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Add a TV Tuner To Your Xbox (In Europe)

timothy posted about a month and a half ago | from the americans-don't-watch-tv dept.

Television 81

jfruh (300774) writes "The Xbox one isn't just a game console: it's also a nifty media set-top box, and it interacts very well with your TV service — as long as you have cable. Cord-cutters will soon be able to attach their Xbox to an antenna — but only in Europe." The peripheral that Microsoft will soon release allows you to integrate over-the-air content into the Xbox One system. From the images Microsoft released it looks like the tuner is a small box with a port for an antenna cable on one end, and the USB cable on the other. Unfortunately for my readers in North America, as of now, the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner is only scheduled to release in Europe. Microsoft says it supports DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C television channels, which I hope means something to my European readers; Wikipedia tells me these are European over-the-air cable standards. The TV Tuner will be available in late October for 24.99 in the UK, and for €29.99 in France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

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Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637049)

All three people who own Xbox consoles but don't have internet access or cable TV will surely jump at this marvel of technological engineering.

Re:Wow (1)

chilvence (1210312) | about a month ago | (#47643925)

TV is shit anyway.

Broadcast standards in Europe (4, Informative)

jonfr (888673) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637067)

Only DVB-T and DVB-T2 are for over the air. DVB-C is for cable service. So Xbox One users in Europe are going to be able to use it with both over the air and cable service. In Europe using cable (DVB-C) is a common form of getting television and often it is part of the rent that people pay.

Re:Broadcast standards in Europe (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637093)

yeah dvb-c cable is usually just what I think is "basic cable" in USA.

however, it's a bit funny for someone to write over the air cable!

Re:Broadcast standards in Europe (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637323)

yeah dvb-c cable is usually just what I think is "basic cable" in USA.

however, it's a bit funny for someone to write over the air cable!

Considering it can be encrypted and you need a "cable" box from a typical "cable" provider to decode the over-the-air signal, it may sound strange, but it does make some sense.

Re:Broadcast standards in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637159)

No DVB-C2 = fairly useless, no HD for cable.

Of course HD + cable requires hardware that can be paired with smart card and probably a shitload of DRM shit & certifications.

-T, -C (air/cable SD) and T2 (HD over the air) are simpler in that regard.

Re:Broadcast standards in Europe (2)

amorsen (7485) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637217)

There are plenty of places that run HD over cable on plain -C or even -T.

DRM does not have any connection to which particular DVB version is used.

Re:Broadcast standards in Europe (1)

jonfr (888673) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637409)

No cable company has started to use DVB-C2. I am not sure why that is. No television on the market support DVB-C2 at the moment. Many high end television support use of DVB-S and DVB-S2 today.

Re:Broadcast standards in Europe (2)

Gobelet (892738) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637439)

DVB-T carries many HD channels here, scrambled and unscrambled, in H.264 and Dolby Digital+. DVB-T2 is barely on the roadmap in France.

Re:Broadcast standards in Europe (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | about a month and a half ago | (#47639201)

DVB-T (Mpeg2) is used for SD broadcasts in the UK. DVB-T2 (MPeg4) is used for all the HD channels (terrestrially).

Re:Broadcast standards in Europe (1)

Gobelet (892738) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637433)

With my cable provider, Numericable (and I believe they are the only one in France nowadays), the only channels I get unscrambled are the free over-the-air channels. And they are sent as DVB-T/COFDM over the wire, as the must-carry law requires.

So DVB-C would not be too useful there, except if I want to watch that promo trailer channel they have which is unscrambled. Unless Microsoft has planned for it and allows adding a CAM card for my particular provider!

Re:Broadcast standards in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637545)

As Sky in the UK still insists on using analogue to carry its UHF signals from its set top box to the distribution amplifiers, I'd hope that the Xbox One can support that.

great idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637073)

This is a great idea.. had it not been for the fact that it's only for OTA transmissions, that are usually scrambled and need conditional access cards to work.

Re:great idea (2)

jonwil (467024) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637083)

Don't know where you come from but in Australia (and presumably in the various European countries mentioned in the summary as well) there are free-to-air TV channels broadcasting in DVB-T standard that do not require any special cards.

Re:great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637227)

Decryption is standardized for all digital broadcast since forever, xbox needs a cam reader and the subscriber card, or a simple usb card reader. Most encryption is known now, you can replace the cam for conax with a sim card reader and do the decryption in sotfware. The settop boxes for dvb-t sold here in eastern eu does not even have a cam reader anymore.

Re: great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637285)

Except that's only true for you, in the uk Rupert Murdoch killed the only real attempt at card DRM'd OTA DVB, OnDigital - these days the only people running card slots are people ripping off foreign sports sat chans or Sky UK TV rippers.

Re:great idea (1)

Teun (17872) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637579)

To name a few, Germany, Denmark and Poland have many open channels on DVB-T en T2.

The Netherlands usually the 3 public and one regional that are free and I'd be surprised if it weren't similar in most countries.

Re:great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637879)

Same in Belgium for at least the 3 public ones and a regional ones. Besides, depending where you are, you can also get the French (free) ones (or maybe the ones from the Netherlands in other places ?)

Re:great idea (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637421)

OTA is not encrypted.

Re:great idea (1)

TBoon (1381891) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637605)

DVB supports encryption for all it's varieties, including OTA (DVB-T). Norway/Sweden/Denmark/Netherlands all have a mix of unencrypted channels and encrypted premium channels. It's run like a cable company really.

DVB Tuners (5, Informative)

Mister Transistor (259842) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637087)

USB DVB tuners have been around for a while now and are amazingly cheap. Like $9.99 cheap. Besides receiving compressed DVB signals, most of them also have a general-purpose tuner mode for broadcast, etc. reception, and they make dandy Software-Defined Radios (SDR) that can tune from 50-1000 MHz or more, and translate an entire 3 MHz segment of the RF spectrum for software decoding.

The cheapest ones are based on the RTL-2832U tuner chip. They are a cable-TV tuner IC coupled to a USB soundcard IC internally. Check out rtl-sdr.com [rtl-sdr.com] for more info. The PC software to receive radio is free, mostly open source and quite sophisticated, rivaling several-thousand dollar conventional radio packages. Check out sdr-radio.com [sdr-radio.com] and sdrsharp.com [sdrsharp.com] for a couple of the many software packages out there. Cool stuff!

Re: DVB Tuners (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637207)

Right but the point of this is that you can change channels and interact with the TV guide within the xbox.

Re: DVB Tuners (2)

Mister Transistor (259842) | about a month and a half ago | (#47638431)

Your point is? The Xbox acts the same as a PC. The host (PC or Xbox) runs software that tunes the device and then decodes the compressed MPEG video when they are in DVB mode so you can watch TV. I was also pointing out that they usually have an additional non-MPEG mode that makes them a generic IQ type SDR, and this device may also have a "hackable" aspect to it.

Re:DVB Tuners (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637305)

DVB-T2 USB tuners aren't cheap. PCTV 292e are something like £47 ~$80.

Re:DVB Tuners (1)

Mister Transistor (259842) | about a month and a half ago | (#47638477)

That is a newer generation of the same thing, but if you notice they decode DVB-T2, which is High-Definition. The cheap RTL dongles decode about 3 MHz of spectrum space which is enough for a Standard-Definition DVB signal, but not enough for HD. The newer ones that do DVB-T2 have a wider chunk of spectrum space they translate, wide enough for an HD signal. In the US, an ATSC or "digital TV" High-Definition signal is about 6 MHz wide, for reference.

These newer generation dongles must have internal improvements that allows them to grab a bigger hunk of RF spectrum. The professional SDR devices that cost upward of $1000 can grab much larger chunks of spectrum, some can do 20 MHz wide swaths of RF.

Re:DVB Tuners (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a month and a half ago | (#47639125)

above is misinformation
debug mode of RTL2832U can transfer 2.4MHz of RAW signal
but same RTL2832U has ZERO problem with 8MHz bandwidth when it demodulates/decodes internally

Re:DVB Tuners (1)

NoMaster (142776) | about a month and a half ago | (#47639927)

That is a newer generation of the same thing, but if you notice they decode DVB-T2, which is High-Definition. The cheap RTL dongles decode about 3 MHz of spectrum space which is enough for a Standard-Definition DVB signal, but not enough for HD. The newer ones that do DVB-T2 have a wider chunk of spectrum space they translate, wide enough for an HD signal. In the US, an ATSC or "digital TV" High-Definition signal is about 6 MHz wide, for reference.

These newer generation dongles must have internal improvements that allows them to grab a bigger hunk of RF spectrum. The professional SDR devices that cost upward of $1000 can grab much larger chunks of spectrum, some can do 20 MHz wide swaths of RF.

What utter bullshit.

DVB-T occupies 5/6/7/8 MHz (depending on country). The transmission is COFDM spread-spectrum, the data is interleaved across all subcarriers, and (ignoring hierarchical transmissions, which are rare) the whole ensemble needs to be retrieved to demux a single channel. So, regardless of whether the content is SD or HD, DVB-T dongles always have received the whole 5/6/7/8 MHz wide channel to work (decoding is done in software).

DVB-T2 occupies 1.7/5/6/7/8/10 MHz (depending on purpose & country - e.g. 1.7MHz is meant for mobile, while afaik 10MHz isn't in use anywhere yet). The transmission is an extended version of DVB-T's COFDM spread-spectrum, the data is likewise interleaved across all subcarriers, and (ignoring hierarchical transmissions, which are rare) similarly the whole ensemble needs to be retrieved to demux a single channel. So, regardless of whether the content is SD or HD, any DVB-T2 dongle needs to receive the whole 1.7/5/6/7/8/10 MHz wide channel to work. I don't know of any offhand, but presumably decoding is similarly done in software.

Raw mode - typically used by SDR software when using chep DVB-T dongles - is different. That has limitations, but it's got nothing to do with the channel bandwidth when using the dongles for DVB-T/DVB-T2.

Summary lacks basic thinking skills (5, Funny)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637097)

Microsoft says it supports DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C television channels, which I hope means something to my European readers; Wikipedia tells me these are European over-the-air cable standards.

...Christ...

Re:Summary lacks basic thinking skills (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637431)

over-the-air cable

That must be the stuff hanging up on utility poles. Completely different than the under-the-ground cable.

Re:Summary lacks basic thinking skills (4, Funny)

GNious (953874) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637443)

over-the-air cable

That must be the stuff hanging up on utility poles. Completely different than the under-the-ground cable.

No, that would be in-the-air cable - In Europe, Over-The-Air cabling is done at 700km altitude.

I thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637131)

the lack of casing and "xbox" referred to the first Xbox which left me scratching my head as this probably was already done.

SEGA Game Gear TV Tuner says hi too.

Re:I thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47638141)

PC Engine GT/TurboExpress had a TV tuner add-on before the Game Gear.

I must be missing something (4, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637163)

Presumably your XBox is already plugged into a TV, which already has an OTA tuner, and with an antenna you can already get OTA free TV

Or is it different in the EU ( /me now lives in the US, but formerly lived in NZ, don't know a thing about current european standards)
   

Re:I must be missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637195)

You're quite right, you have to look quite hard to find a TV these days that doesn't have an OTA tuner and decoder built in. I'd say this is a product searching for a market that doesn't exist outside of a very few edge cases.

Re:I must be missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637795)

But itsn't the general idea to have picture in picture for tv while you are doing something with you xbox? What TVs can output a TV channel to the hdmi in on the xbox while displaying the stream from the hdmo out of the xbox?

Re:I must be missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637225)

This is for people using a PC monitor instead of a TV.

Re:I must be missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637251)

TVs are compartively inconvenient, you need to use a completely different interface, etc. Also, you could quite possibly plug your xbox into one of the bigger HD monitors instead of a TV. The TV also won't offer recording and other fancy things the xbox can very easily do. You can hope that the USB tuner will be a lot cheaper than a dedicated set-top box with comparable functionality. And yes, OTA TV is generally free in the EU.

Re:I must be missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637257)

Your bog standard tv does not have a hard drive in it (yet) and can't do timeshifting, automatic recording, commercial skipping based on blank screen recognition, internet connectivity to schedule a recording, stream something from the drive, etc.

I'm guessing using the xbox will unlock some of these features.

Re:I must be missing something (2)

Gobelet (892738) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637447)

My $79 9" TV (it is a spare one, mind you) can do timeshifting and recording, provided I connect a USB stick or hard drive. I cannot understand why higher-end TVs cannot offer that.

Re: I must be missing something (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637505)

Not in the US may be, but in Europe time shifting is becoming a standard feature of the smart TV sets. All you need to do is plus a USB drive

Re:I must be missing something (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637329)

Presumably your XBox is already plugged into a TV, which already has an OTA tuner, and with an antenna you can already get OTA free TV

Or is it different in the EU ( /me now lives in the US, but formerly lived in NZ, don't know a thing about current european standards)

 

Is not different in the EU, you are missing the part where you get the tv signal into the xbox first and let it act as a gaming/media center, you can dock a tv channel while you play something or use an app, use voice recognition, pausing etc etc

Re:I must be missing something (1)

Saffaya (702234) | about a month and a half ago | (#47638105)

Here is an example :

I stopped using TVs when I bought a DreamCast console circa 1999, with its nifty VGA cable and 95% of games compatible with it.

I currently use a 1080p monitor for my HTPC set-up, with the big picture provided by my projector.

Not a single TV or display that includes a TV tuner in my home.

Re:I must be missing something (1)

drsquare (530038) | about a month and a half ago | (#47639743)

Yes, but this allows you to use the Xbox's DVR features. Before the Xbox couldn't do that because it couldn't understand OTA TV signals.

Re:I must be missing something (1)

Cyfun (667564) | about a month ago | (#47646131)

I'm guessing this will allow people who aren't using a TV, but using a computer monitor or projector that doesn't have a tuner to do so.

However, the biggest benefit will probably be using your Xbox as a DVR to record shows, then organize them and play them in the Xbox's media player.

Re:I must be missing something (1)

Nexzus (673421) | about a month ago | (#47658611)

I combined an HDHomeRun, a PS3, PS3 Mediaserver, some "public" listings data, and some coding to make a poor man's TV guide, with channels that are switchable using the DLNA Video options on the PS3.

Making the PS3 the centre of the media system made cord-cutting pass the wife-acceptance-factor.

Old tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637187)

First of all, DVB-T is low quality (due to the low bandwidth) and DVB-C depends on the cable company (meaning it's unnecessarily expensive and choice is limited). DVB-S is where it's at. Most TV worth watching is free-to-air via satellite in major European markets. But that's still no reason to get a device specific tuner anymore, because there's now Sat>IP, a standard for moving the tuner into the network. You can get a ca. 140EUR box which contains four independent tuners and streams the data to Sat>IP or DLNA compatible devices.

Re:Old tech (1)

Gobelet (892738) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637461)

In Germany (and probably other countries) maybe. In France, none of the OTA channels are free-to-air on DVB-S.

The OTA channels ARE on satellite, they just need a cheap, no subscription CAM to unscramble them. I believe it is to block reception by other countries than France. You can probably just get the CAM in France though, there is no check or subscription; just a €39 box to hook up.

Re:Old tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637971)

The UK has Freesat [freesat.co.uk] on Astra 28.2E. The north-western half of France can receive that signal with an 80cm dish.

Re:Old tech (0)

Teun (17872) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637599)

First of all, DVB-T is low quality

It is what's known as SD, Standard Definition.

Some countries have and others are moving to DVB-T2 which is HD.

Re:Old tech (3, Informative)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637805)

This is incorrect. -T can carry HD channels, albeit with heavier compression of the video/audio signals. -T2 increases the channel bandwidth from 24Mb/s to 35Mb/s and allows less compressed HD channels.

Spain, Italy, France, Taiwan, Panama, Colombia all do HD over -T.

Re:Old tech (1)

Teun (17872) | about a month and a half ago | (#47638873)

Sure, but due to the shitty compression of mpeg2 you can only get an SD channel within the conventional channel width.

Re:Old tech (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about a month and a half ago | (#47638949)

True, but that's the choice of the station operators or the country's standard body. Some operate MPEG-4 or H.264 over DVB-T.

The station probably doesn't want to replace their encoders that they've used for satellite transmission before digital terrestrial was launched in their country.

Wow! Wireless! (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637191)

Wireless is so cool. I was at a thrift shop recently and I found a wireless radio and it was only a few dollars. It says on the outside that it only has six transistors in it.

T vs T2 vs S (4, Informative)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637245)

DVB-T is OTA SD television content branded as "Freeview". You get over a 100 channels but, to be honest, only about 30 of them are any good. There are all the major stations (BBC 1 and 2, ITV, Channel 4 and 5), their additional channels (BBC 3, ITV 2 etc), some +1 hour channels and some Freeview only channels. Whilst these are all subscription free, there is a small amount of subscription content and it's not essential to subscribe to these. You don't get many of the Sky channels.

DVB-T2 is the same as T but with the inclusion of 10 or so (I can't remember the exact number) HD channels. It's branded "Freeview HD". Again, subscription free for the majority of the channels. It's nice to watch Top Gear in HD.

DVB-S is the same as T2 but, I think, has a few more HD channels. It's branded "Freesat" and requires the installation of a satellite dish on the side of the house - which often fails the WAF test. It arrived before Freeview HD and so was the first way to get HD channels, although I'm not sure whether that really is the case any more.

For those that are wondering, "YouView" is actually a STB with a DVB-T2 tuner and a range of additional catch-up and VOD services bolted on.

The majority of people will probably get DVB-T2.

Re:T vs T2 vs S (2)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637283)

Whoops misread the article and thought it said DVB-S not DVB-C.

DVB-C is television content through a cable. It's popular in a large number of countries and, for the UK, would be how Virgin Media would deliver their content.

Having said that, I'm not entirely sure whether or not you would be able to use a DVB-C tuner to get Virgin. The majority of people I know use a STB supplied by Virgin (which, in the past couple of years, has been a rebranded TiVo). Someone else with more knowledge than me will probably be able to confirm.

It'll be interesting to see how many tuners you get. If it's only one then you'll only be able to watch one channel and you'll only be able to record another if it is on the same multiplex. So if BBC1 and BBC2 are on the same multiplex then you can record one and watch the other - but you wouldn't be able to record BBC1 and watch ITV since they are on a different multiplex.

If they are serious about providing a good STB experience (and they are part the way there because Windows 7 Media Center and a DVT-T2 tuner blows most of the STBs I've ever used out of the water for experience and, sadly, cost) then they really need to be offering a dual tuner.

Re:T vs T2 vs S (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637315)

What you described as Freeview and Freeview HD is called TDT in Spain. Any OTA transmission has to be in digital form due to european legislation. DVB-T uses some sort of MPEG2 encoding, while DVB-T2 allowed for MPEG4 encoding.

I suppose it might be possible to run DVB-C into your TV, but channel operators do scramble the signal and require you to rent a set up box. Something that might be technically feasible is to use the Common Interface Plus, usually seen as CI+, for that unscrambling. CI+ is some sort of PCMCIA interface that is built into TVs. I have not seen any use of CI+ in Spain, except for the one OTA channel that is scrambled. Channels operators probably do not like TVs inability of not calling home, e.g. not supporting PPV. I wonder if anybody ever used DVB-C with a TV. I fear DVB-S suffers the same fate here.

Re:T vs T2 vs S (1)

Gobelet (892738) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637471)

DVB-T uses some sort of MPEG2 encoding, while DVB-T2 allowed for MPEG4 encoding.

That's not true: us French get MPEG-4/AVC channels over DVB-T.

Re:T vs T2 vs S (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637853)

Sorry I got that wrong. According to Wikipedia, you can more or less transmit anything on DVB-T or DVB-T2. It looks like Spain is using DVB-T and not DVB-T2 for its SD and HD broadcasts.

It was somewhat of a letdown that MPEG2 is usually used with SD broadcasts and MPEG4 for HD. The reason is that many people bought MPEG2 only DVB-T set up boxes that worked with MPEG2 HD broadcasts nobody ever sent.

Re:T vs T2 vs S (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637327)

DVB-T and DVB-S are MPEG-2 based.

DVB-T2 and DVB-S2 are MPEG-4 based and allow HD channels (at least here in the UK)

Re:T vs T2 vs S (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637873)

You can do HD TV over DVB-S/C (and I guess T). For example BBC HD was 1080p on a DVB-S transponder:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/bbcinternet/2011/06/changes_to_bbc_hd_channels_on.html

Re:T vs T2 vs S (1)

GNious (953874) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637481)

DVB-S/S2 is satellite-based
DVB-T/T2 is "air" (UHF antenna)
DVB-C is cable-based (not seen C2 - might exist)

-S and -T are MPEG2 based (usually)
-S2 and -T2 are MPEG4 based (usually)

Encryption can be applied to all of them, and in many countries is almost standard (very few free channels, usually tax-paid ones or pr0n related). The UK seems to have an above-average number of free channels.
"Freesat" is specifically a UK term for DVB-S/S2 channels without encryption.

Re:T vs T2 vs S (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | about a month and a half ago | (#47639215)

DVB-S is the satellite equivalent of DVB-T which is Mpeg2.

DVB-S2 is the equivalent of DVB-T2 which is Mpeg 4.

The only difference is that nowhere in the UK is mpeg2 used for HD terrestrial broadcasts, whereas satellite broadcasting still frequently uses mpeg2 for HD content.

Better than doing this on a smart TV? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637249)

List of things I am worried about:
1. Xbox One outputting 60Hz instead of 50Hz. OTA content tends to be 50Hz interlaced in Europe. There was, or is, an issue on playing 50Hz Bluray encoded movies on an Xbox One. The result was extra judder, and many people complained.
2. Xbox One doing a poor job at deinterlacing and upscaling, at least worse than what typical TVs do. Most content is either 576i or 1080i. There is a channel in Spain that broadcast 720p, but that is not the norm. Xbox One will probably always output at 1080p in order to raster the on screen menus.
3. Xbox One taking hundreds of Watts while it is on. Reports I have read state Xbox One takes around 75W while idling and 15W while in standby (Kinect related). Dedicated setup boxes probably take a lot less power, e.g. Popcorn Hour A100 takes 15W while playing from internal harddisk.
4. EPG being as inaccurate as the ones you get on a flat screen TV one.

So, can somebody remind me what are the reasons I should use a console instead of a set up box or Smart Tv?

Re:Better than doing this on a smart TV? (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637307)

4. EPG being as inaccurate as the ones you get on a flat screen TV one.

This is a good point. Even though DVB-T/T2/S (not sure about C) can provide EPG data, Microsoft get their EPG data from third parties. This is a good thing because you get 14 days worth of data and extra meta-data associated with the program listing which allows them to do some quite nifty functionality.

Unfortunately the data is often wrong and (in the UK at least) the series link data is either not there (so you cannot record the season of a show because it thinks it's a one off) or on every single instance of a show meaning that you end up filling your HD with hundreds of repeats.

There is even a hacky bit of vbscript which is designed to attempt to delete any duplicate recordings, it's that bad.

http://www.fourteenminutes.com... [fourteenminutes.com]

TV License (2)

residents_parking (1026556) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637331)

In the UK, you'll need a TV license (£145 per year) if you don't already have one - completely dwarfing the tuner purchase cost.

Re:TV License (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47637427)

Given the high quality of pulic broadcasting in .uk I think the money is at least well spent.

Re:TV License (2)

stephanruby (542433) | about a month and a half ago | (#47638345)

Given the high quality of pulic broadcasting in .uk I think the money is at least well spent.

If you're into birdwatching and watching open heart surgery at dinner time, then yes, the BBC is the best money can buy.

Re:TV License (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47638123)

By just having a TV tuner in your household you need to pay the license. Regardless of whether you use it or not. So unless you run an Xbox through an HDMI monitor and don't own a single TV then yes, the license fee dwarfs the cost of the tuner.

Re:TV License (2)

KevReedUK (1066760) | about a month and a half ago | (#47638881)

By just having a TV tuner in your household you need to pay the license. Regardless of whether you use it or not. So unless you run an Xbox through an HDMI monitor and don't own a single TV then yes, the license fee dwarfs the cost of the tuner.

WRONG!

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/c... [tvlicensing.co.uk]

From the above link:

The law states that you need to be covered by a TV Licence if you watch or record television programmes, on any device, as they're being shown on TV. This includes TVs, computers, mobile phones, games consoles, digital boxes and Blu-ray/DVD/VHS recorders.

You don't need a licence if you don't use any of these devices to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV - for example, if you use your TV only to watch DVDs or play video games, or you only watch ‘catch up’ services like BBC iPlayer or 4oD.

In other words, even if you have a tuner, as long as it is not used, you DO NOT need a TV license to cover it. Should you, however, watch any content online at the same time as it is being broadcast, you DO need a license, even if you do not own a single piece of kit with a tuner in it.

It should be noted that when you buy any equipment with a tuner in it (TV / STB / PCTV device / whatever) the retailer will normally take your name and address (I believe this is by law) and this information is communicated to the TV Licensing bureau. If, when they receive this notification, they do not have on record any current valid TV license for that property, they will send out a letter asking you to either provide evidence that you have a license, buy one, or make a declaration that neither you, nor anyone in the property, watch or record TV as it is being broadcast, regardless of whether it is via the equipment you bought or some other method (e.g. online). As we keep our license up-to-date (My wife's daughter lives with us. It would seem that not having the capability to watch the latest reality-TV/whatever-other-crap-is-on is almost considered cruelty by many these days!), I have no idea what happens if you fail to respond to such a letter (I only received one of these letters because we bought a new TV the day we moved, and my change of address notification and their letter crossed in the mail).

Re:TV License (1)

Tukz (664339) | about a month and a half ago | (#47640929)

In Denmark you have to pay TV Licens by just having a smartphone.
I'm not kidding.

Re:TV License (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about a month and a half ago | (#47640971)

In Denmark you have to pay TV Licens by just having a smartphone.
I'm not kidding.

Not literally, you have to pay it for the internet connection. So if you have no subscribtion for your smart phone you don't need to pay a license ;) For TVs though, you need to pay the license whether you use it or not, the logic being that you pay for the capability of receiving TV. Not sure why they havn't just made a tax already.

Welcome to 2008, Microsoft! (1)

Sasquatch6 (575574) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637411)

Sony have already done this. Until I moved to the US this year, I was happily using the PlayTV accessory for my Playstation 3 to do basically exactly the same thing in Australia. It should be noted that the main benefit here isn't access to TV channels. It's the DVR functionality that comes along with it. Pausing and rewinding live TV, scheduling recordings, and live TV Guides.

All wrong (2)

StripedCow (776465) | about a month and a half ago | (#47637571)

If you need an xbox to watch TV, you're doing it wrong.

Re:All wrong (1)

xlsior (524145) | about a month and a half ago | (#47638805)

If you need an xbox to watch TV, you're doing it wrong.

There's a difference between 'needing and xbox to watch TV', and the desire for a unified, integrated one-stop destination for your entertainment: games, TV, streaming media, using a single remote control and consistent interface.

That may not be a big deal to you or me personally, but i can definitely see a potential market for something like this.

Re:All wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47639195)

I like this idea as I haven't being able to get 16:10 TVs anymore so I went with a 16:10 monitor, trouble is that it does not have a TV tuner. I religiously hate 16:9 with a fiery passion, so that is out the question.

Potential for modding/injecting video (2)

citizenr (871508) | about a month and a half ago | (#47639189)

You can emulate any USB device with something like Facedancer
http://goodfet.sourceforge.net... [sourceforge.net]

USB DVB tuners just output MPEG2 transport stream when they are properly tuned to mux frequency.

You can use OpenCaster
http://www.avalpa.com/the-key-... [avalpa.com]
to build your own stream.

This means if will be relatively easy to build small usb dongle device capable of injecting h.264 video into Xbox 180.
Of course I have no clue about xbone 180, maybe* its already capable of playing h.264 natively, and there is no need for hacks if you want to use one as a media center.

* just checked, yep, xbone can stream h.264 natively

Wouldn't be much use in the USA anyhow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47640501)

Much of America is like where I live, where only a handful of TV channels can be gotten via antenna. So even if I had an X Box and a tuner that supported American TV standards it would be of little value.

In Europe -Belgium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47640843)

Except in Belgium (unless you have TV Vlaanderen), cause they use custom setup boxes !

(Unless something changed there, would love to hear about it.)

xbox fifa 14 coins (1)

dfhgsht (3780585) | about a month and a half ago | (#47642149)

yeah http://fifa14coingen.com/ [fifa14coingen.com]

Elgato (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47647647)

Elgato makes a wireless TV tuner for iOS devices, it is European only though. Just thought I would mention it.

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