? Or is it just with the Media Player app (seperate from the XBOX Video app which Play To uses). It doesn't seem to work, but I can't tell if that's by design or a problem on my end. For some reason my XBOX One doesn't show up in my Windows 8 devices after I turn the XBOX One off and on (I have to remove the device in Windows devices, rename the XBOX One in the system settings, restart the console and then re-install the device).

      Sounds like issues on your end mate. Working like a charm.

      The media player can play MKV files direct from a USB or External HD or you can stream them direct from your PC via DNLA.

        But is that using Play To directly from Windows? When I go through all the hassle of rebooting everything I can use Play To via the context menu and everything appears to work fine, but no Play To context menu item shows up when I right click a MKV file (even when I manually drop them into an open Play To playlist it just spits out erros when it comes time to play the file). I tried with multiple files and none worked, even though those specific files ran fine in Media Player on the XBOX One via USB.
        The frustrating part is all that rebooting junk happens on my Windows 8.1 PC, my Surface Pro and my Surface Pro 3, and the feature continues to work perfectly with my XBOX 360, so I can only assume it's an issue with my XBOX One, but there isn't really much I can do in the XBOX One settings to diagnose it.

          No - it is using the Media Program App - it is a separate app you download. Once its downloaded it will recognise any DNLA servers/compliant computers you have running and you will be able to stream off them.

          To my knowledge you can not run mkv through the Play to feature. You need to access it through this Media App.

          Last edited 17/10/14 12:11 pm

            Ok. Thanks for clearing that up. I've got the Media Player app and I think it's probably the better option for me in that I prefer a simple app without all the XBOX Video junk, but I was hoping I wouldn't have to give up Play To. Being able to create and modify a video playlist on my desktop using any file on my PC was a really smooth solution.

    Really hoping to see the NBA Game Time app before reg. season starts in less than two weeks. :S

    I still cannot seem to get Plex to present, organise and run as well as XBMC - I keep trying to give Plex a chance and while the Xbox One app is ok it is still not enough to replace my HTPC with XBMC.
    Anyone able to convince me? The only selling point I have for Plex is multi-device usage with singe server/database.

    Why have people had trouble streaming to the Xbox one? Since day one -

    Go to your PC
    Highlight the files you want
    Right click - select play to - Xbox one

    Fucking simple. Been there since day one. The update just supports more file options. Sick of people saying that MS dropped the ball on media streaming. It's always been there. How about we start asking why Sony stopped supporting this feature?

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