The new OTA device, made in partnership with Hauppauge, gives Microsoft and its Xbox One platform a way to target a small but growing group of cord-cutters (and cord-nevers), while also building on the product’s other video options, including support for over-the-top video from sources such as Netflix, Sling TV and Hulu, integration of authenticated TV Everywhere apps such as HBO Go, TWC TV, and WatchESPN, and its ability to pass-through traditional pay TV services (by linking the Xbox One to a set-top box via an HDMI cord) and tie it into the console’s OneGuide interface.
To prime the OTA pump, Microsoft said it is selling a bundle with the Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner and Mohu Leaf 50 antenna at Microsoft retail outlets and online at Microsoftstore.com for $99.99, a $30 discount. Microsoft is also selling the tuner separately for $59.99 at Microsoft stores and via Amazon.
Microsoft said Xbox One users can also stream over-the-air TV to other devices within the home using the Xbox app on Windows 10 devices or the Xbox One SmartGlass app for Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android
“Support for over-the-air TV on Xbox One means you can access broadcast networks available in your area, subscription free, and, in true Xbox One fashion, without having to worry about switching inputs between your games and TV,” Microsoft said.
The Xbox One is one of a growing number of products that have emphasized the OTA angle. Others include TiVo (via its Roamio OTA model), Channel Master, maker of the DVR+ system; and Mohu’s recently launched Channels platform.