Microsoft made a big bet on television services with Xbox One, and now the company is bringing one of its biggest TV service options to the United States and Canada with support for over-the-air TV tuners.
As with an accessory and capabilities released in European markets in October, the TV tuner update allows an Xbox One user to plug an antenna into a hardware tuner connected to the console and receive broadcast stations such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. According to a post on Microsoft's official Xbox Wire website, the company is partnering with Hauppauge to support its tuners.
Microsoft specifically mentions the update will support the Hauppauge WinTV-955Q, which costs $80 at Amazon or Best Buy, though the two companies will also partner to release a $60 version of the tuner. Xbox One preview members can currently buy the accessory to make use of the features, though Xbox One owners not in the preview program will have to wait for a public release "in the next few months." Microsoft's announcement doesn't state if other hardware tuners with USB inputs will require any special features to be supported by the Xbox One.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of using a tuner is the ability to stream broadcasts directly to a mobile device. Using the Xbox One SmartGlass app, users will be able to stream TV shows to their mobile devices connected to the same network. Other features currently available to cable and satellite services used with an Xbox One – such as using voice commands with Kinect or snapping the TV content to the side – are also supported with broadcasts from tuners.
In addition to the U.S. and Canada receiving the new functionality, the Microsoft-made Xbox One Digital TV Tuner is now available following markets: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland. The moves bring support for broadcast TV to most major markets, meaning cable or satellite will no longer be required to use the Xbox One's TV functions.
Source: Xbox Wire