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Xbox One getting free DVR functionality in 2016 (update: only for over-the-air TV)

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Microsoft is bringing "full-featured DVR functionality to Xbox One" next year, announced Mike Ybarra, director of program management for Xbox, during the company's Gamescom 2015 press briefing today.

The feature, which will not require a subscription of its own, will allow Xbox One owners to "record free-to-air TV, schedule recordings and take it on the go," said Ybarra. Microsoft released a digital TV tuner for Xbox One in North America this past spring; a similar device had been available in Europe since last fall. The tuner can be used to watch over-the-air TV through an antenna. It's unclear if the Xbox One's DVR functionality will also work with cable/satellite TV.

The Xbox One records in the background, and if the system's power settings are switched to "instant-on," recordings can occur while the person is away from their console. Using the Xbox app in Windows 10, all recorded TV shows can be streamed to Windows 10 devices. In addition, users can download recordings to a device and take them wherever they want.

For more, check out the clip from Ybarra's presentation above.

Update: When asked for clarification, a Microsoft representative confirmed to Polygon that the Xbox One's upcoming DVR feature will only let users record over-the-air TV through the console's TV tuner — not cable or satellite TV from a set-top box running through the Xbox One.

"DVR for Over-the-Air TV lets you record live over-the-air TV only," said the spokesperson. "We're always looking for ways to offer value to our customers and are dedicated to delivering the best experiences on Xbox. We're evaluating several solutions, but have nothing further to share at this time."

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