Gaming HTPC

The Xbox One DVR is Dead, so What’s Next?

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Last August we reported that Microsoft had announced at Gamescom that DVR functionality would be coming to the Xbox One. We were as excited as everyone else at the idea that the Xbox could become the only box under the televisions of cord cutters. Unfortunately, it looks like that won’t be happening.

Today the Verge’s Tom Warren reported that Microsoft has said they’ve officially put development of the DVR functionality on hold.

“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to put development of DVR for Over-the-Air TV on hold to focus our attention on launching new, higher fan-requested gaming experiences across Xbox One and Windows 10 … We’re always listening to fan feedback and we look forward to bringing more requested experiences on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Live this year.”

Later the news was officially confirmed by the Xbox team at the Xbox Uservoice page where there were over 2,300 votes for DVR functionality.

So while the possibility of using your Xbox One as your over-the-air DVR isn’t completely off the table, it seems highly unlikely that we’ll be seeing those features anytime soon. One thing to keep in mind is that Microsoft’s press briefing at E3, the biggest video game trade show of the year, is less than a week away. They could have something even better planned to announce then.

If you’re a cord-cutter, or over-the-air DVR functionality is something you’ve been looking forward to, there are some other options worth considering. The most obvious solution is to just hook up a different DVR through the Xbox’s HDMI input. The Channel Master DVR+ offers a great experience, and doesn’t have any subscription fees. You could also get your video entirely over the internet. In addition to all of the regular video apps, like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, you can subscribe to Sling TV through your Xbox One.

There’s one more potential option that could become available soon. We’ve been keeping an eye on our friends at SiliconDust and their HDHomeRun DVR. It’s not officially complete yet, but their offering supports both over-the-air and cable tuners. Currently there’s no easy way to use it directly from an Xbox One, but we think that’s going to change soon. That’s because they already have a Windows 10 UWP app for watching and scheduling recordings, and this summer Microsoft is going to roll out support for UWP apps on the Xbox One. It seems extremely likely that we’ll see the HDHomeRun View app on the Xbox One very soon.

How are you feeling about today’s news? Do you think Microsoft will have something to announce at E3 to make up for this disappointment? How does this news impact your plans for media consumption in your house? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the author

Josh Pollard

Josh has been writing software since his parents brought home their first computer. His love for gadgets and technology eventually spurred a passion for home theater technology. After starting the DMZ, he received Microsoft’s MVP award for Windows Media Center. Even though the beloved home theater PC platform is all but dead he continues to tinker with consumer entertainment technology. He’s a life-long gamer and DIY smart home enthusiast. He co-hosts the Entertainment 2.0 podcast with Richard Gunther and the DMZ’s gaming podcast, Story Players, with Joe DeStazio.