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Friday, 08 August 2014 07:31

USB Digital Tuner coming to Xbox One

Written by David Stellmack

Access TV without a set-top box in October

Microsoft is releasing the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in October that will allow Xbox One owners to receive free over-the-air programming without the need for set-top box (cable/satellite). Right now we have confirmed that it will be released in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. No word if a North America release will happen, but since it supports all of the OTA standard, we suspect that it could be released in North America as well.

The Xbox One Digital TV Tuner is a USB device that plugs into a free USB port on the Xbox One and provides access to over-the-air free TV when connected. It supports all of the standards including DVB-T, DVB-T2, and DVB-C. Besides receiving guide listings for your area so you know what is on, uses will be able to get game invites and receive Skype calls. Using the Xbox One Snap Mode, you can watch TV and do something else at the same time.

While the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner will allow owners to pause live TV, it does not allow the recording of TV. (Maybe in the future it could be supported?) With full Xbox OneGuide support the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner will allow the changing of the channel using your voice with Kinect. The OneGuide will also now work with SmartGlass and support the integration of TV On Demand listings for shows that are available from your streaming video apps as well.

While some might complain about the lack of a second tuner or the inability to record, the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner does offer the ability to get free over-the-air HDTV that can be added to your Xbox One for very little. With more and more folks pulling the plug on cable and satellite, the addition of the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner might not be as crazy as one might think as it will offer access to the major networks for just the cost of the adapter. Of course the inability to record watch you are watching is a bummer, but it might be something that Microsoft could add later. We will have to see if it gets a North American release, but it could prove a popular addition for Xbox One owners who want to add some TV support to their Xbox One.

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