Cable cutters will be able to watch local HD broadcast television via Microsoft’s console.
Starting today, Microsoft is providing support for watching over the air broadcast HD television on Xbox One in the US and Canada. While the console has offered the capability to view live television from launch, the feature was previously only available to cable and satellite customers. By way of a partnership between Microsoft and TV tuner manufacturer Hauppauge, users will be able to connect an HD antenna to their Xbox One and watch local broadcast channels from within the console’s TV app.
The capability is currently only available to members of the Xbox One Preview program in the US and Canada, with public release for those regions expected within the next few months.
Connecting an HD antenna to the Xbox One will require the purchase of a TV tuner accessory, and Microsoft is working with Hauppauge to release an device specifically for Xbox One, with an expected price point of $59.99. Those who can’t wait to watch their local HD channels can purchase the compatible Hauppague 955Q TV tuner, which retails for $79.99.
Watching over the air broadcasts through the Xbox One comes with some additional features beyond the convenience of eliminating the need to swap television inputs. The TV app includes a guide with information on current and upcoming programs for available channels. Live TV can also be paused and the console will store a buffer of up to thirty minutes (at the cost of a 4GB allocation on the hard drive). Content can also be streamed to Microsoft Surface devices, and the Xbox One can be used to play games on its connected display while the stream is running.