The Xbox One Digital TV Tuner Is Not Coming To The US Anytime Soon Due To Content Licensing Issues

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Microsoft last week announced that Xbox One users in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain will be able to experience premium live TV features on Xbox One, such as the ability to access your favorite shows and channels with the sound of your voice through the OneGuide, with the new Xbox One Digital TV Tuner.  The new digital TV tuner will also support free-to-air DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C television standards. The most notable thing in this announcement is that this device is not coming to the US. Also, it may not be coming to the US anytime soon due to licensing restrictions by TV providers such as Comcast.

Microsoft provided the following statement regarding this issue,

The ability to stream TV content to mobile devices depends on a number of factors related to licensing. This feature is launching first in the UFIGS markets, where the Xbox Digital TV Tuner will receive free OTA television. We are looking at how we can bring this to additional markets in the future.

Xbox One Digital TV Tuner features:

  • 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.

Source: Neowin

About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • Bugbog

    Now there’s a turn of events, but then that’s because Euro countries have already [generally] worked out proper licensing for inter-channel/chunnel access.

    The the US the reverse is true; they don’t want you to be able to access different channels from within other systems!

  • WindowsSeat

    Nvm..I see now, this adds the ability for OTA.

  • Jackal

    I know a lot of people, myself included, that would totally buy an Xbox One if it was actually a DVR.

    Far more potential audience for that than gaming, which is pretty niche in comparison.

    • RichFrantz

      I regret I can only upvote once!

  • Meekermoloko

    This makes no sense to me at all. I can go buy a random digital tuner and plug it into the Xbox One… but not one made by Microsoft? I hope all of cable TV goes under.

  • counterblow

    I really don’t get it. Can’t I just get an external digital tuner box with HDMI out and do the same thing?

    • ZappyKins

      It is not exactly clear, but I think they might be referring to the feature that allows the Xbox One to broadcast the TV shows to all the smart glass devices – and change stations without effecting the game on the Xbox One. For that you might need this kind of special tuner.

  • SpicyMikey

    I agree with most, it doesn’t make sense why MSFT would be restricted when it is “free over the air” broadcasts. So we have to assume we are misinterpreting something. I think a clue might be in the first sentence “stream TV content”. They are probably not talking about adding an antenna to the XBOX and pulling local broadcasts out of the air. They are probably talking about capturing local content at a central processing site and then streaming it to xbox users.

    If so, yes, that’s a problem. DirectTV does it but they need to be sure its controlled and they pay licensing fees. The biggest obstacle is ensuring that someone in Chicago isn’t watching a “free” tv broadcast from NYC. Local stations charge for advertising based on viewership, etc. Blasting THEIR signal around the country for free becomes a problem.

    Disclaimer: I’m just guessing here. Could be wrong about what the problem is here in the USA.

  • huckel

    Xbox One … finally almost as good as an Xbox 360!

    In all seriousness, if they just added media center extender support, or allowed US digital tuners instead of the useless hdmi pass through, I would actually purchase one. As it is, I cannot understand anyone buying new hardware when my 360 plays most of the same games and does TV better.

  • Steve

    What if u got tivo in uk???

  • SkylineDesigns

    fuck comcast bring it to the US

  • AndrewK

    what licensing issues do companies like comcast create for free over the air signal?