European Xbox One owners just got another way to watch live TV with the game console: Microsoft launched a digital TV tuner capable of receiving free over-the-air broadcast HD TV in select European countries.
The device will be available in France, Italy, Germany and Spain for €30 as well as in the U.K. for ₤25 (which is about $40 and $42, respectively) in late October. Xbox One owners will be able to plug it into one of the console’s USB ports, and will then have access to live TV through the game console, including OneGuide TV listings, the ability to pause live TV or change channels with voice commands plus a “snap mode” for TV viewing to also access apps at the same time.
This is basically the same set of features that has been available to U.S. Xbox One users that connect their cable box to the game console, but with the notable difference that European users won’t have to pay for cable.
So when is Microsoft going to make a similar tuner available to U.S.-based cord cutters? Apparently not any time soon. I asked a Microsoft spokesperson about plans to bring a version of the tuner stateside, and got this reply:
“Over-the-air television reception varies region to region. A good experience may rely on antennas that not all households have. Consequently, it is more difficult to provide an out-of-the-box consumer solution for over-the-air TV in the U.S. compared to other markets around the world. We will continue to evaluate new technologies and future opportunities to bring over-the-air digital TV to Xbox One in other markets.”