Some interesting news for Xbox One users today — Microsoft has announced the launch of a new tuner that will bring over-the-air (OTA) TV broadcasts to the games console in North America.
While Xbox gamers already had access to both live and on-demand content through the likes of Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go, and Comedy Central, support for OTA basically brings Fox, CBS, NBC, PBS, and other non-cable broadcasters into the mix. The full list of available OTA channels will, of course, depend on your area, and you will have to have an antenna on your house.
Microsoft has teamed up with OTA technology provider Hauppauge for the launch, in a move that will likely please many — Microsoft says OTA is one of the most requested Live TV features.
From today, those on the Xbox One preview program the U.S and Canada can buy the $80 USB-connected Hauppauge WinTV-955Q tuner, though Microsoft says that one will be developed specifically for the Xbox One, costing $60 — no release date has been given for that.
This also means you can peruse the channels using the Xbox’s own channel browser without messing around with cables, while those with Kinect can also change channels with their voice.
This move mirrors a similar launch in Europe last year, which saw a $40 tuner hit the market for OTA broadcasts. This was perhaps a bigger deal from a European perspective, given that many countries such as the U.K. still predominantly use OTA broadcasts, rather than cable.
With that in mind, Microsoft has also revealed that it’s making the tuner available in 11 more European markets from today: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland.