Xbox users may soon be able to watch live, local television from their gaming consoles, offering a new option for people looking to cut the cable cord.
"One of the big secrets about people who want to get rid of cable is that there's a lot of really good free over-the-air HD programming," CNET's Dan Ackerman told CBS News. "All the broadcast stations are broadcasting these digital HD signals but it's kind of a hassle to get it on your TV."
Microsoft reportedly is going to make that easier with what they call "over-the-air HD" for the Xbox. "You basically put an antenna out the window like you used to, you get a little tiny adapter, plug it into your Xbox and now they have support built in that lets you see the channels, gets you programming information for the channels, so it looks and feels a lot like cable," Ackerman said.
Yet while this may offer a new option for TV access, it still probably won't be the end of cable as we know it. In fact, many people who tried cancelled cable for similar streaming programs end up returning to cable, Ackerman said. "A lot of people have left and then come back because you can't get everything in one package," he said. "Even with this, you're just getting the traditional, over-the-air broadcast channels, not even basic cable channels, so you have to combine it with other services to get all the programming you want."
Incorporating a variety of different streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu can get complicated. Ackerman likened it to a buffet, with each option requiring its own subscription and log in. "That's why people stick with cable," he said. "It's easier, even if it's more expensive and you don't like the menus and the interface as much, everything is in one package."