Xbox One Digital TV Tuner Review


Posted on January 18, 2015 by Alan Walsh

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Editor’s Note: This Review was submitted to me by Daniel Hartshorn (@ThinkDIGGITYDAN on Twitter) so credit for all content in this review, written, opinions and images goes to him. Feel free to tweet him any questions you may have about the Xbox One TV Tuner or leave your comments below. Now, to hand it over to Daniel;

I’ve had the Xbox One TV tuner now for a few weeks and have used it daily since getting it and overall impressions are extremely positive, Set up took just a few minutes it supports the Controller, Kinect sensor voice commands and the Media remote.

Set Up

The Set up of the device took about 5 minutes and was extremely simple to do:

When you first insert the TV Tuner and Navigate to the TV Tile or use the voice command ‘Xbox Go to TV’ you are greeted with the above screen, this literally gives you the basic information you need to get the best out of the TV Tuner .

Next it asks you if you are wanting to set up a satellite or cable box using the HDMI pass through the Xbox One supports or the USB TV Tuner, next step is to begin select the TV tuner and continue the set up.

Since we are using the TV tuner on a UK console it asks for your Postal Code, this is to ensure you receive the regional channels you are entitled to for Example Made in Tyne and Wear which once launched will only be available in the North East UK the listing is on OneGuide already just as you would find on a standard Freeview box, after you enter your postal code your asked to select your TV provider for this review we chose Freeview and then your greeted with the next screen.

This process takes the longest; I plugged the TV Tuner into an Indoor areal which receives excellent signal on my TV, next is to wait for the tuner to scan for the channels available in your local area this took about 2½ minutes to fully complete, once this is completed you will be given the option to set up the ability to pause live TV (requires 4GB reserved space on the consoles HDD) and the option to go straight to TV on boot up after this you’re ready to go.

Navigation

For the purpose of the review I used Kinect, the Controller and the media remote to navigate the UI and found the following

Kinect: The Voice commands are hit and miss only some channels work when saying ‘Xbox Watch’ followed by the channel name, this is a real shame we also found that this was very hit and miss sometimes it took 3 to 4 attempts for the voice command to work.

Controller: Using the Xbox controller to navigate OneGuide proved to be a very tedious experience, it gives me the impression OneGuide was not designed to work with the controller but more towards voice commands and the Media remote, however this could be greatly improved in future updates to the console.

Media Remote: We found the media remote is the best method of navigating OneGuide and provides a pleasant and easy experience thanks to the dedicated OneGuide button channel up and down keys etc, We didn’t have a single issue navigating through the channels using the media remote, only way this could have been improved is if it had numbers on the remote so you could input the channel number for quickness.

SmartGlass Streaming:

A feature exclusive to the TV tuner is the ability to watch the content on your device using SmartGlass; we found this worked perfectly however the downside to this was the picture quality wasn’t very good; this could have been down to the internet connection used so results here may vary

Picture Quality and Sound Quality:

The picture quality on the TV tuner is fantastic the HD channels are extremely clear and in some cases the standard definition channels look better that the inbuilt tuner on my TV set. The TV Tuner runs at 1080p/50Hz and this hasn’t caused any problems so far the Xbox picture will flash when the TV Tuner activates to when switching from 60Hz to 50Hz, The sound quality is also great there is no improvement from the standard tuner built into my TV.

Overall the TV Tuner is fantastic and worth the £25 it costs currently it’s only available from Microsoft’s online store, and if you have an Xbox One but don’t have Freeview HD or if you’re looking for the all in one experience I would defiantly recommend the product. The only drawbacks are the navigation with the standard controller isn’t the best experience and the Kinect voice commands could use some work. I would also recommend buying the media remote to go with the TV tuner as they seem to be a perfect match for each other.

The TV tuner is only available in select European markets currently, keep an eye on Rectify Gaming for any new if Microsoft decide to expand the TV Tuner to more markets.

– Daniel Hartshorn (@ThinkDIGGITYDAN)

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