How to Watch TV on Xbox Series X or S

Stream live television on your game console

The Xbox Series X and S consoles are designed primarily for video games; you can also use them to watch live streams, play movies and on-demand television, and even stream live TV via several apps. To watch TV on your Xbox Series X or S, all you need is the right app, a subscription (sometimes), and a fast internet connection.

The Xbox One could display over-the-air broadcast television, but that functionality is not available in the Xbox Series X or S.

How to Stream Live TV on Xbox Series X or S

Since Xbox Series X and S don’t work with USB TV tuners, the only way to watch live television is to use an app that streams live television. These apps have subscription services that you can also use on your computer, phone, and other devices. In addition to a subscription, you also need a high-speed internet connection.

An Xbox Live Gold membership is not required to watch TV and other media through streaming apps.

Here’s how to stream live television on your Xbox Series X or S:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the Guide.

    The Xbox Series X|S Guide.
  2. Select the Store icon at the bottom of the Guide.

    The Store in the Xbox Series X|S Guide.
  3. Select the Search icon.

    The store on Xbox Series X|S.
  4. Enter the name of a television streaming app.

    The search function in the Xbox Series X|S Store.
  5. Select the app from the search results.

    Search results in the Xbox Series X|S Store.
  6. Select Get.

    YouTube TV in the Xbox Series X|S Store.
  7. Select Got it.

    YouTube TV on Xbox Series X|S.
  8. Wait for the app to download, then access it from your dashboard or library.

Xbox Series X or S Television Streaming Apps

The Xbox Series X or S store has apps for many different streaming services that include live television. If you already have a subscription to a television streaming service, you can go ahead and search for that service in the store. If it has an app on Xbox Series X or S, you’ll find it there. If you don’t find one, check with your service provider to see if they have an app or plan to introduce one.

If you don’t already subscribe to a live television streaming service, here are some options that work on Xbox Series X or S:

  • YouTube TV: This television streaming service from YouTube offers more than 85 channels of live television, including Fox, NBC, and ABC in most markets, and a ton of basic cable channels.
  • fuboTV: This sports-centric service offers over 200 channels depending on your location, including ABC, Fox, and NBC in many areas, a bunch of basic cable channels, and international sports channels.
  • Sling TV: This flexible service offers two different plans that are both cheaper than most live television streaming services. They only provide local channels in a limited number of markets, though.
  • Pluto TV: This free service lets you stream live television, but it’s slightly different from the others. Instead of streaming live versions of existing cable channels, it has live streams of programming taken from Viacom’s properties and arranged into channels like History, Cars, and Military.
  • Spectrum: This app allows you to stream live television, but only if you’re a Spectrum television subscriber. It isn’t available to non-subscribers or people who don’t live within Spectrum’s territory.

Your Xbox Series X or S can also access a ton of on-demand television shows through a variety of apps. If you have a favorite streaming service, it probably has an app. These apps don’t stream live television, but they do let you stream shows on demand.

Here are some options:

  • Amazon Prime Video: Television and movies from the Amazon Prime Video service, including originals like Patriot, The Man in the High Castle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and The Boys that you can’t get anywhere else.
  • Crunchyroll: Primarily anime content from the Crunchyroll streaming service, including old favorites like Bleach and Naruto and newer shows like My Hero Academia and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
  • HBO Max: Includes a vast mix of HBO shows and movies, shows from CBS like Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon, shows from DC like Doom Patrol and Stargirl, and many more. 
  • Hulu: Features a ton of popular shows like Family Guy, Rick and Morty, and Grey’s Anatomy, along with originals like The Handmaid’s Tale, Letterkenny, and the Animaniacs revival.
  • Netflix: This massively popular streaming service includes a variety of shows like Better Call Saul and Halt and Catch Fire, in addition to the most extensive library of originals, including favorites like Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, and The Queen’s Gambit.
  • Starz: Features the entire streaming library of shows and movies from the premium Starz cable channel. You don’t get the live stream, but you can watch any episode whenever you want.

Why Can’t You Watch Live TV on Xbox Series X or S With a TV Tuner?

The Xbox One included an HDMI input that allowed you to plug in your cable box, another game console, or just about any other HDMI device, which would then pass through the Xbox to your television. Because of that option, Microsoft included an app called One Guide.

If you bought a compatible USB TV tuner and plugged it into your Xbox One, you were able to watch over the air live television through the One Guide app. Then you could stream and pause live tv, to your phone or computer, and several other valuable features.

While most Xbox One accessories work just fine with the Xbox Series X and S, USB TV tuners won’t function without One Guide. Unless Microsoft releases One Guide for the Series X and S, or someone makes an app that Microsoft approves, you won’t be able to watch live TV on your Xbox Series X or S with a TV tuner.

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