Sometime in the near future television lovers with Microsoft’s Xbox One entertainment console in their living room could have the ability to record and save their favorite television shows and movies airing on broadcasts and cable operators. Put a simpler way, the Xbox One could become a DVR replacement soon.
Microsoft focused site Thurrott says sources its spoken to indicate Microsoft has plans to add DVR support to the Xbox One within the calendar year. DVR support is mentioned in an article about Microsoft’s motivations for killing off Windows Media Center, a software extra that enthusiasts used to build their own cable box replacements using desktop PC parts.
“Microsoft’s solution for this need will apparently be the Xbox One, though the console currently only provides live TV watching, but not recording,” Thurrott writer Paul Thurrott says in the report. He concludes that people inside Microsoft have told him that the feature could be ready within the calendar year.
Thurrott doesn’t provide any more Xbox One DVR details than that. It is worth noting that while the Thurrott website is new, Paul Thurrott himself has a long history of sharing accurate information about Microsoft’s future plans. It’s also makes sense that Microsoft would add DVR support to the Xbox One, it’s been on something of a quest to make the Xbox One the ultimate living room gaming and entertainment machine ever since the console launched back in 2013.
The Xbox One launched with an HDMI pass-through port that allows users to watch whatever is shown on their cable box directly though the console’s TV app. Users can plug-in a Kinect sensor or IR transmitter that lets the Xbox One talk to their cable box, completely replacing the paltry, terrible interfaces that most cable boxes have. Last month, Microsoft even added support for dedicated broadcast TV tuners in the United States. With these tuners, users can still watch their favorite broadcast channels clearly without paying for a cheap cable subscription.
In theory, digital video recording support would allow the Xbox One to record television shows as they air on television, complete with commercials. Those recordings could be stored on a hard drive and then replayed for users at later date. Set-top boxes like Comcast’s XI platform and the infinitely more popular TiVo set-top boxes have done this for years. Potential Xbox One buyers have been asking for DVR recording since the console launched.
Today, getting DVR support means purchasing a TiVo set-top box or paying your cable or satellite operator a monthly fee to rent one of their DVR-enabled cable boxes. DVR support would allow the Xbox One to push yet another box out of the living room, just like it has for dedicated media streaming devices and living room PCs.
For its part, Microsoft has yet to say anything about digital video recording. Some are speculating that Microsoft will have to introduce an Xbox One with a bigger internal hard drive for DVR support, but the company already made it possible for users to add their own external hard drives.
Typically, Microsoft doesn’t discuss future software updates for the Xbox One until its ready to roll out those features to members of its Xbox Preview Program. We do know that Microsoft has plans to update the operating system that powers the Xbox to Windows 10, but we don’t know specifically when that update will happen.