Today Microsoft has announced a new add-on for the Xbox One. It is Xbox One Digital TV Tuner and it represents a completely new way to watch TV on your Xbox One. The tuner itself is designed to function just like the HDMI pass-through port. The main implication for this is that users can now watch free to air TV with all the benefits of digital television (like pausing) and without the subscription. Moreover, the Kinect 2 Sensor will allow you to verbally select channels and programmes through OneGuide. Supported standards are DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C, which cover quite a lot. The Tuner is also capable of receiving Radio broadcasts. The only countries that will get their hands on this new add on are UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy. No US for the time being, surprisingly. The retail cost will be ₤24.99 for the UK and €29.99 for the other European countries.
Here is the list of features that Microsoft has posted on Xbox Wire:
- Watch HD TV on Xbox One: With the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner, you can watch free-to-air DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C television channels without changing TV inputs. You can receive game invitations and notifications while watching TV and even watch TV while you wait for a multiplayer match to start.
- TV Viewing in Snap Mode: You can watch TV using the Snap mode, watching TV on the side and leaving the main screen for games, Skype, or other applications.
- Pause Live TV: Pause your favorite show when you get up to take a break.
- TV Listings in the OneGuide: TV listings will be available in the OneGuide. From anywhere, say “Xbox show guide, what’s on BBC One?” to quickly navigate directly to that channel’s listings*.
- Favorite Channels in the OneGuide: Create your own personal Favorites in the OneGuide so you can easily choose what you want to watch.
- Channel Tuning by Voice: The OneGuide allows you to call out your favorite TV channel by name and start watching it instantly*.
- The OneGuide on Xbox SmartGlass: Now you have access to the full OneGuide on the new Xbox SmartGlass app with the ability to tune channels on your TV.
- TV On Demand: TV listings in the OneGuide will indicate which shows are available on demand from video apps.
The bottom line is: Xbox One Digital TV Tuner = one extra HDMI port, one fewer USB port and free broadcast TV.