Microsoft reveals more on how well Xbox One will play with UK TV

Microsoft reveals more on how well Xbox One will play with UK TV
Xbox One - will it play nicely with your existing TV setup?

Just how nicely the Xbox One's much-hyped TV functionality will play with the UK audience's set-top boxes has been a question that has been burning since the entertainment heavy reveal of the next-gen console.

The US functionality was showcased heavily, but immediately raised the question of how it would gel with the British entertainment world dominated by Sky, Virgin Media, Freeview, Freesat and YouView.

Speaking at the UK showcase of the Xbox One, marketing director Harvey Eagle expanded on this very point, and urged for patience as the service improves 'down the line' from launch.

"We deliberately started by painting a picture of entertainment and then moving on to games and we've been consistent about talking about game ever since then," said Eagle when we asked him the television question.

"Live TV is something that will be available at launch through something called HDMI pass-through which will allow you to plug in a set-top box to your Xbox."

Xbox One - and the Kinect

Details coming?

Eagle insists that more functionality is coming soon, although details are relatively thin on the ground for now.

"Over time live TV will develop - there are features that will come to the platform a little bit further down the line.

"One of them is the Xbox One Guide which is essentially an electronic programme guide which brings together all your aggregated content in one feed. That won't be available at launch, just to be clear, but will be coming sometime down the line.

"You will be able to stream live TV, you will be able to watch movies and TV on demand, you will be able to browse the web and make skype calls and you will have a range of apps.

"All those things will be present at launch but some features will continue to grow- specifically live TV which is the one that over time will see the most enhancement versus what you see at launch."

So, you should be able to route your existing service from a set top box with an HDMI out to the Xbox One so that it can overlay its own pictures.

Whether that means you can do without your remote control remains to be seen. There is a powerful infrared blaster built in to the Kinect that could be utilised to change channel etc, but the plans, for now, just like how it will work with built in tuners remain under wraps.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.