Microsoft to Bypass the Internet by Launching Xbox TV Tuner for Linear TV

XboxMicrosoft’s Xbox One was designed to be the connected device at the heart of the living room, the hub from which all entertainment would be delivered. However, it’s difficult for Xbox to play that role when so many broadcasters still don’t live stream their channels online, meaning that the tech giant still can’t provide the most popular form of living room entertainment — linear TV. This isn’t just a problem for Xbox owners. It’s a problem for Microsoft too as the devices are frequently unplugged in order to attach a cable or satellite set-top box via the same HDMI port.

Today Microsoft announced a solution. From October Xbox One users in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain will be able to watch TV using a digital tuner (to be available in the UK for ₤24.99, and in France, Italy, Germany and Spain for €29.99). Users will be able to use control the USB tuner with the sound of their voice using the ‘OneGuide’, or via the Xbox Smartglass app. The new digital TV tuner will also support free-to-air DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C television standards. The tuner will also Xbox-specific TV viewing features, such as watching TV in ‘snap’ mode, so TV can be on the side while the rest of the main screen can be used for games, Skype, or other applications.

Another Sign the Web Isn’t Quite TV Ready

Xbox’s reversion to TV tech comes just days after the industry was given another reminder of how the online video world isn’t quite ready to handle live TV. Brightcove, an online video streaming platform, were forced to make a public apology to STV, a Scottish broadcaster, after botching the live stream of the independence debate when 500,000 tried to tune in simultaneously online. The failure caused

David Mendels, Brightcove’s CEO, said: “On behalf of Brightcove, I would like to apologise to STV and its viewers around the world for the recent viewing issues surrounding the online broadcasting of the televised independence debate on the 5th of August.

“Our system is capable of significant scale, but in this case a manual configuration error resulted in the issues experienced by the public.

“We are proud of our long-standing partnership with STV and the quality of service we have been able to deliver so we are very disappointed by this error. We will work hard to ensure this never occurs again.”

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