From the horse’s mouth
Microsoft had integrated in to the XBox One software access to broadcast TV via add-on tuner modules or broadcast-LAN tuner devices as part of making it a general media hub rather than just a games console.
But, for a year, Microsoft offered a USB-connected DVB-T tuner module for XBox One consoles used in Europe and Oceania where DVB-T digital broadcasting is the norm for over-the-air TV broadcasts. This put its home market, the USA and Canada, at a disadvantage because these countries use ATSC for their over-the-air TV broadcasting.
Now Microsoft and Hauppauge have worked together to develop a USB TV-tuner dongle for the XBox One so it can work with over-the-air TV in North America. They are even offering a package with this tuner module and an indoor HDTV antenna so you can get ready to go if you don’t have an outdoor TV antenna.
Microsoft’s addition of TV-broadcast support allows for “picture-in-picture” viewing, an integrated program guide with social-media support, “pause-live-TV” functionality along with the ability to change channels by voice using Kinect. It cab also allow you to stream over-the-air TV to your smartphone or tablet courtesy of the XBox SmartGlass app for iOS, Android, Windows and Windows-Phone platforms. The current limitation is that it can’t work as a full-fledged PVR to record over-the-air content.
In the US, this feature has some appeal to the “cord-cutting” community who prefer to watch TV content from online sources or the over-the-air networks rather than cable TV. Similarly, this also may please those of us who have the XBox connected to an HDMI-capable monitor or projector and want to use this to watch broadcast TV.
It is furthering the idea that a games console can be used as an entertainment hub rather than just for gaming.