Watching cable TV on your Xbox One is about to become exponentially more difficult

Xbox OneGuide
(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you still use the Xbox One as an intermediary between your cable box and your TV, Microsoft has some bad news for you: soon, you’ll no longer see TV listings inside OneGuide.

The news comes from a new Xbox Wire blog post which mentions that, while you’ll still be able to view any device connected to the HDMI port on the back of your Xbox One, you won’t see channel listings or program information for any of the TV channels, shows or movies that appear on the screen.

The work around? Well, if you have your cable box plugged into your Xbox One, Xbox One S or Xbox One X, you might want to run it to the TV directly now.

The good news is that Microsoft is giving you another two months before it pulls the figurative plug on the key Xbox OneGuide feature and you won’t have to worry about it until May of this year.

Was Xbox ever the center of your living room? 

It wasn't that long ago that Don Mattrick, then-President of the Interactive Entertainment Business for Microsoft, was promising that the Xbox One as entertainment center of your home. 

In the Xbox One's rather infamous unveiling event, Mattrick said that by connecting your cable box to your Xbox you'd open up a whole new world of entertainment thanks to features like picture-in-picture (Snap) and Kinect integration. To do this, Mattrick said the console would always need to have an internet connection which really upset swaths of gamers who just wanted a basic upgrade to the Xbox 360.

The Xbox Series X would go on to implement some of Mattrick's ideas (downloaded games do require you to be connected to the internet to make sure you're the actual owner) and a few – like the seamless music integration – became key parts of the PS4 and PS5.

Unfortunately, Microsoft's pivot to the center of your media center didn't quite work the way it had wanted, but in the end Microsoft found new services – like Xbox Game Pass and backward compatibility – to show gamers that the Xbox One was more than just a sports TV box.

While OneGuide will remain after the update, the app will be a shell of its former self – a reminder that Microsoft once thought the Xbox One could be the control center of your living room, failed at it, and became something better.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.