Here is more good news for cable cord-cutters who own an Xbox One: you'll soon have the ability to watch live over-the-air television through your console.
Today, Microsoft announced that it will offer live television channels through the Xbox One interface for certain users in the U.S. and Canada. All those users need is a special tuner, along with a standard over-the-air antenna that attaches to their television set.
"At Xbox, we're committed to delivering amazing new gaming and entertainment experiences, and part of that commitment includes giving you the best TV-viewing options, in one place, never more than one step away from your gaming," writes Microsoft in a statement. "Support for over-the-air TV on Xbox One means access to broadcast networks available in your area, like CBS, FOX, NBC, and PBS, with no subscription cost. When paired with the recently released Sling TV, you can get all of those networks, plus ESPN, TNT, Disney Channel, Adult Swim, and more, live, on your Xbox One."
The tuner required to get live over the air TV on your Xbox One is the Hauppauge WinTV-955Q tuner, which retails for around $79.99 at Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers. Eventually, though, a lower cost version of that tuner will become available for $59.99 for everyone in the U.S. and Canada. You'll also need a separate over the air antenna attached to your TV.
Currently, the program is only available to select Xbox One users, but will eventually roll out to everyone.
At first glance, this doesn't seem like much of a deal: you can already get a regular antenna and watch live over the air channels on your television without the additional $80 Xbox one accessory. However, connecting live TV to your Xbox One offers a few additional features not available with that method, including TV listings and the ability to pause live TV for up to 30 minutes. You also get the ability to watch TV on the right side of the screen while you game on the left as well as change channels by using Kinect voice commands.
Unfortunately, though, live TV through the Xbox One doesn't allow you to record programs over the air, which is probably a feature many users want.
You can also use the system to stream live TV to your mobile devices via Microsoft's SmartGlass apps.
Xbox One already has on-demand video, such as HBO Go, Hulu, Netflix and Sling TV. But the new antenna allows users to watch local channels live, such as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and PBS live.
To see which channels are available in your area, visit gomohu.com/xbox and enter your zip code.
[Photo Credit: Microsoft]