Why the Xbox One S deserves a 4K HDR TV

Not only is it more compact and pack double the storage of its predecessor, the new Xbox One S console can support 4K and HDR. But what does that mean exactly?

14 Aug 2016

The latest 4K UHD TVs combine super-sharp resolution and HDR video for even better contrast and colour. Now we have a new Xbox console designed to get the best from those features – so we ask, if you’ve got one, should you get the other?

Xbox One S

Credit: Press Association


Xbox One S 4K friendly features

Microsoft announced the Xbox One S at the E3 developer conference this year. It’s an ultra-sleek, compact version of the original console that packs an impressive 2TB of internal storage – double what you had before.

That’s not all though. A key feature of the Xbox One S is that is supports 4K, so you can enjoy much sharper graphics and impressive visuals. For deeper blacks, brighter whites and more vibrant colours, it’s also able to play HDR (High Dynamic Range). 



What is 4K TV? Screen resolution that’s 4 times that of Full HD. It means everything you watch will have greater detail, more depth and generally be a lot sharper.



And HDR? This Works alongside 4K to make TV look even better. While 4K increases the number of pixels on screen, HDR improves the quality of these pixels. The result? Greater contrast (think blacker blacks and brighter whites) and a much wider range of colours.


How to play 4K content on your Xbox One S

To enjoy Xbox One S in 4K you’ll need a 4K TV. To check your TV’s 4K capabilities:

  • Connect your Xbox One S to your TV and turn it on
  • Tap the Xbox button on the controller twice to open the guide
  • Go to Settings > All settings > Display & sound > Advanced video settings > 4K TV details

If you have an HDR TV and want to check it’s switched on, repeat these steps and select Allow HDR.

Connecting your Xbox One S to your 4K TV is simple. All you need is to run a High Speed HDMI cable between the two and you’re good to go. This comes with the console but you can easily buy a replacement if you lose it. 

Once you’ve set up your Xbox One S, try fine tuning your TV to bring out the best in your picture. You can do this by going to Settings > Display & sound > Video output > Calibrate HDTV 

Tip: If you’re using the Xbox One S for gaming instead of watching movies or Blu-ray, switch to Game Mode on your TV. This reduces lag so your gameplay will be a lot more responsive.


What can I watch in 4K?

You’ll need 4K and 4K HDR content to enjoy Xbox One S’s new features. The good news is more shows and movies are being filmed in the resolution all the time – so you have loads of choice.

On the Xbox One S you can play UHD Blu-ray discs, or use it to stream certain Netflix shows in 4K and 4K HDR (depending on your subscription plan).


What about upscaling?

As well as playing native 4K video, Xbox One S can also upscale non-4K content when you use it with a 4K TV. That means it’ll be a lot sharper, with the same kind of vibrant colours and greater depth.

It’s not just for watching films and TV shows – all your games and apps will get the upscaling treatment too. This means you can play all your favourite games in 4K. 

How to turn on upscaling on your Xbox One S: Settings > All settings > Display & sound > Video output. Under TV resolution, choose 4K UHD TV.

 Inspired to upgrade to 4K? See our range of 4K Ultra HD TVs

Related in Xbox news

Xbox Game Pass - what's new for December?

15 Dec 2021

Xbox Game Pass - what's new for September?

07 Sep 2021

Xbox Game Pass: what's new for August?

11 Aug 2021

Xbox Game Pass: what’s new for July?

15 Jul 2021

Up your game with an Xbox Wireless Headset

29 Jun 2021