1. karelj's Avatar
    First, I'm a bit disappointed in myself for not doing more thorough research which would have saved me some minor surprises and disappointments.

    My first surprise/disappointment: The controller does not come with a rechargeable battery pack but two standard AA batteries. I understand that I can just get rechargeable batteries, but considering that both my xbox 360 and PS3 had this, it feels like a step backwards.

    My second surprise/disappointment: I actually have to download an app for the system to play Blu-ray discs. Now that is just ridiculous. I was planning to get a 4K tv soon and after all the hype about the system's ability to play 4k discs it's a shock to see that I need an app..an app with low ratings at that. If I wanted to play Dvds/Blu-ray on the PS3, it was just a matter of popping them in.

    Third surprise/disappointment: That home screen is an unholy mess. Sweet Geebus, I hope it gets better real soon.

    Fourth surprise/disappointment: The 'Xbox' button on the controller - to power on/off the system and return to the home screen - is mushy. The old 360 controller was solid and gave definite, tactile feedback when it was pressed.

    None of these are real deal breakers..this is a gaming system after all. I'm still a bit disappointed, though. Microsoft built up the entertainment hub features of the device and it feels to me like my PS3 is better in some areas. Using "Universal Media Server', I could transfer the main movie file of my Blu-ray rips (thus getting the ability to store the discs or sell them) to my PS3 and it played them just fine. I can't do this with the Xbox One S so again, while not a deal breaker, it means I should return my current Xbox One S for one with much lower storage. I'm a casual gamer who prefers to buy physical games, so the threat of digital downloads quickly eating up my space is not high.

    Also, what is the deal with the 'bitstream' option? If the whole point of bitstreaming is to let your surround receiver do the actual decoding, why is the Xbox giving the choice of either DTS or Dolby digital?

    Anyway, thank for letting me rant. I really should have made more pointed inquiries before selecting the 2TB model, but man..does this console and controller look freaking sweet.
    01-31-2017 03:49 AM
  2. buzzard75's Avatar
    Always good to do your research before making such a purchase. Just wanted to point out a few things and give my own thoughts on what you said.

    None of the Microsoft branded controllers come with rechargeable battery packs that I'm aware of. The Play and Charge kits are all sold separately unless they are included in a special bundle. The Xbox 360 was no different unless it was included in later models or as a bundle as well, but I don't believe it was.

    I don't see requiring an app as a big deal. Not everyone intends to use their gaming console to play movies from a disc. It's actually a good decision NOT to include it as it just takes up space, albeit minimal, for those that don't want it. As for the reviews, I've never had a problem with it. I've come to believe that there is a large majority of people who just don't bother to review something if it's good and are more likely to review something if it's bad, which just skews the overall rating in the end. Take the severely negative reviews with a grain of salt.

    I happen to like the home screen. Some don't like it just because it's different that a set of icons that you scroll through. I personally find that to be a terrible home screen design. It's just different than what a lot of people were used to. Once you learn where everything is on the Xbox One and begin pinning your favorite games and apps, it becomes a breeze to navigate. I don't know if it will ever happen, but I'd like to see it be more like the Windows 10 mobile design where you can move icons around the screen as tiles and arrange them in any sort of fashion you choose, make them different sizes, and have Live Tiles displaying information. Some of that is there, it's just not as fully implemented as I believe it could be.

    Your controller may be a bit different than the one that came with the original Xbox One and is certainly different than the one that came with the Xbox 360. I noticed the same when I got my Xbox One S though, that the guide button wasn't quite as stiff and I thought it should be. I'll give you that one. But that's a pretty minor annoyance and not really a problem. The rest of the controller feels pretty solid to me and is a good upgrade from the original Xbox One controller.

    Try Plex for your digital media server needs. I personally don't use a media center and stream from other services or just watch from discs so I can't speak to it much. I know a lot of people swear by it though.

    You'll be surprised at how fast that storage goes. Even with physical discs, you still need to install games to the hard drive before you can play them and even then they still require updates. If you start deleting games, you'll have to reinstall them and then redownload those updates. I personally use mostly physical discs and try and keep as many games as possible installed until I need the space to install something else. I have the original 500GB Xbox One with a 1TB SSD and am currently just below half of my storage space free. I also have a 2TB Xbox One S with a considerable amount of more free space, but there are way fewer games installed on it. I've deleted some digital games that I just don't play any more and there are numerous others that I picked up as free Games with Gold titles that I have yet to install. If I were to install them all, I have no doubt that my 2TB would be gone like that. As I said, it will go quicker than you think.

    Bitstreaming is a contentious point for a lot of us with a high dollar AV system. Some feel their AVR can do a better job decoding the source material than the Xbox One (or any other box) can. In reality there isn't much difference and you'd be hard pressed to detect any difference without some very high tech equipment. At this point, if you're sending the signal to an AVR, you're better off selecting 5.1 or 7.1 uncompressed. This means that the Xbox will do the work and send a PCM signal to your AVR. The end result is the same as if your AVR were doing the decoding. At some point in the very near future, they're going to push an update to allow bitstreaming of DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD as well as Dolby ATMOS. It's coming. This will allow you to send those signals straight to your AVR and let it do the decoding instead. I will say that if it weren't even capable of decoding DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD, that would be a problem. But that's not the case.

    Upside is, they're always making changes and improvements based on user input and feedback.
    karelj likes this.
    01-31-2017 06:34 AM
  3. DavidinCT's Avatar
    I kind of agree with some your thoughts here.

    1. The blu-ray software is a joke. I picked up a Xbox One S for mainly 4k-blu-ray player(already had a Xbox one). WHen I dropped in my first 4K blu-ray it installed this "Blu-ray software" and the pop up looked like something that came from Windows 3.1, not a top end modern system. It was the BIGGEST Joke that Microsoft didn't support bitstreaming on the Xbox one for HD audio but, it's about freaking time they added it (a standard on very other player on the market but, MS didn't support it till MONTHS after the "S" came out)

    2. The controllers. The Xbox One S controllers are cheap looking and feeling. Compare a Orignal Xbox one controller to a "S" controller. The old one looked like the face was a few parts to make it very premuim feelling. Now, it's just a stamped face on a single piece, looks cheaper, and the Xbox ORB, feels like a cheap button compared to the old one. The Orignal Xbox one controllers were like the quality of the 360 controllers

    3. If your coming from a Xbox one... The system itself is smaller but, cheaper looking, the power button is not as slick, the treatments around the system are just not as nice as the orignal one.

    4. Charging controllers, Yea, My PS4 came with a controller with built in batteries. Just plug and play. As the Xbox one just came with batteries, but, a play and charge kit from Microsoft is about $20-25 and they last forever.

    5. Last thing, the Orignal Xbox came with a gaming headset, something I expected in the Xbox one S, but, of course the Xbox one S did NOT come with a headset. I ended up finding a new one for $15 (retail $25) but, still the fact...

    So what ever the cost of the Xbox One S is, you need to add at least $50 on top of it for a Play and charge kit and a headset... a big dispointment in these aspects..

    Bitstreaming is a contentious point for a lot of us with a high dollar AV system. Some feel their AVR can do a better job decoding the source material than the Xbox One (or any other box) can. In reality there isn't much difference and you'd be hard pressed to detect any difference without some very high tech equipment.
    I dont think you have a clue here. You dont need a $5000 system to get better sound and see a benfit from getting Bitstreaming audio. You might as well hook up a cassette deck and listed to all your music from that. The Benifit of HD audio is descrete audio channel, full range audio on each channel. 5.1, 7.1 or even 10.1. As the designers of the games created.

    You can get systems with speakers that can decode this starting around $300-500...

    If course your happy with you TV speakers than that is your choice.
    Last edited by DavidinCT; 01-31-2017 at 08:29 AM.
    01-31-2017 07:28 AM
  4. greedo_greedy's Avatar
    I also just got my Xbox One S (Storm Grey) 500gb version a week ago.

    While I am having fun with it, I must admit that it isn't quite the dream console. The problem mostly stems from the interface which users can get accustomed to but I wouldn't call it second nature. Looking forward to the new interface changes in the creators update.

    Another issue, something that I've raised in another thread is the fact that I can no longer fire up a game disc and start gaming in minutes.
    Now, we have to go through the process of installation and updates before we can even load up the game.

    This is the age of the 50gb mega blockbuster games and it looks like it's here to stay for the foreseeable future.
    01-31-2017 04:09 PM
  5. karelj's Avatar
    "The Xbox 360 was no different unless it was included in later models or as a bundle as well, but I don't believe it was."

    My 360 has rechargeable controllers.

    "I don't see requiring an app as a big deal. Not everyone intends to use their gaming console to play movies from a disc."
    Microsoft is aggressively touting the 4K/HDR movie capability of the One S. Based on numerous posts on various forums and social media, a good number of people got the console for this very functionality.

    "You'll be surprised at how fast that storage goes. Even with physical discs, you still need to install games to the hard drive before you can play them and even then they still require updates"

    Maybe. I'm still not sure I need 2TB though. I'm not one for keeping a game once I've finished it. But I will keep your statement in mind.

    Thanks for your feedback. It is really appreciated.
    01-31-2017 04:55 PM
  6. karelj's Avatar
    Another issue that irritated me was that I cannot use a Bluetooth headset. I have to plug in a conventional headset with mic into an audio port on the controller. Deal breaker?? No, but it is one of the many little things that makes me shake my head.
    Also - and I know that it is technically 'free' - the vertical stand that came with the console is a joke.
    01-31-2017 06:22 PM
  7. buzzard75's Avatar
    "Microsoft is aggressively touting the 4K/HDR movie capability of the One S. Based on numerous posts on various forums and social media, a good number of people got the console for this very functionality."

    Because it's a capability that PS4 Pro is lacking. Marketing spin. It's something I want and use and influenced my decision to buy an Xbox One S instead of a standalone player, but it's not something everyone needs because not everyone has a 4K/HDR TV. Honestly, a lot of people are going digital and streaming content and you don't need a disc player app for that. But you do need an app for streaming I suppose. :D

    "Maybe. I'm still not sure I need 2TB though. I'm not one for keeping a game once I've finished it. But I will keep your statement in mind."

    Yeah, I keep games. I don't trade them in or sell them unless it's a game that I just really don't like. I keep them because it just takes me a long time to finish them (if I ever finish them) due to my limited play time.
    01-31-2017 07:33 PM
  8. karelj's Avatar
    "Honestly, a lot of people are going digital and streaming content and you don't need a disc player app for that."

    True, but there are also many of us who want the vastly superior video and audio quality that discs provide over streamed content.

    Basically, what I'm going through here is "buyer's jitters". My mind keeps creating valid points about what I don't like, but the problem is that bull**** points keep sneaking in there and causing me to doubt every rational thought I have. So please forgive the rambling posts.
    01-31-2017 09:09 PM
  9. karelj's Avatar
    So, I just ran a test of the Xbox One S bitstream settings against my PS3. Both are connected to my AVR. The AVR will indicate via lights on the front panel if the signal is Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital TrueHD or DTS or DTS-HD MA. I can also get that info displayed on the TV screen via a button press on the remote. This is particularly helpful because it shows the incoming signal - in some cases it's a 7.1 stream as well as the output - in my case a 5.1 stream since I haven't acquired the extra 2 speakers for my receiver which is fully capable of 7.1.

    I played a DTS-HD MA disc in the Xbox and it registered as simple DTS on my receiver. Played the same disc in the PS3, and the receiver showed DTS-HD MA.
    Set the Xbox's bitstream output to Dolby Digital and tried with a Dolby Digital True HD disc and the results were the same. With the Xbox, the receiver showed Dolby Digital 5.1, with the PS3 it showed Dolby Digital True HD.
    So the Xbox is just playing the Dolby Digital and/or DTS core and not the full track. As someone mentioned above, the best solution is to set the Xbox to output uncompressed PCM 7.1 or 5.1 depending on your speaker setup.

    Hopefully, full bitstreaming comes soon since I am in the belief that the AVR is the best choice for decoding. It is what its built for. That's its job.
    Kinda amazing that a last gen console does this better than a current gen.
    01-31-2017 11:21 PM

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