US-based customers have been able to access live TV on their Xbox One by connecting the console to a set-top box, but customers in other regions have not been able to access the feature. Microsoft is now addressing the issue by rolling out a USB-based Xbox One Digital TV Tuner that provides an "over-the-air digital terrestrial TV experience," negating the need to connect a set-top box via an HDMI-In cable. The digital TV tuner will be available in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain in October, and will support free-to-air DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C television standards. Users with a Kinect-enabled version of the Xbox One can use voice-guided navigation to access content through OneGuide.
Here are some of the features that you'll be able to enjoy using the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner:
- Watch HD TV on Xbox One: With the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner, you can watch free-to-air DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C television channels without changing TV inputs. You can receive game invitations and notifications while watching TV and even watch TV while you wait for a multiplayer match to start.
- TV Viewing in Snap Mode: You can watch TV using the Snap mode, watching TV on the side and leaving the main screen for games, Skype, or other applications.
- Pause Live TV: Pause your favorite show when you get up to take a break.
- TV Listings in the OneGuide: TV listings will be available in the OneGuide. From anywhere, say "Xbox show guide, what's on BBC One?" to quickly navigate directly to that channel's listings*.
- Favorite Channels in the OneGuide: Create your own personal Favorites in the OneGuide so you can easily choose what you want to watch.
- Channel Tuning by Voice: The OneGuide allows you to call out your favorite TV channel by name and start watching it instantly*. The OneGuide on Xbox SmartGlass: Now you have access to the full OneGuide on the new Xbox SmartGlass app with the ability to tune channels on your TV.
- TV On Demand: TV listings in the OneGuide will indicate which shows are available on demand from video apps.
The digital TV tuner will be available at the end of October in the UK for ₤24.99, and France, Italy, Germany and Spain for €29.99. There is no word as to when the device will be available in other regions.
What are your thoughts on the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner? Are there any other OTA alternatives that are worthy of consideration? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks Sebastian for the tip!
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.