Thanks to TV streaming, the Xbox One is about to get more useful to your phone or tablet

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After receiving an upcoming software update, Microsoft’s Xbox One will be able to stream live television content to computers and mobile devices. The Verge notes that Microsoft announced the news on Tuesday, saying early access to the update will begin later this month. The game console will also gain support for media playback through a connected USB device or wirelessly from a DLNA source.

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The television streaming feature will debut in regions that can use Microsoft’s recently announced digital TV tuner for the Xbox One; the company introduced the small tuner last week in Europe for around $40. That TV signal from the tuner will then be viewable over a home Wi-Fi network on various devices using Microsoft’s companion app, the company says:

“Launching first in markets receiving the Xbox Digital TV Tuner, Xbox One owners will be able to stream their TV across their home network to their smartphones and tablets using the Xbox SmartGlass app. They can also pause, play and rewind as well as change channels, without interrupting gameplay on the Xbox One. This will work for SmartGlass apps on Windows, iOS, and Android.”

Being in the U.S. I won’t likely see this functionality for a while; besides, some cable providers already offer live content streaming through tablet or phone apps today: I use the Verizon FiOS Mobile which provides access to dozens of channels in real-time on iOS and Android devices. I love the idea here, however, as it extends Microsoft’s Xbox One into a command center of sorts for the living room and your mobile devices.

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