Xbox One TV input has no love for British framerate, workaround found

xboxone-logoIt looks like the much lauded live TV integration feature of the Xbox One has hit a tiny snag in the UK.As reported by numerous sources (including The Escapist, VideoGamer, and OXM UK), Xbox One owners have said that when watching their Freeview or Sky feeds through the system, the image was “juddering” so much that it was unwatchable.

The issue has since been identified by HDTVtest to be the small, yet significant, difference between American and British television framerates. Just like the spelling of certain words differs between the two countries, US TVs refresh at a rate of 60Hz, while in Britain, the standard rate is 50Hz. The Xbox One has been set to the American standard, even those units being sold in the UK, making the signals almost incompatible.

Not content with pinpointing the kink in Microsoft’s new multimedia-focused box, HDTVtest has since come up with a solution.

“First, set your Xbox One to auto-detect HDMI (under Display settings). Then, toggle the resolution from 1080p to 720p (or vice versa), which should trigger a prompt window asking if the screen is displaying correctly, and if you want to keep the new resolution. Select “No” before the 15 seconds is up. This seems to trick the Xbox One into thinking that the TV is not compatible with 60Hz signal, and voila! 50Hz output. Depending on your television set, you may need several attempts to succeed.”

Alas, while this solves the issue when watching television, it screws up the console’s primary function… playing games. Xbox One games are designed to be played at 60Hz, which means that users will have to switch between 50Hz and 60Hz depending on what they want to do. This seems like a far cry from the “All In One” experience Microsoft had promised. In fact, rather than having to mess about with the framerate settings, players may find it easier to bypass the Xbox One altogether, and have their TV feed piped into, gasp, the TV itself.

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In addition to being Warp Zoned’s UK Correspondent, Andrew Rainnie is a screenwriter and filmmaker. You can email him at andrew AT warpzoned DOT com or you can, if you’re inclined, visit his personal website.

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