Xbox One owners who subscribe to Virgin Media or Sky's TV services will already know the benefits of feeding their set-top-box through the console and using OneGuide and voice controls via Kinect, but the service has not been available for free-to-air platforms to date.
That will change from October though as Microsoft is to launch its own Xbox One Digital TV Tuner. The add-on device will open access to DVB-T, DVB-T2 and, for regions where it is necessary, DVB-C channels. It essentially means that UK owners will be able to access all of the Freeview channels available in the country, including the HD ones.
It connects to the Xbox One through USB and through a coaxial socket to an aerial. The tuner will work with OneGuide in much the same way as Virgin Media TiVo and Sky+HD boxes, with the content rich electronic programme guide on the console allowing the user to change channels.
TV can be viewed in Snap mode, either with an app minimised on the right or the TV feed, and the user will be able to pause live TV. Recording will not initially be available though.
Voice commands, such as "Xbox watch BBC One", can be used to change channels instantly. And Xbox SmartGlass can be used to turn a tablet or smartphone into an alternative OneGuide controller.
From launch, TV listings in the OneGuide will indicate whether on demand content for the show is available in any of the platform's supported video apps.
The Xbox One Digital TV Tuner will be available from late October in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. It will cost £24.99 and 29.99 euros respectively.
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