The Xbox One’s premium TV features have finally launched down under. From today, Australian Xbox One owners can access a public preview of OneGuide — a catch-all entertainment menu that negates the need for a set top box or universal remote. The catch is that you’ll need to purchase a $39.95 digital tuner to access Live TV functionality. Bah humbug.
When the Xbox One launched in 2013, it’s much-touted home entertainment features were found somewhat lacking; especially the Australian version which lacked any kind of Live TV functionality. Over a year later, Microsoft is finally adding a local version of OneGuide.
For those unfamiliar with the service, OneGuide allows you to combine live television with Xbox One’s other apps and features. It provides limited support for third-party set-top boxes which means you don’t have to swap between controllers or menus.
If you have a Kinect, you can also use voice commands to navigate TV channels. Another potentially useful OneGuide feature is Snap Mode, which lets you view TV on one side of the screen while simultaneously playing games or using other applications such as Skype. You can also stream TV shows across your home network to a smartphone or tablet using the Xbox One SmartGlass app, which allows you to pause, rewind and fast-forward TV.
As mentioned, you will need to purchase an Xbox One Digital HD Tuner (RRP: $39.95) to take advantage of most of these features. This won’t be available until March.