A source very close to Microsoft tells me that the software giant is now internally testing TV DVR (digital video recording) functionality for Xbox One, meaning that customers will soon be able to record live TV shows from the console.
As you may recall, Microsoft offers OTA (over-the-air) TV viewing capabilities on Xbox One in various markets, and I’d previously reported that TV DVR functionality—the ability to record live TV—was expected by late 2015. That obviously didn’t happen on schedule. But it’s still happening.
Last August, in Microsoft Brings OTA TV Capabilities to Xbox One in the US and Canada, I explained how Microsoft finally brought its OTA TV viewing functionality outside of Europe and Australia with a USB-based Hauppauge TV tuner. (I’d heard too that an Xbox One-branded unit was in development as well, and would arrive with TV DVR capabilities.)
Well, the TV DVR functionality is coming, at least. Microsoft is now internally testing an update for Xbox One called “Xbox One Threshold Beta 1603 System Update,” or th2xboxrel_1603.160308-1900. This update allows the console to record freely-available OTA TV, and it even works while you’re playing games, watching live TV, or when the console is sleeping.
It is, in other words, exactly what we’ve been waiting for as the next logical step in the Xbox One’s transition to a full-feature living room entertainment solution. Or, the one thing that really sets the Xbox One apart from simpler solutions like Roku and Apple TV.