Xbox One does not provide any built-in DVR capabilities

"Xbox One does not provide any built-in DVR capabilities, but on your Xbox One console you will be able to access and use your cable or satellite set-top box DVR service via HDMI pass-through," Microsoft explained to us.

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Thanks to Xbox One's built-in hard drive and focus on live TV and media, it seems like it should have DVR capabilities. In fact, it will offer "game DVR" and let you share gameplay moments via the cloud. However, it will not offer any built-in TV DVR capabilities, a Microsoft spokesperson told us.

"Xbox One does not provide any built-in DVR capabilities, but on your Xbox One console you will be able to access and use your cable or satellite set-top box DVR service via HDMI pass-through," they explained.

In addition, to utilize the live TV features demoed by Microsoft, you'll need a "supported receiver device with HDMI output." And as expected, "to access live TV content from many of the top networks in the US, consumers still need a cable, telco or satellite subscription."

Microsoft wouldn't detail who they're partnering with for their TV efforts, other than to say that "we are working with leading providers of television services in the world, including cable networks and content distributors, to launch apps on Xbox One."

When quizzed about whether or not Microsoft would consider offering its own IPTV service for those that don't want to subscribe to cable or satellite TV, Microsoft deflected the question. "Our goal is to enable live TV through Xbox One in every way that it is delivered throughout the world, whether that's television service providers, over the air or over the Internet, or HDMI-in via a set top box." (emphasis ours) "The delivery of TV is complex and we are working through the many technologies and policies around the world to make live TV available where Xbox One is available."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 21, 2013 4:45 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Xbox One does not provide any built-in DVR capabilities.

    "Xbox One does not provide any built-in DVR capabilities, but on your Xbox One console you will be able to access and use your cable or satellite set-top box DVR service via HDMI pass-through," Microsoft explained to us.

    • reply
      May 21, 2013 5:55 PM

      All-In-One... except....

      To be fair though, most new TV's you can just plug in a stick or HDD and record directly to that... but still... All-In-One?

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      May 21, 2013 6:32 PM

      What's the point? I'm not seeing a reason for this.

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        May 21, 2013 7:00 PM

        So Microsoft can stream ads to you while you're watching TV, of course.

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        May 21, 2013 7:53 PM

        You won't need to change inputs to access the xbox. Since it is always on you can go from watching sunday football to playing Call of Duty in no time. Then there's all the overlay stuff that will work with ESPN and possibly other networks.

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        May 21, 2013 8:32 PM

        whats the point of a roku box? or apple Tv? or a blu-ray player?

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          May 21, 2013 9:31 PM

          Well, for starters they all do something the Xbox doesnt do well, if at all.

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            May 21, 2013 9:33 PM

            what's that?

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              May 21, 2013 9:40 PM

              Stream content easily, access online content for free, play iTunes downloads.

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                May 21, 2013 9:42 PM

                you forgot 'be an Apple product'

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                  May 21, 2013 9:48 PM

                  If it was an Apple product, it would be more locked down, and cost three times as much.

              • reply
                May 21, 2013 10:04 PM

                I wonder if the PS4 or the Xbox1 can play itunes movies or rips in the common mkv format.

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        May 21, 2013 9:38 PM

        This will change everything. Now that people can use voice commands and gestures with their TV they'll completely forget about time shifting. They'll love watching live tv and especially commercials.

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          May 21, 2013 9:43 PM

          for sports time shifting isn't really a thing

          • reply
            May 21, 2013 9:49 PM

            How so? I record games to watch later all the time. I also start live games about 30 minutes late so I can skip commercials.

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              May 21, 2013 9:54 PM

              obviously I meant that literally no one in the world records sports events to be watched later but now my whole theory is shot to shit thanks

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                May 22, 2013 12:04 AM

                literally everone i know that is into sports does exactly this... all the time.

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                  May 22, 2013 12:14 AM

                  well that settles it, live sports viewing is dead. I'll tell the guys at work they can cut this feature, it'll save some dev time for sure.

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                    May 22, 2013 12:22 AM

                    Obviously not what I'm saying, but in terms of football matches in europe a lot of them are played when people are at work, or having dinner with family etc, or in a different time zone all together. For fans of global sports like soccer, recording matches is certainly a very common thing.

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                      May 22, 2013 12:35 AM

                      I would call it very rare in the US. Obviously the time zone differences change the nature of that a bit in Europe. In general I suspect the type of people into these features are not the type of people who record sports. It's fundamentally at odds with a connected lifestyle. When threads come up here about cutting the cord invariably people ask 'what about sports' because they watch their sports live. They don't want NFL Game Rewind to watch all the games on Tuesday or later. If they're not watching the game on Sunday they're not watching it at all.

                      I can avoid movie spoilers fairly effectively. The results of my favorite team's last game? Not so much. I can't check any sports news, TV or website until I watch the game. I can't watch the Celtics game tonight if I haven't watched the Bruins game from last night, it'll be spoiled. I can't post on any of my favorite forums (no one spoilers sporting results here, as opposed to TV shows and movies). I can't talk to my friends who're fans without preceding every first contact with 'I haven't watched the game yet don't say anything ahhhhhh' (this now includes having to text all my friends and post status updates telling them not to text me or FB message me or any other type of message that would send a notification to my phone/tablet/PC).

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                        May 22, 2013 1:50 AM

                        I think in terms of soccer the fandom is so diverse, you got the spanish, italian, english, german leagues that people follow and then on top your own national league and the champions league + international championships and qualifiers ending at literally a hundreds of matches per week. So the number of interesting league alone means you do not as easily come in contact with the results.

    • reply
      May 21, 2013 7:05 PM

      There is no DVR functionality because they want you to purchase episodes through one of their partners.

      I mean, DVR functionality would be obvious if you have a TV guide and have a focus on movies and TV, but there is not really a way to monetize that as easily as it is to suggest you purchase episode videos from one of their partners.

    • reply
      May 21, 2013 7:12 PM

      Ya I thought this was the case when they demoed it. So pointless. It's also sad because the DVR market has been so crappy for so long. Tivo is still the best, even though they've made incredibly slow progress over the years. Their hardware is still woefully underpowered. By the time we actually have a great DVR alternative cable will probably be dead anyway.

      It's a real shame because Microsoft had an opportunity to get their hardware in people's living rooms who ordinarily wouldn't have bought something is powerful as a console. It could be used for so much more than just gaming. With how powerful multicore systems are these days, it could basically be a mainframe for the household, providing mobile devices with very low latency "cloud" like services.

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        May 21, 2013 7:27 PM

        Hopefully they will at least do some integration with Windows Media Center systems. I suppose recording live TV to a hard drive would cause to much conflicts with playing a game, but they could at least have the Xbox control media center systems.

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        May 21, 2013 7:55 PM

        There is no way to make a DVR that captures over HDMI. The HDMI signal is so locked down by the content providers that it's not even a possibility. Tivo probably would have gone this route years ago if it was possible.

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          May 21, 2013 9:33 PM

          No, not HDMI, something from microsoft would have to be able to decode the cable. But microsoft should have the weight to work something out better than a cablecard with cable companies. But even a cable card would be useable. At the end of the day live tv is basically worthless. I can't remember the last time I watched live tv.

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          May 21, 2013 9:46 PM

          So how does this xbox add it's overlay if it can't get at the HDMI signal coming from the provider?

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            May 21, 2013 10:02 PM

            Because it's allowed in the HDMI spec. The signal can be decoded, modified, and encoded with HDCP, and rebroadcast. This isn't anything new. Google's been doing it for a few years with the GoogleTV boxes.

            HDCP just flat out doesn't allow you to record the digital content.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hdcp

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      May 21, 2013 7:22 PM

      That is a terrible miscalculation on their part. They literally have everything they need to do DVR service. That's really disappointing.

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        May 22, 2013 2:36 AM

        It's only a 500GB hard drive though, and that will fill up crazy fast since they require game installs.

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          May 22, 2013 3:08 AM

          Cloud.........

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          May 22, 2013 8:48 AM

          That is the part that kind of concerns me. I don't think 500 GB is enough if games must be completely installed on the HDD vs. the minor installs that were necessary this gen for caching. Also, I'm not clear whether the game replays will be stored on the HDD and only shared via the cloud... or stored in the cloud all together. Hopefully they are stored in the cloud so as not to use up any of that precious HDD space.

          I'm not even sure I'm sold on the this new xbox anyway, so perhaps it doesn't matter.

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        May 22, 2013 9:54 AM

        not really. it's a first go at this and they're doing it right. why piss off cable providers right of the gate? get in good with them, earn their trust, etc.

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      May 21, 2013 7:42 PM

      how is going to handle playing stuff on my DVR then? if it doesnt interface completely with the settop box, I'm not sure what the point is.

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        May 21, 2013 8:35 PM

        That's the point.

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        May 21, 2013 8:36 PM

        why is this concept so hard to understand? There is nothing to "get", the point is convenience and having all of your shit in one place. HENCE XBOX ONE

        • reply
          May 21, 2013 9:38 PM

          Metro in Windows 8 makes more sense than putting an Xbox in the loop between your cable box and TV.
          Its just another place for compatibility problems. Now if it replaced a cable box, that would be something.

          • reply
            May 21, 2013 9:39 PM

            it just gives you a handy way to voice control your cable box and lets you switch instantly from TV to games, etc. it's an overlay that gives you greater access. the ultimate goal is you always turn on your xbox and use that to do everything with your TV.

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              May 22, 2013 1:28 AM

              All it can do is change the channel on your cable box. You'll still need the cable remote to do anything fancy, like schedule a recording. It seems pointless.

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                May 22, 2013 3:10 AM

                I can control my set top box with my phone or ipad now, including managing planner and recordings, no reason they couldn't have those functions built into the console as well.

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                  May 22, 2013 3:13 AM

                  Oh, interesting. I guess that's with an app supplied by the STB manufacturer? Would the STB people be willing to make an app for the xb one?

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                    May 22, 2013 3:15 AM

                    If Microsoft do the leg work then they should have these sorts of things in place.

                    Didn't they mention scheduling recordings in the presentation as well.

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          May 22, 2013 9:47 AM

          Only marketing teams think that logic is immediately obvious.

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          May 22, 2013 10:08 AM

          My point is "DOES IT PLAY THE STUFF ON MY DVR". if it doesnt it's less than useful if I have to switch out of the xbox interface to go back to my DVR interface to play that stuff.

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            May 22, 2013 3:40 PM

            It all depends on your cable/satellite provider. Dish, DirecTV, Tivo, and some cable providers provide ways to remotely control your DVR. If those APIs are open, or MS works out a way to get access, it could be possible to have it control your DVR to playback a specific show.

            GoogleTV boxes have the capability to do this with the latest Dish network DVRs.

            Even if not all boxes are supported you'll still be able to get the overlay stuff when playing back a recorded show. Since the xbox sits between your DVR and the TV you won't need to change inputs or anything if you're watching a recorded show and see that a friend sends you a request to play a game online.

    • reply
      May 21, 2013 7:49 PM

      What about Windows Media Center?

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      May 21, 2013 11:21 PM

      so why does this device have anything to do with tv? if you still have to use another box, then it's just the voice remote at the front? this doesn't seem like a feature set worth leading with.

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      May 22, 2013 2:49 AM

      But then again I would have to switch to my set top box because the EPG for the IPTV is encrypted. Not sure how this feature will work in Rest-of-the-world.

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      May 22, 2013 2:54 AM

      I don't really understand anything they were talking about during all the tv stuff. I just watch freeview, I don't have any boxes under my television.

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        May 22, 2013 3:03 AM

        My TV will play back any video format you've ever heard of directly from a USB hard drive, or from a networked PC. It will also timeshift and record using the hard drive. The TV has Netflix and iPlayer and a dozen other video streaming service apps built in.

        I don't really get why people have all these boxes.

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          May 22, 2013 3:18 AM

          voice commands though. XBOX BABESTATION

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            May 22, 2013 3:24 AM

            My TV does that already too! It's shit.

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          May 24, 2013 3:45 PM

          Not everyone can afford TVs like that. Some people don't even know they exist, or don't think about it hard enough to buy one.
          Also, if that one TV breaks, you loose every system and feature along with the TV. If one box breaks, you can fix or replace that individual box without having to pay for everything again. The same with the TV.

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        May 22, 2013 3:03 AM

        And I don't just mean this as a "lol doesn't apply to my specific use case".
        Can someone give me cliffs of how cable tv works and how its supposed to interface with an xbox?
        Is this gonna be used with something like Sky in the UK?

        • reply
          May 22, 2013 3:11 AM

          Your Sky box will plug into the xbone and the xbone into your TV. You'll be able to use the xbone voice commands to change channel on Sky (the xbone has an IR output, so it can pretend to be a simple remote control). You'll still need the sky remote and UI to schedule recordings or browse your library of recorded shows.

          It might be able to send commands down the HDMI cable to provide finer control of the STB, but that's very unclear.

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            May 22, 2013 3:19 AM

            So instead of just pressing the set top remote I need to talk to the XBone and it will only be able to switch channels / volume. It's just a fancy pass through device then I guess.

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              May 22, 2013 3:24 AM

              talking to your electronics seems alright in theory. In the presentation its no more awkward than anythin else. And I have the sci-fi fantasy of walking into my automated home.

              But in reality I tried it on my phone for a day then just kept typing things in instead. And when I remember to use I feel a bit awkward and hesitant. Can't tell if its worse to do with someone else in the room, or to talk to my devices while on my own

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      May 22, 2013 9:49 AM

      Comcast and TWC probably said no. This is an unfortunate situation and will limit what the console can provide. Given so much focus on TV and non-game media, it really should have a DVR.

      Competition? In my capitalism? UNLIKELY.