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Xbox One’s new digital TV tuner lets you stream TV to a tablet or smartphone

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Perfect for keeping everyone in a household happy

Microsoft announced its digital TV tuner back in August, and it’s finally going on sale in European countries today. The 29.99 EUR ($40) accessory plugs into a USB port on the Xbox One to pick up channels using free-to-air DVB-T, DVB-T2, and DVB-C television standards. This also enables the TV functionality on Xbox One along with TV listings from OneGuide. While recording isn’t supported yet, Microsoft is allowing Xbox One owners to pause live TV and rewind or fast-forward. The pausing works even if you switch back to a game. It’s not clear if the software maker plans to enable DVR functionality in future, but the pausing live TV temporarily uses part of the 500GB hard drive storage on the console.

The most interesting part of the digital TV tuner adapter is what it enables for Xbox SmartGlass. If you have a tablet or a smartphone running Windows, iOS, or Android (update due soon) then you can stream live TV directly to it from your Xbox One with the new accessory. That’s a feature that Microsoft isn’t enabling for separate set-top boxes through its HDMI interface, and the only way you can enable the streaming is by using this official tuner accessory. The only main limitation is that TV only streams on your local network, so you’re restricted to home use. However, TV streaming will work even when someone is playing an Xbox One game so it’s perfect if you want to commandeer a living room TV for gaming and still let a fellow household member continue watching TV on a tablet or smartphone. Microsoft's digital TV tuner adapter goes on sale today in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the UK, but there's no word on a US release yet.