The Amazon Fire TV Recast has been released today. The star of the show with Amazon’s new networked tuner and over-the-air DVR is its software, which I’ll be diving into in multiple upcoming articles. Before that, though, here’s an overview of the hardware itself.
The size of the Fire TV Recast might surprise some of you who have gotten used to streaming devices being slim and sleek. It’s square footprint is just over 7 inches in both directions and it sits just under 3 inches high. In the image above, you can see how it dwarfs the Fire TV Stick 4K and new Alexa Voice Remote. The entire body is a matte plastic, so it hides fingerprints and dust pretty well, not that you’d be touching it too often. Since the Fire TV Recast is a networked tuner, which doesn’t need to be physically connected to your TV or Fire TV devices, it can be hidden away anywhere in your house if you don’t want it visible.
The entire front face and most of the back side of the Fire TV Recast is covered in perforated holes that expose the innards to air. The sides, top, and bottom are completely sealed. You shouldn’t have any issues placing something on top of the device or butted up against the sides, but you should keep the front and back clear for heat ventilation.
The Fire TV Recast is pretty much dead silent, even while recording, until you literally place your ear right up to it. At that point, you can hear a very faint hum, which I assume is either the hard drive, a fan, or both. I don’t know if there actually is a fan inside, but I do plan to eventually crack mine open in the near future, so stay tuned for that. I’m guessing the hard drive inside is a 2.5 inch laptop drive, because the Fire TV Recast feels too light to have a full-sized 3.5 inch drive, but I could be mistaken.
A single LED light shines out from behind one of the holes on the front of the Fire TV Recast. Since it’s recessed, it’s fairly faint and is only bright when you look straight at it. The light is white and always on while the Fire TV Recast is powered up. It turns red when the Fire TV Recast is recording anything. It’s also used for other status indicators, such as pulsing white while the device is initially being set up.
The back of the Fire TV Recast houses all the ports and a “Connect” button. I never had to actually push the connect button while setting up the device, so I assume it’s for reconnecting the device to a different network after it has already been set up. On the far left is the Antenna cox connector. The Fire TV Recast does not come with an antenna, unless you buy the bundle that includes an antenna and Fire TV Stick 4K. To the right of the connect button is a USB port that will eventually support external expandable storage, but it doesn’t do anything at the moment. Next to that is a gigabit Ethernet port which is optional because the device has 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi. Last is the power port.
The Fire TV Recast uses a power adapter that is quite large. It’s rated at 12 volts, 4.16 amps, and 50 watts, so you’re certainly not going to be powering this thing off of your TV’s USB port. It’s a bit surprising that the power adapter is not made by Amazon, and is instead a LiteOn PA-1500-5AZ3 adapter. The “AMAZON” in the barcode does seem to imply these were made specifically for Amazon and aren’t just an off-the-shelf part.
That’s all there is to the physical Fire TV Recast. It’s an unassuming box that seems to be made to keep itself cool while being tucked away where its attached antenna will get the best reception. It’s shipping now in a 500GB model with 2-tuners for $229.99 and a 1TB model with 4-tuners for $279.99. Stay tuned for much more about how well it works and what it can do.