Xbox One antenna support becomes official with $60 U.S. TV tuner


Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by TechHive's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

Microsoft is doing its part to help people cut the cable TV cord with an official Xbox One TV tuner for U.S. broadcast channels.

The $60 tuner is manufactured by Hauppauge, and plugs into the Xbox One via USB. Users can then hook up an over-the-air antenna for watching live TV channels through the console. Microsoft is also bundling the tuner with a Mohu Leaf 50 antenna for $100, for a savings of $30.

Going through the Xbox brings some benefits that you might not get by plugging an antenna directly into the television. The console provides a full channel guide, and can pause or rewind up to 30 minutes of live programming. It can also stream the video to phones, tablets, and computers on the same W-Fi network using Microsoft’s Smartglass apps for iOS, Android, and Windows. Kinect users can also change channels using voice commands. (Full-blown DVR support is rumored for later this year.)

Microsoft first announced TV tuner support last month, letting Xbox Preview members test the new features with Hauppauge’s existing WinTV-HVR-955Q tuner. The new tuner is functionally the same, but has some Xbox branding on it and is $20 cheaper.

If you’d rather not spend $60, MediaSonic’s $35 HomeWorx HW180STB box lets you tap into the channel guide and works with Kinect voice commands, but it doesn’t support SmartGlass streaming or time-shifting of live video.

Why this matters: At $350, the Xbox One still isn’t going to make sense for cord-cutters that don’t have any interest in gaming. But for gamers, the console is starting to look like a complete solution. Between over-the-air channels, streaming apps such as Netflix, and the $20 per month Sling TV service, it’s possible to get plenty of entertainment for much less than the cost of cable TV.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon