Xbox One March update adds 50hz to combat TV problem

EU owners offered solution for 'juddering' TV

Microsoft is set to introduce a manual 50hz option with Xbox One's March system update, in a move to help combat TV integration problems in Europe and other PAL territories.

According to various users currently testing the update, the change will allow Xbox One owners to manually switch between 50hz and 60hz modes from the console's system menu, for smoother television viewing.


The addition will no doubt be welcomed by PAL Xbox One owners, though it's currently unclear if it offers more than a makeshift solution to a complicated issue.

The fault, which results in a 'juddering' picture when viewing PAL television broadcasts, is caused by Xbox One's native 60hz refresh rate.

When 50hz television signals, such as those used by Sky, Virgin and BT in the UK, are pushed through the console, frames are dropped or skipped as a result.

Switching the console fully to 50hz mode - previously only possible via a workaround - would result in an unblemished broadcast feed, but users would have to return to 60hz mode to see games and other apps as intended.

It's not yet clear if the 50hz option added in the new update switches to 50hz mode permanently or only when viewing the TV app.

Tech site HDTV Test reports that the ideal solution would be for Xbox One to auto-detect source frame rate and then output the matching frame rate accordingly, although this method would require brief instances of blank screen, potentially hampering the console's multitasking functions.

Speaking to CVG on Monday, Xbox UK's Harvey Eagle said the TV issues are "important" to Microsoft. "We're excited to get that fixed as quickly as possible," he said.

UPDATE: According to users with the preview update on NeoGAF, the new TV option switches to 50hz only during fullscreen TV playback, returning to 60hz for other content. Snapped content does not initialise a change of refresh rate, it's claimed.


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