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Xbox One’s over-the-air tuner is heading west

by Eric Frederiksen | April 8, 2015April 8, 2015 2:30 pm PDT

TV was so simple a decade ago. You either had cable or you didn’t, and even if you did, there were only a few packages. Now there’s a million packages if, for some reason, you haven’t cut that cord yet, and there are a million ways to stream. It’s still tough to get good local channels through those methods, though. Over-the-air is the only real way to do that.

The Xbox One has some great features that genuinely enhance watching television. The One Guide is much more attractive than most cable boxes. For some time now, European users have been able to enjoy the One Guide with over-the-air TV using a digital tuner and now, that functionality is heading state side.

Xbox Live preview program members already have the necessary code on their systems to be able to do this, and it just takes a couple pieces of hardware – a one time purchase, no subscription – to be able to use it.

Purchasing the Hauppauge WinTV-955Q, which Microsoft shows as being $79.99 at various electronics retailers, and an HD antenna will give you this functionality right now. If you’re willing to wait a bit, though, Microsoft and Hauppauge are working together to bring a lower cost version to market, something specific to Xbox One, which will be available in U.S. and Canada.

This will be especially good for local sports, which are often difficult or expensive to watch through other means, as well as providing a way to access live television without worrying about a monthly fee.

Using the tuner, you’ll be able to not only watch live TV, but also access the guide, pause and snap TV, and change channels with Kinect. You can even stream TV to a SmartGlass device in your home.

European users can look forward to the tuner showing up in 11 new countries as well: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland are all joining Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK.

Xbox Wire

Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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