The Xbox One is a phenomenal piece of home entertainment equipment as well as being a top notch games console. OneGuide, built right into the console, brings your live TV channels right onto your console.
But OneGuide requires either a connected cable box or an over-the-air (OTA) tuner plugged into the console. But if you're thinking of cutting the cord, in particular, the HDHomeRun is a great alternative.
Setting up is easy
It takes about 15 minutes from start to finish to get your HDHomeRun up and functioning, and only requires the contents of the box and your PC.
To show just how easy we'be got a full start-up guide for you linked below.
Consistent experience across Windows 10
The HDHomeRun app available on the Xbox One is universal across Windows 10. As such, the basic experience is virtually identical to that which you'd find on your Windows 10 PC.
The only real difference is controller input versus a mouse. But the controller works in much the same way a mouse would, scrolling through channels, selecting, viewing what's on next.
It's consistent with its PC-based counterpart, which is a good thing.
The HDHomeRun app on the Xbox One also supports background audio, with volume controls built right into the main guide menu. If you need to switch out to another app, it'll keep working in the background, and you can still at least hear everything that's going on.
Viable alternative to the Xbox OTA tuner
Whichever of the HDHomeRun boxes you get, it'll cost you more than the Xbox OTA TV tuner. The biggest advantage is that the Xbox tuner will only put TV into your Xbox. The HDHomeRun will do that plus any other compatible device on your home network.
And since Xbox seems to have discontinued its own branded tuner in favor of the Hauppauge branded one, the price difference isn't even that steep. The HDHomeRun Connect costs $99 in the U.S., the Hauppauge Xbox tuner around $69.
The only slight inconvenience is having to use an app versus OneGuide. The HDHomeRun app is decent, but OneGuide is better, that's for sure. It'd be swell if Microsoft and SiliconDust could get together and get HDHomeRun integrated into OneGuide.
The Cablecard version of the HDHomeRun can be used in the same way as the OTA versions, too, though naturally costs a little more and requires a pay TV subscription as well.
The bottom line
If you're looking for a way to integrate your Xbox One into your home entertainment setup, then the HDHomeRun is a great alternative to plugging the Xbox tuner in for OTA TV channels. The app is virtually identical to the Windows 10 PC client, which is no bad thing, and background audio support is most welcome.
And if you have more than one Xbox in your house, it's a no-brainer.
It's mildly inconvenient using an app versus using OneGuide, and we'd love the two to get together in the future. That might never happen, but we can live in hope.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine