In terms of the quantity of streaming apps available in the UK, the Xbox One is doing… OK.
The main services of note are Netflix, Amazon Prime/Instant, Demand 5, Blinkbox, Xbox Video, 4OD, Machinima, Skype, YouTube, Wuaki.tv, MLB.tv, and the TED 'inspirational lecture' channel.
There are a trio of glaring omissions here, of course – namely the BBC iPlayer, the ITV Player, and any sort of Sky support, including Now TV or Sky Go.
Fortunately the BBC iPlayer app will be added eventually (probably later in 2014) with some Sky channels and Now TV supposedly launching before the end of summer.
There's no word on any ITV Player or Sky Go support, though, with Microsoft simply referring to Sky Go as a 'potential future opportunity' - despite the services presence on the Xbox 360 and recently being confirmed for the PS4.
Talking refresh rates
When the Xbox One first launched, the quality of the streaming experience was severely hamstrung by the lack of a 50Hz output, which meant pictures stuttered alarmingly. This is, now, thankfully fixed, leaving you with a very nice quality streaming experience, with good stability and crisp HD pictures (so long as you have a decently fast broadband connection obviously).
A big part of any household's media experience these days is playback of photos, videos and music via USB storage devices or DLNA streaming from networked external devices. And in this department the Xbox One continues to be something of a bust.
For starters it can't play any media file from a USB port. Not even your JPEG photos. And nor does it support DLNA 'pulling', where you can browse and access content stored on networked devices from the console.
The console does support DLNA streaming if you enable it via an external smart device app such as Skifta or Windows Media Center 7 or Windows 8.1 PC. But this is hardly a convenient approach.
Doubtless some sort of more useful DLNA system will appear at some point – certainly it seems there's a PLEX app for the console in the works. But it does seem strange that DLNA pull technology isn't on the Xbox One yet when it was there on the Xbox 360.
Remarkably, the Xbox One still doesn't even let you rip your own CDs to its hard drive. It will play an inserted CD well enough, but you can't build up a convenient archive of your music on the console. CD ripping was, of course, available on the Xbox 360.
To be clear, there are ways of getting multimedia playing on the Xbox One. As well as the third-party DLNA 'client' option already mentioned, you can now access stuff you've got stored on the OneDrive cloud system. And you can, of course, access your favourite music via YouTube if you don't want to subscribe to a streaming platform like Xbox Music.
But it's a real shame you have to resort to such indirect methods when accessing your own stuff was all so easy on the Xbox One's predecessor.
Blu-ray and DVD
The last thing on Xbox One as media server watchlist is its playback of Blu-rays and DVDs. And again we have to start with a major absent feature: 3D playback.
Well, maybe not everyone will see this as major deal given that 3D's never exactly hyper popularity seems to be on the wane. But nonetheless it's been a standard feature on normal Blu-ray players for ages now. Oh well. Maybe we should be grateful there's Blu-ray playback at all given the Xbox 360's failure to adopt it.
With 2D Blu-rays and DVDs the console has gone from being a pretty poor effort at launch to being a pretty decent one now. For starters, recent updates have added a 50Hz playback option for Blu-rays which works much better with UK TVs than the previous 60Hz alternative to Blu-ray's native 24p format. Though 24p is also, naturally, supported.
Pictures look more detailed and noiseless than they used to as well. There are some standalone Blu-ray decks that can deliver bit more sharpness and colour resolution, but some viewers might actually prefer the less 'forensic' but smoother finish to the Xbox One's images.
There were significant problems with the audio performance of the Xbox One's Blu-ray player at launch. Specifically some major lip synch errors when watching at 24p, and the fact that the console could only ship out uncompressed DTS surround sound, not Dolby Digital.
Both these problems now appear to be fixed – even if the Dolby Digital issue has only been solved by converting DTS tracks into Dolby Digital for output.
Looking back over all the Xbox One's media offerings as they stand today, it's certainly true that we now have a console that's much improved from its 'bare bones' launch day status. However, it remains very much a work in progress in some key areas, and while there are glimmers of genius from the undeniably sophisticated OneGuide integrated TV functionality, for now the problems with controlling the system – especially in a family use environment – represent a significant barrier to its wide adoption.
At least until Microsoft adds a few more compelling features to make the effort feel more worthwhile.