The Xbox One's TV tuner functionality, which launched last year in Europe, is now available for people in the United States and Canada. Beginning now, Xbox One preview members (invitation-only) can pick up free over-the-air programming from networks like FOX, NBC, PBS, and GameSpot parent company CBS.
You'll need to buy the Hauppauge WinTV-955Q adapter, which is available now through retailers like Amazon, GameStop, and Best Buy for $80, though a $60 model is set to launch "in the next few months," Microsoft says.
The appeal here is that you'll be able to watch over-the-air TV without a subscription package. As Microsoft notes, the Xbox One's entertainment value gets even better when paired with a $20/month SlingTV subscription.
Another benefit is that you don't need to change inputs to watch TV, and the new Xbox One TV tuner functionality works with features like Snap, OneGuide, and voice control through Kinect. You can also pause live TV for up to 30 minutes and stream content to your mobile device via SmartGlass.
The Xbox One TV tuner service will be available outside of the preview program "in the next few months."
Something else to consider is that free over-the-air TV availability depends on your geographic location. Before you buy an adapter or HD antenna, Microsoft recommends that you visit this website and enter your zip code to see what channels are available in your area.
In related news, Microsoft also announced today that the Xbox One TV tuner functionality in Europe is expanding to 11 new markets: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Check out the video above to see an in-depth walkthrough of the Xbox One's new TV tuner functionality. You can also read this Xbox Wire post for a thorough rundown of everything you need to know.