Media Devices

Xbox to Abandon Live OTA Streaming

Over three years ago Microsoft partnered with Hauppauge to release an over-the-air (OTA) TV tuner for the Xbox One. It was a USB device, and when paired with the Xbox’s OneGuide software, it offered users a rather nice TV watching experience. Later that year, Microsoft announced that they were developing a complete DVR system for the Xbox One. It was exactly what many former Windows Media Center fans had been hoping for.

Unfortunately, a few months later Microsoft scrapped their DVR plans. The TV tuner continued to work though, and it even had a feature that most other OTA devices didn’t at the time: the ability to stream live television to other connected devices on the same network. Unfortunately, that feature is going away too.

Reader Joe C. let us know that he had received the following message from Xbox Live.

You may have streamed TV content using a USB TV tuner from your Xbox console to the Xbox app. In 30 days, the Xbox app on iOS and Android will no longer support this functionality. You will still be able to watch TV content on your Xbox One console and via streaming to the Xbox app on Windows 10.

While we’re never excited to report on losing functionality, we do wonder how many people actually use the Hauppauge TV tuner with an Xbox One. We’re sure it’s an incredibly low number, and we’d be willing to bet that only a fraction of those people are streaming live TV to their iOS or Android devices.

Xbox to Abandon Live OTA Streaming

Microsoft has been at the forefront of providing access to streaming video services going all the way back to the launch of Netflix on the Xbox 360. While many people use services like Hulu to stream live premium TV and use an antenna to watch local networks, many streaming services including YouTube TV and Sling TV now allow users the ability to stream their local channels too.

Were you a fan of this feature? What will you do once it has been removed from the mobile apps? 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.