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Xbox One DVR doesn't work without external hard drive

Microsoft says optimizing storage is the priority, meaning shows can't be recorded onto internal system drives.

The Xbox One's upcoming feature to record over-the-air-TV will not work unless an external hard drive is plugged into the console, a Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed to GameSpot.

Speaking during a presentation of the Xbox One's upcoming Dashboard redesign, project lead Richard Irving explained that DVR functionality will not record TV footage to the console's internal hard drive.

"You need an external hard-drive specifically for DVR because we want to keep the [storage] paths optimized between playing games and watching TV," he said. "We don't want them to interact with each other."

A digital TV tuner, already available for Xbox One across Europe and North America, is also required to play over-the-air TV.

During Microsoft's Gamescom press conference on Tuesday, Xbox head Phil Spencer announced that the Xbox One's existing user interface will be completely redesigned with a new update, scheduled to arrive before the end of the year.

Known as "the New Xbox One Experience," the Dashboard will replace the existing Windows 8-themed layout in favor of a more straightforward panel system. Also included will be the option to look through the Xbox One's TV guide and schedule recordings of upcoming shows. These recordings can be activated remotely too, via the SmartGlass or Xbox on Windows 10 apps.

Microsoft has told GameSpot that the highest theoretical resolution of over-the-air-TV recordings will be 1080i, but dependent on aerial signal quality.

Another feature coming with the system update will be the option to transfer TV show files onto a tablet within the same home network. This means that the tablet will store the downloaded shows, automatically if requested, and will be able to play them offline and on the go.

However, Microsoft has confirmed that this feature will only work with Windows 10-supported tablets, and not on similar devices running Android or iOS.

On Wednesday at Gamescom, Microsoft and Seagate announced a partnership for a new 2TB external hard drive made specifically for Xbox One and Xbox 360.