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Xbox One TV features to be available outside US later this year

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The Xbox One's TV functionality is currently available only in the U.S., but Microsoft is expanding those features to Canada and select European countries later this year, the company announced today.

According to Ben Smith, group program manager for TV on Xbox, the Xbox One's OneGuide will be available to owners of the console in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. later this year. That includes the ability to plug a cable box into the Xbox One and use the OneGuide as a TV interface with Kinect voice commands.

Microsoft is also augmenting the feature set for Xbox One TV on SmartGlass. The OneGuide itself will be available in the SmartGlass app, and customers will also be able to use a SmartGlass device as a universal remote, which will allow them to control TV without using voice commands or picking up a controller. The features include the ability to control a cable box's DVR, like scheduling and watching recordings. SmartGlass is available on Android, iOS, Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Certain Xbox Live members in the Xbox One beta program in Canada, Europe and the U.S. are being invited to start trying out the features today, and Microsoft will launch them publicly after gathering feedback from those users.