While the Kinect for the Xbox 360 by Microsoft is an excellent piece of hardware, with excellent movement recognition very early in its lifecycle, it can be more than annoying if Kinect isn’t working right. Through some simple troubleshooting tips, combined with utilizing the Kinect Tuner application, you can make your Kinect experience seamless.
First, be sure that you have properly connected and setup the Kinect hardware. Ensure that all cables are connected and that the green light on the Kinect turns on when the Xbox 360 is turned on. The Kinect should be placed in the middle of the TV either above or below it so that it can see the ground up. Also, keep in mind that the sensor will move up and down, so don’t wedge it anywhere or in any other way impede its ability to tilt up and down. Finally, don’t place any speakers too close to Kinect, as it that will impede the microphone, and don’t place the Kinect behind glass or any other material. It is also important to ensure that direct sunlight doesn’t hit the Kinect sensors, as direct sunlight will prevent the sensors from working correctly.
Now, let’s ensure that your play space is suitable for using Kinect. You should be six to ten feet from the Kinect, and the play space should be equally as wide (If you are 6′ away, your play space should be at least 6′ wide). Remove any obstructions between the Kinect and the play space, such as coffee tables and ottomans.
It is also important to keep background noise in mind if you are utilizing the Kinect’s voice controls. Ensure that background noise is kept to a minimum; music from a nearby room can easily keep Kinect’s microphone from processing your voice correctly.
Once you have properly set up your Kinect sensor, it needs to be calibrated. The first time you turn on your Xbox 360, you will be presented with a series of calibrations. Once done, your Kinect should work properly unless you drastically change your play space.
If you find that Kinect is not properly interpreting your movements, utilize the Kinect Tuner application, which will ensure that all settings are correct. This can be selected by pressing the Xbox 360 Guide Button, then selecting Kinect Tuner. Here, you can select Tracking, Audio, or Calibration. It is a good idea to use all three any time you are having issues to ensure the best performance from Kinect.
Should you ever need to clean the Kinect lenses, be sure to use microfiber cloth and cleaning solutions rated for HDTV screens or computer monitors.