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Television Input Devices Microsoft XBox (Games) Games

Add a TV Tuner To Your Xbox (In Europe) 81

Posted by timothy
from the americans-don't-watch-tv dept.
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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Add a TV Tuner To Your Xbox (In Europe)

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  • by jonfr (888673) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @09:44AM (#47637067) Homepage

    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.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      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!

      • by Carewolf (581105)

        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.

    • by Gobelet (892738)

      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!

  • DVB Tuners (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mister Transistor (259842) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @09:49AM (#47637087) Journal

    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!

    • by Anonymous Coward

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

      • 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 improve

        • by citizenr (871508)

          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

        • by NoMaster (142776)

          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 improvemen

  • by jareth-0205 (525594) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @09:53AM (#47637097) Homepage

    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...

  • by rossdee (243626) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @10:09AM (#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)
       

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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

    • by Saffaya (702234)

      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.

    • by drsquare (530038)

      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.

    • by Cyfun (667564)

      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.

    • by Nexzus (673421)

      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.

  • 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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @10:36AM (#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.

    • by Mr_Silver (213637)

      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

    • by GNious (953874)

      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.

    • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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

    • by Mr_Silver (213637)

      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 seaso

  • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

      • 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.

  • 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.
  • by StripedCow (776465) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @12:23PM (#47637571)

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

    • by xlsior (524145)
      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.
  • by citizenr (871508) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @06:25PM (#47639189) Homepage

    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

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

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