According to a report from PC World, the Xbox One will be getting DVR capabilities in 2016. This follows the announcement back in May of an official digital TV tuner for the Xbox One that would allow users to plug in an OTA TV antenna and immediately begin enjoying local television offerings for free.
Currently, you can purchase the Hauppauage digital TV tuner for the Xbox One for $60, directly from Microsoft and it’s really not a bad deal. Plugging it into your Xbox, you immediately get a full TV guide so that you can visually choose from what you want to watch and you can also stream the content to the SmartGlass app for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, and the Xbox app for Windows 10. In addition, you get time-shifting for up to 30 minutes of live TV and optional Kinect voice commands.
With the DVR service, however, users will be able to record the shows that are broadcast for free over the air and watch those recordings on phones, tablets, and PCs (in addition to the Xbox itself) and also be able to schedule recordings with those devices. The services rendered actually sound a lot like the Nuvyyo Tablo that we have reported about multiple times over the last year. The major difference, however, is that it appears as though Microsoft will be providing these services through the Xbox One for free and though you have to pay $350* for the Xbox vs $219 for the Tablo (plus a non-mandatory subscription), it would suffice to say that the Xbox does a little more.
With the Xbox One DVR service it seems like users will have to provide their own hard drive for recordings, despite the existence of a 1TB drive on board many Xbox Ones. While we’re mentioning drawbacks, you won’t be able to view recorded episodes and live TV at the same time with the current tuner. For some reason viewing recorded content requires a TV tuner.
As PC World aptly points out, this is important because it lines up very well with Microsoft’s vision of the Xbox One when they originally launched the system back in 2013 for it to be an all-in-one entertainment hub, with gaming, streaming content, and live TV on a single television input. As cord-cutting has become more of the trend, their vision for home entertainment has become more appropriate for more people and the TV tuner and this predictable addition to its services is a great way to supplement that. The Xbox One has always had an HDMI input, which was great for connecting a cable box for the same purpose, but it seems that Microsoft doesn’t have any plans (or at least didn’t say anything) for supporting cable cards on the Xbox One to eliminate the cable box entirely. I guess Microsoft doesn’t want to step on too many toes.