Gaming consoles aren’t just for games. And the Xbox® One™ fully embraces its role as the multitalented entertainment hub of your living room. It integrates a Blu-ray™ player, makes it easy to stream video from services like Netflix® and Amazon®, and even supports a direct connection to your cable box, so you no longer have to switch between games and live TV.

All that entertainment is going to sound great, because the Xbox One uses advanced Dolby® sound technology to play Blu-ray movies, television, and streaming video in all their surround sound glory. With the March 2014 system update for the Xbox One, you can now add gaming to that list.

But to experience that great sound, you have to make the right connections between your Xbox One and your home theater, and make the right choices when you stream video.

Setup instructions

Connecting an Xbox One to your home theater is simple. The console has an HDMI® Out port and comes with an HDMI cable capable of delivering 4K video and all the surround sound goodness the Xbox One can pump out. Connect the HDMI cable to your A/V receiver, and you’re good to go. (Many receivers won’t have a port specifically labeled for a game console—just use any spare HDMI input.)

Are all the HDMI ports on your receiver already occupied? Microsoft has a suggestion: simply unplug your cable box from your receiver and plug it into the HDMI In port on the Xbox One. That will allow you to watch live television without having to switch inputs, and it will free up an HDMI port on your receiver for the Xbox One.

What if you don’t have a home theater? Get one! This comprehensive home theater setup guide will help you choose the right components for any budget and set them up.

With Microsoft’s system update, you can also get great surround sound through a gaming headset. Simply connect an optical cable from the Xbox One Optical Out port to your gaming headset’s amp or base, and you’ll be able to access the best sound quality with any game or other entertainment that supports Dolby audio.

Once you’ve connected your Xbox One to your receiver or gaming headset’s optical input, go into the Xbox One settings for “Display & sound” and choose “Optical audio,” select “Bitstream out,” and then set the “Bitstream format” to “Dolby Digital.”

Surround sound movies

The last step to getting fantastic sound is to choose the right entertainment sources. Dolby technology powers audio for both DVD and Blu-ray Disc™ formats, but you’ll get higher-quality, lossless surround sound with Dolby TrueHD on Blu-ray.

Many of the top streaming services, like Netflix, Vudu®, and Amazon Instant Video™, also feature Dolby audio. Make sure you choose the version of your movie or TV show that’s labeled for surround sound. On Vudu, for instance, choose the HDX version. And don’t forget that your favorite television events—the Oscars®, NFL® games, and the Olympics™, to name just a few examples—are broadcast in surround sound.

Once you’ve finished these simple steps, you’ll have an entertainment powerhouse that delivers sound that’s just as great as its images. You may never leave the living room again.

Got a PlayStation 4? Check out our tips for getting the best sound possible.

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