Microsoft took a big bet with the Xbox One game console having HDMI-in.
Not familiar? That means you can pump your cable and over-the-air TV through the Xbox One, making it a combination game console and entertainment device. It’s pretty neat! There’s a TV guide overlay and everything, known as “OneGuide.”
And soon you’ll be able to record live TV directly through your Xbox One, subverting the cable companies and their DVR boxes.
Microsoft announced the functionality on Tuesday in Cologne, Germany, during the Xbox One briefing at Gamescom 2015 — the world’s largest video game event, annually drawing over 250,000 attendees to a small German city on the Rhine River. The functionality is part of the bigger Windows 10 play that Microsoft’s currently going full bore on: record live TV on your Xbox One, then watch it on any Windows 10 device on your network.
Perhaps even more exciting, you can take recorded television and bring it with you on other Windows 10 devices. That means you can take your recorded TV offline and watch it as you wish. For example, you can record the latest episode of “Game of Thrones” to your Xbox and then stream it to your Windows 10 PC or tablet later. You don’t have to watch it on your TV.
Microsoft’s DVR play is distinctly different from Sony’s parallel on the PlayStation 4 with PlayStation Vue — Sony’s streaming TV service that also has DVR functionality, albeit only in the cloud. You can’t take recorded Vue programs with you, though they are accessible through other Vue devices (albeit not offline).
We’ll have a better idea of the Xbox One’s DVR functionality after it arrives at some point in 2016.
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