USB TV streaming to be removed from iOS and Android Xbox apps

Xbox One
Xbox One (Image credit: Windows Central)

Updated November 7, 2018: A Microsoft spokesperson reached out to us and said, "We're always looking for ways to evolve the Xbox experience and regularly update Xbox features based on fan feedback and community engagement. Xbox gamers can still enjoy TV content on their Xbox One console or by streaming to the Xbox app on Windows 10 devices." While the statement doesn't answer the question of why the feature was removed in the first place, it at least confirms that the experience will evolve in the future.

A few years ago, Microsoft gave gamers the ability to stream live television to their tablets and smartphones through the Xbox app. Since then, many gamers have used this feature because not everyone owns a Windows 10 device. If you were using an iOS and Android device, then this was the only way.

Unfortunately, it looks like the iOS and Android Xbox app will be losing this feature soon. The company has sent messages to numerous Xbox One owners — including us — which stated the following.

You may have streamed TV content using a USB TV tuner from your Xbox console to the Xbox app. In 30 days, the Xbox app will no longer support this functionality. You will still be able to watch TV content on your Xbox One console via streaming to the Xbox app on Windows 10.

It's unclear why Microsoft took this decision, but it seems like the company wants to limit availability, potentially with a lack of usage. We've reached out to Microsoft for comment and shall update you as soon as we receive a response from the team.

The company has removed a number of Xbox entertainment features recently, and this probably won't sit well with iOS and Android TV-goers. Hopefully Microsoft will announce a replacement soon or incorporate it into the upcoming streaming service which is expected to enter beta next year.

Keep an eye on for all the latest in Xbox and Windows 10 gaming, accessories, news, and reviews!

Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • "The company is sent messages" They is? How nice. But seriously. Why would you need a USB TV tuner to watch TV on iOS or Android? You can already stream TV all day long on any phone/tablet/PC these days.
  • This is so annoying I might not use it everyday but I do use this feature. I don't understand why they are getting rid of it
  • You could do that...?
  • Interesting.
  • What part is?!
  • The fact that this is a deliberate effort in moving away from the competition, which as of late they had been far too chummy with. Whilst the competition continues to erode Microsoft's avenues for future profits. As said before, it's naive to think becoming the "worlds computer" absolves the need to grow your own ecosystem. As it's naive to presume neither Google or Apple will want the infrastructure and enterprise market. Which in reality, they do and every other market they can get their grubby paws on. Or it could be another instance of removing features and replacing it with a subpar alternative.
  • In their statement they sound like "From now on use our Windows OS if you want to use this feature because we now think that our windows presence is enough". Seriously, MS.😑 You don't own a single mobile device that is handheld and use telephony. Remember? You killed windows mobile years ago?
  • Use your PC, NB to stream instead.
    btw, do you stream from your xbox through 3g/4g mobile connection even at home?
  • LOL I knew you would come with damage control...
  • Well the Xbox USB tuner was rubbish anyway. I've had 2 now that randomly stopped working after a few months, cannot be recognised by any Xbox or PC. The DVR functionality was never released as promised and the whole thing was a waste of money. I wish Microsoft would give me my money back for the 2 USB streamers.
  • You'd almost think all these small tweaks and hits to their various products and services were aligning to only support the release of a new mobile platform. Or they might be taking turns shooting themselves in the foot.
  • These practices of selling a product with a number of features and then taking it away should be outlawed. Their taking out the value of the product.
    This a common Microsoft practice. I can understand the reasons when a feature is consuming their infrastructure such as in the case of streaming. But this is not the case. You are streaming from your console to your tablet. Its your infra.
  • Like PSV with 1st party support dropped soon after lunch.
  • LOL more damage control... With the usual "What about" argument... :)
    And in any case your argument is bs because he is talking about removing features...
  • they are probably just integrating it into the new streaming service which will have its own app.