So. I just picked up an XBox One S.
And... eye strain. Not as instant as the X, but definitely there.
What's BEYOND ODD is that I've successfully used the XBox one (S, usually, but occasionally X) in multiple places - conventions, mostly - without problem. Why is it an issue in my living room? Not sure. I'm back to trying to downgrade the original X to last August and see if that helps. If I can pinpoint "yes it was the October 2018 patch that broke it", then I can petition MS to find out what they changed in the display driver/code/etc.