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US Xbox One owners won't get mobile streaming TV feature in the near future

Xbox One Digital TV Tuner

Microsoft announced a ton of upcoming features for its Xbox One console earlier this week, and lots of headlines were generated on the news that the console would be able to stream live TV shows to its Windows, iOS and Android SmartGlass app. Unfortunately, those headlines glossed over the fact that this kind of support won't be coming to the US market anytime soon.

Indeed, Microsoft announced on Tuesday that the mobile streaming TV feature will only be coming to the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain in October, and only if Xbox One owners purchase the optional Digital TV Tuner as well.So what about the US and the other countries where the Xbox One is, or soon will be sold? According to what a Microsoft spokesperson told Neowin:

"The ability to stream TV content to mobile devices depends on a number of factors related to licensing. This feature is launching first in the UFIGS markets, where the Xbox Digital TV Tuner will receive free OTA television. We are looking at how we can bring this to additional markets in the future."

In other words, this rather exciting new feature for the Xbox One won't be released in the US until a ton of licensing deals can be signed with the various cable and satellite TV providers. How do you feel about the US and most other countries being kept out of the loop for mobile TV streaming via the Xbox One for a while?

Source: Neowin

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Reader comments

US Xbox One owners won't get mobile streaming TV feature in the near future

142 Comments

What have Comcast and cable companies got to do with this? Do they have to 'allow' TV manufactures to put a tuner in your TV? All this is is a uhf tuner. It has nothing at all to do with cable companies.

When you've got an oligopoly (I think that's the right term) and control the pipes to everything, you've got a hell of a lot of say over how your content gets distributed.

I watch only free, OTA TV on my Xbox One, so can't Microsoft let me do this like my European counterparts? I understand licensing issues with cable companies, but I have nothing to do with cable companies.

It is the streaming part that sound like the issue. Comcast is a content provider now too with owning NBC.

This is probably a case where Congress needs to say people have the right to stream content within their own homes. I'm sure the Xbox One will have a stream device limit of one so it isn't like the cable companies are losing any money by giving us this ability.

This isn't about legality. It is perfectly legal to stream recordings you have made in your own home. There is no dispute about this and already many devices do.

 

Nope. I hate the cable companies. If you're already paying for the damn cable, next nay should there be any hurdles in streaming it. Screw em. I canceled my cable service already. They're stuck only over charging me for internet now.

Not surprised at all. I respect content owners rights to decide how to content is distributed but I happen to think most of them are natzis so I vote with my dollars. I do not subscribe to cable, I do not own an antenna, I watch 0 TV of any kind unless I can get it though Netflix on the device of my choice... They are welcome to handle distribution in any way they feel benefits them and I will handle consumption in the way that benefits me... Not only do we save money but we have more fun by going out and doing more real world activities.

Last time I looked, I didn't need anyone's permission to view OTA on my TV. This is why no Media Center client either. Microsoft wants the Xbox One to replace a set top box, and well hooking an antenna up to it negates that need. What's the point of owning all the IP if your beholden to the cable companies.

Not one bit. They really need to release the OTA tuner for the US! If the cable companies aren't going to work with Microsoft (which they aren't), Microsoft should just release it. Would be awesome for cord cutters and those sick and tired of their cable companies (i.e. EVERYONE)!

Is it our (US residents) turn to bitch about it not being available in our country like many others do all of the time?

Thought this was obvious.

Just like it should be obvious you won't be able to stream Sky to a smartglass device, you have to be using this freeview dongle.

I think this is dumb because all it is is a localized (on ur home network only) Slingbox which cable companies already provide a similar option. Should be something real easy and yet, its not.

MS isn't screwing us over, our shitty FCC and the cable companies that control it is screwing us over. That's not MS fault that the service will not likely fly here.

I don't have cable, so a digital tuner where I could get free OTA network television channels in the US would be pretty cool, especially if I could stream them to my phone.

Thats the thing though this dongle is a Digital Tuner so all you need is accessory + Xbox and you have tv. Now you would need an HDMI capable tv because there aren't component output options for the xbox one (that I know of / trust )

You dont need to buy one since all TVs have a tuner like this. The problem is that in the US only a few channels stream OTA.

I still get access to BBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and a few smaller local broadcasts, which is plenty as I don't spend much time watching TV.

Extra box, something a tiny dongle fixes. They're also cheap, with horrible remotes and interfaces, and the few that seem compatible with being controlled by the Xbox One are flaky at best. They also can't stream to smartglass.

 

It'd be great if they could bring a DTV adapter to the US, as it will probably take too darn long to come to agreements with the cable and satillite companies and DTV isn't even a part of that bag. It's pretty much the same thing they have for the UK, just with different frequency standards or whatnot.

That's the opposite of what this article is about.

And Microsoft doesn't care about WMC. One of their all time best products, and the first one that had the embryo for the tile UI, and they never bothered pushing it. I use it as my sole source to record and watch OTA, and have an Xbox 360 that I used as an extender, and it works flawlessly.

Yep, I've been doing so since Day One. You need a compatible set-top box, though, like Homeworx.

I don't understand what the problem is. I use WMC now and can stream recorded TV to any device using Plex. If they made an ATSC tuner and allowed the XBox One to record OTA shows this would be a perfect device. Let third party apps install and I could run Plex and get all my media through the XBox One...why aren't they doing this?!?

This is kinda upsetting. I mean thats awesome for those countries! I just thought they should have implemented that into SmartGlass from early on. I feel like my phone and Surface are kinda just controllers for my Xbox, been waiting for this feature. I guess its understanding that there are tons of things that need to be signed and such. Heres to the future and possible launch of this feature in 2015!

Hey crapcast how about making an app for Xbox so we can use it as our DVR instead of having to sign up for your triple play,which no one wants home phone, not to mention that your buggy X1 tuner is backordered and not available.

I'm not surprised given the constant fight between those companies that creates television content and those that want to distribute that content. MS went with Europe first to demonstrate that there is a market for the Xbox tv tuner before approaching cable companies and content creators & distributors.

What a load of crap. SmartGlass only works on your local network, and devices that "stream" content from one source to another in the same house are already available. There shouldn't be any "licensing issues" involved.

Then...how do you explain SlingBox? Which, I have connected to the same STB my Xbox One is connected to. And, with SlingBox, it's not limited to your LAN!!! I am with you...this is Bull!

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ATSC 3.0 is just DVB-T2 renamed, so if your area has switched over to ATSC 3.0 then you should be able to buy the EU tuner and use it in the US I would have thought.

I'll check.  I'd be concerned that even if I could import one, that the US version of the Xbox OS wouldn't supoprt the my local guide or TV app.

Blame the Supreme Court's Aereo decision. MSFT is being overly cautious in their hope they can one day have Xbox be THE set top box.

The Aereo decision has ZERO to do with this.

This has less to do with legality and more to do with the fact that MS is looking to keep the providers happy for future projects.

Content providers. As in those who make the shows and own the networks. Disney owns ABC, Comcast owns NBC, CBS and Fox both have their own production studios. These are the guys Microsoft wants to be chummy with.

Oh, well if its up to licensing with those jerks I never expect it to happen. Microsoft's money is better spent elsewhere.

I would consider dumping my cable provider for one that allowed this streaming. Verizon doesn't even have an app that does this while most cable/dish companies already have an app for this.

Actually it is the opposite: Big corporations run the Country paying huge amounts of money to have " People representatives" elected and dictating them the agenda... in the best interest of those corporations of course.

Did anyone notice that Sony is preparing to sell a PS4 TV/Gaming console for $99. It seems to be something like Amazon TV. Is MS going to build a $99 TV Xbox?

It requires a ps4. Think of it as an extended for a ps4 to play games on another tv without buying another ps4. Has to be on same network.

Are you sure you make sense?  You keep saying, "...it's a TV tuner..blah blah."  It's not about the tv tuner for US-based xbox one owners.  Most subscribe to a cable service and plug the set-top box directly into the xbox for live TV integration.  This is about not being able to stream that media to a local network device and other live TV integration features. The TV tuner was soley created to give EU and markets like it live TV integration with the xbox one.

Why not just buy the EU tuner and use it in the US? I believe ATSC 3.0 is DVB-T2 just (for some unknown reason) renamed for the US market, so if your area has switched OTA broadcasts over to ATSC 3.0 you should be good to go, right?

Ah, well once the switch over happens it should just work. If I were you I'd look up the switch over schedule for your area and plan to buy a tuner when it happens. Once old style ATSC is dumped and you join the DVB-T2 club you'll get more HD ota programming and kit will work across borders. It's coming...

I had never heard about DVB-T2 being the same as ATSC 3.0 before. Going on Bing I can't find anything about it eiher. Do you have any sources?

Also, it'll be a long time before we get ATSC 3.0 I think. Literally everyone that uses OTA (a not unsubstantial number) would have to get new TVs again. Fun times.

If you search on Bing you will find out about the tests, and it will be DVB-T2 unless something big happens. I'm at work texting on my phone so I can't search for you now, but it didn't take too long to find. Just type in DVB-T2 ATSC 3 into Bing, I bet it finds some info on the Maryland test. No need for a new TV, a cheap set top box will do it. Also, no reason why legacy ATSC and DVB-T2 can't run together. In the UK we run both legacy DVB-T and DVB-T2 transmitters in parallel.

I have just searched on the terms I suggested and loads of results are listed, it seems DVB-T2 is pretty much selected and live tests have been conducted but it has not been finally confirmed. I can't see it taking too long though, as any chance to free up spectrum to sell off is usually grabbed by govt. Looks like it'll be out soon if live transmitter tests are happening. Surely 2015 to start the roll out?

I have no clue what schedule or information you are looking at. Seriously, send me some of those URLs about DBV-T2 and live tests if you have them. I can't find anything.

 

Thanks for the link (well, it didn't work but I searched for WNUV on the FCC website and got something similar). Seems they are testing DBV-T2 signals in an experimental fashion to see if OFDM works as a means for the ATSC 3.0 standard.

That does not mean that ATSC 3.0 is the same as DBV-T2. And certainly one experimental test channel in one place in the US does not indicate any sort of rollout any time soon. 

I'd say hold off on the optimistic assertion you made that you can just buy an Xbox One dongle and get TV here in the US... :)

 

Yea, it's not as close to release as I initially imagined, but can't be a huge way off. I did say this is only a thing after ATSC 3.0 switchover so it shouldn't confuse the simple people. There is a fair amount more info out there, but not being from US I've not gone in to it in too much depth. Worth watching though.

" Also, no reason why legacy ATSC and DVB-T2 can't run together"

Yes, there is. They can't, because they will use the same channel spectrum. They will not be able to run parallell.

I have just pulled up 3 quick links from Bing specifically re. the tests, but there's loads about the subject in general. I managed this on an 830 on a very rough bus ride. Seriously man, L2S. Also, it is simple to run in parallel. Some muxes can be ATSC where as others can be DVB-T2. Unless you're going to tell me there's only room for one mux? That would be very weird, and poor form from US govt.

I wanna dump my cable box and use only the XBOX.

Like I can do with HDHomeRun and InfiniTV using DLNA with my old 360

The two biggest business rackets in the US right now is mobile/cellular service and cable/tv service. They both have way to much input and say on the laws and regulations that are super to hold them in check. Bullshit.

Cable has nothing to do with uhf ota receivers. It is not about laws, it is just that the US has not switched over to DVB-T2 yet (you will call it ATSC 3.0 for some reason, but it is just DVB-T2 rebadged). No point MS making a card for legacy ATSC when its days are numbered.

So basically just freeview in the UK. Was hoping to get my sky tv on my phone or tablet as there is no windows phone app. This is poor.

Yea, Sky are a pain. Still, what do you expect from Murdock? Try Netflix instead. Works with everything, is way cheaper and is an excellent service.

I cant see much point in this- apart from to watch tv in a tiny screen while you are playing a game.
If it let you record shows onto the xbox it would be worth having.
 

I thought it would effectively make the Xbox a PVR. Why wouldn't they allow it to record? Weird. Better just to use my Humax instead.

Rights? Doesn't seem to be a problem for all other PVR/VCR/DVD Recorder manufacturers. Why for MS? There are no rights issues so long as the box meets specs. Since when have 'rights issues' stopped manufacturers making a TV recorder? Sounds like MS don't know what they're doing.

Ooh count me in! Since Sky have breached contract I'm in the market for another provider. Plonkers charged me 34.99, took the money and cut off my service for a few days. When in fact I have a 12 month contract for 29.50 a month! They tried to wiggle out off miss selling me this offer once but twice? Ain't having that.

For once the US gets the shaft. I`m in Canada and I am tired of Microsoft only giving cool features to the US market on all of their platforms. I can't say that I`m happy that US consumers/gamers wont get this feature but it's good that the rest of the world will finally get a piece of the MS pie.

That's the feature the would have me give up WMC/Xbox 360 for an Xbox one in the US...

I would love to use it for over the air broadcasts.

The Humax will even stream via DLNA as a server or client, and can save off recordings to your PC/tablet/phone for offline use.

What they should've done from the beginning was instead of using HDMI In, they should've used Coax and Cable Card like how the TiVo works. It's a win for a lot of reasons. You wouldn't need to connect your Xbox to another box. Cable Providers win because they get an additional charge to your subscription (which in most cases is much smaller than actually getting another box, for example, I only pay $5 additional per card). You would actually be able to record directly to the Xbox One because with Cable Card, the content's DRM tiers will be encrypted on the broadcast, allowing for control of what can be recorded and streamed or not. There's very little down falls to this approach, besides the negative stigma that Cable Card has and the lack of user adoption would probably be higher due to ignorance (which could be solved with proper information on how to make it work). Also, I don't know if Satellite Providers like Direct TV use Cable Card or not :/

I'm surprised Microsoft even mentioned the feature given it essentially does what Aereo does. It ain't legal without tons of licensing. It will never be available in the US.

I am just hoping that MS is working with SiliconDust and/or Ceton to bring their OTA or cable-card devices to the XB1. Now, that would rock along with DVR functionality.

This is the fiasco that happened with iptv on Xbox 360 and the ability for the Xbox to be used as a DVR for TV. Its no surprise this is happening. Look at the way business is handled with cell phone. Other countries, you buy a cell phone, then you get a service provider of your choice. The US is about pinching every last cent from your pockets. No surprise at all.. Just sad that we live in such a chaotic country with chaotic services..

What they need to do is provide a multi tuner plug in and a version of WMC on the ONE and allow recording on the hard drive. Then it will truly be a must have device. Will this dongle work in Australia which has DTV?

Wasn't the whole idea was for it to be like a Local Network Only SlingBox? If so, I don't see why it would be an issue

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Fortunately, the Verizon FIOS app does stream available contract HD channels with no cable box as long as internet connection is Verizon FIOS.

However, if I switch providers...back to (HD) rabbit ears.

Fortunately, I already have a SlingBox connected to the same FiosTV STB that my Xbox One is. Thus, I am already able to do this here right in the old as US of A!!! While my kids play games I can still watch TV on My Surface Pro 3 or Phone, change channels, DVR the whole nine yards! So, Again Can Someone Really Explain what the licensing issue is?

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I agree with most that has been said here, but my question is for those of you cord cutters; where is your internet coming from? If its a cable company, you are not a cord cutter, if its somewhere else I would like to know. I'm not trying to be a d!ck, just curious.