How to watch 4K movies on Xbox One

Jump into the world of 4K

How to watch 4K movies on Xbox One
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The original Xbox One was a bit of a let down, but Microsoft has rebounded nicely with the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, which are smaller but have enough power to play 4K movies and TV shows in HDR.

If you're looking for a great, all-in-one 4K machine for video, it's harder to find a better option than either of these Xbox Ones for one reason: versatility. There's not just one way to watch 4K on these things.

Read this: The essential guide to 4K on Xbox One

But what are they? And what are the benefits of each? We've gone through and highlighted all of them for you right here. But first, there's a little something you'll have to do.

Make sure 4K is enabled on Xbox One

If you've got an Xbox One S or Xbox One X, you're first going to need to make sure that you've got 4K enabled. If you don't, all of this is for naught. To do this, we're going to have to jump into the menus.

1) Press Xbox button to open the guide.
2) Go to System.
3) Go to Settings.
4) Go to Display & sound.
5) Go to Video output.
6) For TV Resolution, make sure 4K UHD is selected.

Once you've done that, it's time to play some 4K on Xbox One.

How to watch 4K on Xbox One

How to play 4K movies on Xbox One

There are three ways to watch 4K movies and TV shows on either the Xbox One S or X. The first way is the old school method. All you have to do is pop a 4K UHD Blu Ray into your disc drive. Why would you rely on this physical media when streaming services have taken over the world?

To answer that, we have to talk a bit about compression. A full 4K movie comes in at about 4TBs, which is obviously way too big to put on a 4K Blu Ray that holds 1,000GBs, or even to stream via Netflix, as it would obliterate data caps - like Comcast's 1TB cap. Compression is when file size is reduced, usually by omitting unnecessary information. However, not all compression is the same.

Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services often have to compress 4K video a lot more than Blu-ray. If they used the same compression as Blu-ray, you'd only get to watch a handful of 4K movies before blowing past your data cap. Thus, 4K Blu-rays tend to have better 4K and HDR than streaming. If you want the best picture quality, you go 4K Blu-rays.

Read this: A complete guide to Netflix 4K

The second way is to go to Microsoft's video store on your Xbox One. Here, you'll find 4K HDR movies and TV shows to buy or rent. When you go to a movie's store page, you'll see it available in three options: SD, HD and UHD. UHD is code for 4K, so that's your 4K option.

The final way is through streaming, but this is actually the most complicated. First, you'll need to go to the app store on your Xbox and go to the 4K Collection. That's where you'll find all the streaming apps that support 4K on Xbox One S and X.

The included apps are Vudu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Fandango Now. YouTube for Xbox One X does have 4K support, but it's not listed in this collection, oddly. It's likely because it doesn't have Xbox One S support yet.

The second thing to keep in mind is that your TV needs to support streaming 4K from these services. Some people have had problems streaming Netflix in 4K because their TV doesn't support Netflix's 4K requirements. Also, you're going to need the appropriate plan to stream 4K on these devices. This isn't really an issue for Prime Video or Hulu, but it is for Netflix.

There you go. Now you know how and where you can play 4K movies on your Xbox One.

TAGGED    smart home

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