The Xbox One has always been marketed as a catch-all media device, the idea being that it would be the ‘one’ and only media device you needed hooked up to your television. But in Australia, without any kind of Live TV functionality that promise has been left un-fulfilled. Until now.
As of today the Xbox One OneGuide is now available on preview, meaning that you can check what’s scheduled on terrestrial TV and have that integrated with all of Microsoft’s other media options (YouTube apps, TV apps, etc).
But you won’t be able to watch those channels direct from the OneGuide. Not yet at least.
Microsoft’s solution to that issue, however, is incoming. In March 2015 Microsoft will release the Xbox One Digital HD Tuner, a $39.95 device that will allow you to view TV content on the Xbox One and stream that content to other mobile devices using the Smartglass app.
That sounds fairly helpful, and I imagine I will experiment with this at some point, but part of me wonders if it really will work as an alternative to simply pressing the AV button on my Plasma and switching to TV that way. I can’t help but feel that Microsoft is attempting to solve a problem that literally does not exist. I don’t know anyone actually inconvenienced by terrestrial TV and the need to switch inputs. It’s easy to switch inputs. It’s literally done at the push of a button. With this, players have to mess around with different apps and put it all together. And pay $39.95 to add another device to their Xbox One. Not sure many people will sign up for that.