VGT – XBox One Timeline

2014-01-06 05.44.19

My Xbox One setup with a Time Warner cable box

Nov. 22 – XBox One is waiting on my front porch.  No staying up all night in the cold at a Wal-Mart.  No feeling of, “I earned this”.  Just a box sitting there.  I don’t have time to take it out of the box and set it up because I have class that night, and all day Saturday.

Nov. 24 – I finally have time to unbox and set it up.  Seems pretty cool with all the voice recognition.  The TV feature is wasted on me though, because I don’t have cable or satellite.  I didn’t buy any games but a friend gave me Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag.  I’m too tired to play it

Nov. 26 – The Homeworx Digital Converter Box arrives.  I want to try out the TV features without the pain of a monthly cable TV bill.  So I try connecting the antenna to the converter box, then to the HDMI input of the XBox One.  It actually works with a crystal clear picture.  I say, “Xbox watch TV” and it magically changes.  It responds to my voice for volume up, down, and mute – but not to change channels.  I try different settings but the Homeworx HW1080STB isn’t on the list of devices that the Xbox One will work with.  I should have checked out compatibility before ordering.

Nov. 27 – Shelia and I decided that we want to get cable again.  She enjoys the HGTV network and I want the gadgets to work.  She picked up new cable boxes and I install them.  I connect the cable box to the Xbox One and turn it on.  I get a message that the cable box is not authorized.  After two phone calls with Time Warner I end up with an appointment for a tech to come on the day after Thanksgiving.  Neither of the two boxes worked when connected to the Xbox One.  However, I was eventually able to get one working by going through the cable box setup when directly connected to the TV.  Once the cable box is set up, I connect it to the Xbox One and things ARE FINALLY WORKING.

Nov. 28 – I watch football games on TV with the NFL app snapped on the right side.  OK, it was pretty cool.  I also like going from games or Netflix back to TV.   I start the process of teaching Shelia how amazing it is to just talk to your TV and have it respond rather than the laborious process of reaching for the remote.  Her keen legal mind argues that reaching for a remote is really not very exhausting.  She is not fully convinced but willing to give it a try.

Dec. 3 – I come home from work to a frustrated wife.  She has been saying, “Xbox on” but with no results.  I try it and nothing happens.  It doesn’t work until I manually start it.  Apparently either the Xbox One had an update – or my cable box had an update but either way – it all stopped working.  The only way I get things fixed is by connecting the cable box directly to the tv and going through the painstakingly slow reboot process.  Once it is back up and running, I reconnect it to the Xbox One and things are working again.  Will I have to do this every time there is an update to my Xbox One or to the cable box?

Dec. 11 – It has been a pretty smooth time with the XBox One.  We are starting to get used to the whole television integration element.  Maybe Microsoft is really on to something here.  Shelia’s parents arrive for the holidays today and after they are settled in, I bring my father-in-law into the living room to show him something modern and extraordinary.  I say, “Xbox On”.  Nothing happens.  I say it again, louder.  Nothing happens.  I practically shout, “Xbox On!”.  Again, there is no response.  Well, what do you know, there was another update so I have to disconnect the cable box and reboot it.  My father-in-law walks away chuckling to himself.  I feel embarassed and a little humiliated.  After the cable box has been rebooted, I just leave it directly connected to the TV.  There is no way I’m going to be able to train my in-laws on how to use the TV through the Xbox.  They are going to be here for several weeks too.

Dec. 20 – I have only been using the Xbox to play one of my two games: Assassin’s Creed 4 or Peggle 2.  I find myself missing the voice integration.  However, tonight Shelia and her mom want to watch a DVD.  I suggest watching it through the Xbox One since I had to disconnect the DVD player when her parents first arrived.  (My TV has two HDMI inputs)  She agrees and they put in the “White Christmas” DVD.  I’m sitting in the living room with them working on a paper for school and it seems like all is going well.  Eventually Shelia mentions that the audio is out of sync with the video.  I notice that it is off – really off – like asian martial arts film off.  I know the disc is fine because they use it every year.  I search online and discover that there is an issue with the Xbox One and audio sync with Blu-Ray and DVD.  The suggestion from Microsoft is to change a couple of settings and to give the machine a fresh reboot before watching a movie.  What?  This “all in one” solution for my living room can’t even play a DVD correctly?  Perhaps I broke up with my Xbox 360 too hastily.

Dec. 21 – I have completely disconnected my Xbox One and moved it out of the living room.  It sits on the floor, unplugged for the rest of the holidays.

I have mixed feelings about the XBox One right now.  I have gone from thinking it is the coolest thing in the world to completely taking it out of the living room.  Sometimes it works so well.  It recognizes who I am.  It follows my voice commands flawlessly.  Then there are those other times – the times that I am trying to show it off – that it doesn’t work.  I’m a techie person, and I don’t mind troubleshooting a little when things don’t work, but most people would not have the patience to find solutions and would simply return the system.  If I was Microsoft, and I was promoting a complete home entertainment solution – I would have made sure that it could play DVD’s correctly.  That really bugs me.  The verse below might apply to Microsoft, and also to me as well…

Proverbs 16:18 (ESV)  Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.