Want TV on your Xbox? Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft is bringing over-the-air- television to its eighth-generation Xbox One in Canada and the U.S. Call it the digital equivalent of rabbit ears.
Starting Wednesday, those who belong to the Xbox One preview program can gain access to over-the-air TV if they purchase the Hauppague WinTV-955Q, an analog TV tuner and video capture adapter available from $79.99 to $84.99.
Once the television tuner and antenna are connected, users will have access to a number of features, including OneGuide, which provides a full-screen display of all television listings, the ability to pause live TV, customizable favorite channels, the ability to change channels via voice commands with Kinect, and Snap, which will allow users to watch their favorite programs on the right side of their screen and use the main screen for games, Skype or other applications.
The company is also expanding support for the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner to members of the preview program in 11 European countries today, adding Belgium, Austria, Finland, Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Switzerland and Sweden. The service is already available in Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and France.
Available channels depend on where users reside. Those interested should check and see which channels are available in their area. You can check your area here.
“In the next few months, Xbox will be partnering with Hauppauge to release a lower cost version of this tuner, the Hauppauge TV Tuner for Xbox One, retailing for MSRP $59.99, and available to everyone in the U.S. and Canada,” Microsoft said in a blog post on the Xbox Wire on Wednesday. Hauppague is an electronic video hardware manufacturer based in Hauppague, New York.
The move comes weeks after Sony PlayStation launched its PlayStation Vue cable TV service, which has multiple tiers starting at $50 a month. Rabbit ears and a collection of TV apps are a workaround. Is Microsoft planning to launch its own Xbox TV service? The company told us its partnerships with cable/satellite and content providers will continue to expand when we reached out for comment.