Amazon has just announced the Fire TV Recast, a DVR an over-the-air DVR that can stream live or recorded channels from an antenna to Fire TV devices, the Echo Show, and both Android and iOS mobile devices. It’s available in a 2-tuner model with 500GB of storage for $229.99 or a 4-tuner model with 1TB of storage for $279.99.
At its core, the Fire TV Recast is a networked TV tuner. That means it does not connect directly to a television or Fire TV, so it can be placed anywhere in your home where it will receive the best antenna signal. It connects to your home network via 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi or the Gigabit Ethernet port on the back of the device.
Once the Fire TV Recast is set up, which is done through a mobile app, it will stream your local broadcast channels live to all of your Fire TV devices, Echo Shows, and mobile devices running either Fire OS, Android, or iOS. The channels you’ll be able to watch through the Fire TV Recast depend on what is available in your specific location, which can be checked using a DTV reception map lookup service. It is not compatible with cable or satellite TV services.
In addition to watching live channels, the Fire TV Recast is a digital video recorder (DVR) that can record programming for on-demand viewing to its internal hard drive. The amount that can be recorded and viewed simultaneously is depended on which of the two models is used.
The 2-tuner Fire TV Recast for $229.99 comes with a 500GB internal hard drive. Having 2-tuners means you’ll be able to either watch two live channels simultaneously, record two channels simultaneously, or watch one channel live while recording from another channel. The 4-tuner Fire TV Recast for $279.99, which comes with a 1TB internal hard drive, allows for up to 4 simultaneous recordings, but that number drops for each live channel that is being watched. So, 2 devices can be watching live while the device is recording from two other channels.
The internal hard drive space determines how many hours of recorded channels can be stored for on-demand viewing. Amazon says that 75 hours of HD programming can be stored on the 500GB model and 150 hours on the 1TB model. The amount of programming hours that can be stored will increase if the channels you record are not in HD.
Live and recorded programming can be viewed through any Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, or Fire TV Edition television model. All generations, new and old, are compatible with the Fire TV Recast. Amazon says the Fire TV Recast “delivers the most reliable video streams over Wi-Fi of any over-the-air DVR.” It does this by automatically and seamlessly switching between a regular network connection and a direct connection to the Fire TV devices. Instead of the video stream always going through your router, like all other networked tuners/DVRs, the Fire TV Recast will make a direct WiFi connection to the Fire TV device when it determines that a direct connection is superior to your home network.
In addition to watching through a Fire TV device, the Fire TV Recast is compatible with both generations of Echo Shows, as well as mobile phones and tablets. You’ll be able to bring up live streams of channels or start watching recorded content on all compatible devices. In the case of mobile devices, watching live and recorded content works from outside your home from anywhere.
Through Fire TV devices, the interface used is nearly identical to that of Fire TV Edition televisions. With a Fire TV Recast configured on the network, an “On Now” row will appear on the Fire TV home screen highlighting programming that is currently airing. A full grid channel program guide will be available with 2 weeks of free program data. Unlike most DVRs and networked tuners on the market, the Fire TV Recast does not have a monthly subscription fee of any kind. All you ever pay is the cost of the hardware. You do not need to be a Prime members either.
Finding content to watch will feel right at home for Fire TV owners because OTA programming integrates into the Fire TV’s Alexa voice search. When searching for a show, results for live and upcoming antenna broadcasts will be listed alongside streaming options. Alexa integration with the Fire TV Recast also includes being able to tune to specific channels or shows by voice, as well as scheduling recordings by voice. This works through both Fire TV devices and Echo Shows. Watching, scheduling, and managing recordings can all be done through the Fire TV’s main interface in a new DVR section.
The Fire TV Recast is available to pre-order today for $229.99 for the 2-tuner 500GB model and for $279.99 for the 4-tuner 1TB model. It has a USB port on the back, but Amazon says this cannot be used for adding additional external storage. It’s meant to be a convenient power source for HD antennas that have USB powered signal amplifiers, like the AmazonBasics 50 Mile Range Indoor TV Antenna, which would can be added to the order of a Fire TV Recast for a discounted price of $24.99.
What a loser device.
Ahh,this definitely won’t come to the UK…and at that price I’m glad
That’s a bit more than I’m willing to pay for it. I’ll be waiting until “Deal of the day” or “Lightening Deal” or “Prime Day” to buy it for $100 less. Tell me when it’s $129-$149 tops. Cause these devices aren’t worth more than that to me.
Is it wireless only?
I don’t think it is a standalone device, but rather one that connects to a FTV. So it probably does not have a network connection.
It’s wired to an antenna and can be accessed wirelessly on the devices you use to watch what you’ve recorded.
It does have a Gigabit Ethernet port
4 wire connections on the back….lol
I’d be interested to see a comparison of the FireTV Recast with the Tablo DVR. Sounds very similar.
But w/o a subscription like with Tablo, although you can buy lifetime.
Description from Amazon’s own live blog:
“Fire TV Recast allows you to watch your favorite live TV content from anywhere. It is a companion DVR that lets you watch, record, and replay free over-the-air programming to any Fire TV, Echo Show, and on compatible Fire tablet and mobile devices. Stream live TV anywhere from shows to local news, sports, and more from stations like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, and The CW.
Fire TV Recast makes it easy to put video everywhere in your home, not just by your TV. We’ll help you find the right place for the device during setup – maybe the attic where you have the best reception – and then we’ll take care of the rest.
With Fire TV Recast, you can record up to two or four shows at once, and stream on multiple devices at a time. Even over-the-air shows can go with you on-the-go.
Fire TV Recast is even better with Alexa – search for shows, browse recordings, change over-the-air live TV channels, control playback, and schedule, cancel, and delete recordings using just your voice.”
It’s a bit more than I would pay, but I suspect others will. I’ll stick with my Stream+ for now.
A big part of how successful will have to do with the guide and guide data. If I remember correctly the Subscription part of Tablo is for the Guide data to go for 2 weeks out rather than 1 day.
The big Value for me in a DVR is being able to set all the shows you like to record new episodes and it be able to be smart and accurate enough to only record the new episodes.
Since I have cut the cord I have tried many DVR options, Plex, NextPVR, HDHomeRun etc. and yet to find one that works quite right on only recording new episodes like my Xfinity DVR did. The guide data always seems to be the weak point in all these solutions.
Yeah wish they would include the “new” tag, season/episode, and year. Believe WMC had it before Microsoft dumped it.
Tablo has the “new only” option. I have been using Tablo for over 3 years and you are not limited to the size of HD it supports. I currently have a 5 TB one and have plenty of room left
tablo is a $600 investment for the device 250+ 150 (membership)+ 150 hard drive add on….$600 for free tv….think I’ll stream for free…
Sure, watching OTA TV live is free, but recording and storing it in your own home isn’t.
By my reckoning, Amazon and NewEgg are selling the 4-tuner Tablo for $200 and a 2TB external HDD for $60 (or a 5TB for $120). With the optional $150 lifetime subscription for premium features, that’s only $410. (BestBuy offers similar pricing too.)
I have a DVR that performs all of those tasks that you mention and it does them perfectly every time. I suspect you wouldn’t be interested though, as it comes with a subscription to Spectrum. I’m paying far less than I ever did when I “cut the cord” and had multiple subscription services just to have something remotely on par with what cable offered. Now that I’m back home with Spectrum, my bank account is much happier and the family loves it! Just remember, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side….oftentimes it’s the same shade of brown.
Stream for Free vs. Pay to Record….. I see your point….
Wow, I thought for sure a new FTV stick would have been announced.
Me too. Frankly, at this point, I’m thinking all this new stuff and I don’t want any of them.
Yeah, nothing here interests me. I really want/need Alexa.
I meant to say, I DON’T really want/need Alexa.
No thanks, I will be sticking with HdHomerun. They even have their own cable service through the tuner now. Picture quality could be better from their streaming channels, but with it just being launched a few weeks ago I’m sure it will get better. Although they don’t have the standalone DVR yet. It can be installed on compatible nas’s.
Say goodbye to Tablo
I’m very interested in this. If you can record and watch local stations from anywhere with a Firetv device that sounds good to me. Would like more info on the guide etc though it very well may come from the channels themselves.
Tablo TV is a better value.
You can get a two tuner model for less than $100 and there are apps for other streamers. External storage makes upgrades and archiving trivial.
No monthly fee for guide data is attractive. Lifetime guide for Tablo adds another $150 to cost (per household not device). Of course, streaming live tv to my five Shows is pretty darn attractive. (I hate when this happens…) In for one!
The Most Important Questions:
Does it stream 5.1 sound?
Does it stream mpeg2 raw or does it convert to 264?
If 264 is it 60fps?
If it’s Not 60fps this device is completely pointless.
Do many OTA broadcasts get distributed at 60fps?
Most OTA HD content is either 720p60 or 1080i60
Got some info on this.
it does 1440x720p 60fps per theVerge so it’s definitely Transcoding to 264 all video.
So if that’s right it’s either always upscaling or downscaling. That may or may not be an issue.
Also very curious re: channel changing speed. HDHomerun is instant, some of these other ones are like 10-15 seconds per channel change. For me that’s a no go but I guess we’ll have to see.
Hmm, if there are no limits to the internet connectivity it could be really useful for people who do a lot of extended travel. Especially international travel.
Local TV to go.
Yeah, this is exactly why I went with Plex. I bought a lifetime, so I won’t be switching to this device, but this will be a good backup.
I looked but could not find an answer to this question. Can saved video files be moved to my media server for edit and local shareing?
In the device’s FAQ, it says no.
“Can I transfer my recordings from Fire TV Recast to another device?
No – this feature is not supported.”
Haha, this is a crappy device.
hi there Jim do you mind if I use your “Fire TV Recast” login this weekend…?
Yes, I mind.
Lol. On a serious note, IPTV is better.
is it 2007???
Will the DVR be supportive on other Android apps like Channels, HDHOMERUN, or Live Channels?
100% not. It will only speak to its dedicated app. They’ll probably encrypt and seal off the drives so you can’t get data off them like a tivo even. Though it’s only OTA broadcasting.
Remember if you were record a movie on NBC and then kept it for watching on other non-approved devices that would almost certainly be”stealing” according to big media companies like Amazon.
They absolutely don’t want you having your way with what you record even though we’ve been able to do that with VCRs for like 40 years….
Would this allow for remote viewing, akin to Tablo? E.g. I bring my Fire Stick travelling with me and so long as this DVR is under my account hardware, I can stream live channels and recorded DVR content while abroad?
Or must one be on the same network to take advantage of the live/recorded channel viewing?
If it is the former, I could definitely see myself giving this a serious look when/if my Tablo DVR kicks out. If it is the latter, I think I would take a pass on it.
I don’t understand all the negative replies in these comments. Can you post more than “this sucks”, “crappy device” and say why you don’t think it’s good?
Putting aside it’s capabilities, the first and foremost issue for me (if I wanted one) is the price. It’s too high. Maybe a stand alone, BYO storage unit would bring the price down to something more reasonable.
It is comparable to the SLINGBOX 500, which is $296.
Wait until Black Friday.
It’s super cheap compared to hdhomerun tablo TiVo and anything else once factor in the constant monthly fees.
Just remains to be seen a few unknowns to see if it’s truly worthwhile versus what else on the market.
will this be able to be controlled through an echo device like an echo dot?
or will we need to use the voice remote on the fire TV ?
i think they should offer a BYOD version of the device also
no mention if the HDD is even able to be upgraded
or maybe even a no HDD model that uses an existing NAS for storage at much lower price
the price is high but i was planning on spending like $80 on a roof top antenna , i only have 1 TV with a good antenna ,an ancient attic mounted one that must be 100 years old that i just screwed a matching transformer to and it works great but don’t think it would serve the other 3 TV’s
so if this thing came down to $150 i could probably justify the purchase as i would have spent $80 on a new antenna si it would be like spending an extra 80 to get reliable voice control of OTA channel for all of my TV’s
Not as good as my plex dvr.
AirTV came out with one of these also for $120 except it can integrate in with the TV guide for SLING.
QUESTION: will this integrate into the guide with the other guys like HULU, Playstation, or YouTube Live some day.
If it does you would have all the locals with local storage PLUS could DVR for the normal cable all on one guide, it would be a cable killer.
Hey, all those with more than 2 TVs. This Recast can only stream to 2 devices simultaneously. Just food for thought.
Quote from product page…
“How many devices can I pair with Fire TV Recast?
You can pair Fire TV Recast with all of your compatible devices registered to the same Amazon account (including Fire TV streaming media players, Fire TV Edition televisions, Echo Show devices, and compatible mobile devices). You can watch live or recoded programs on any TWO of these devices simultaneously.”
i’m impressed. a step in the right direction by amazon as far as im concerned. I work for a W-ISP that only offers internet and this is what people in big cities want. Cut the cord to cable.. not great for rural areas but I think this will be a pretty successful product
Interesting that you can only register one recast per Amazon account especially since the recast only supports two concurrent streams. I would be interested to know what model hard drive Amazon is using and if it’s 2.5″ or 3.5″.
I have been reading about this device and it is worth ~$100. That is a little more than Tablo has been selling their two tuner DVR for. Per Amazon’s specs and FAQs, this device has some nice positives and a lot of limitations. Assuming Silk is coming to the Show, Plex is an option for a lot of us. For those not interested in streaming to the Show, Tablo is probably a better option even after paying for a lifetime service.
This thing plugs into an antenna and your network and streams live television to Amazon devices. There is no monthly service fee and you do not have to have Prime.
– It’s more expensive than a Tablo TV DVR or an HDHomerun network tuner, but neither of those stream to an Amazon show.
– You can only register one of these to an Amazon account
– No external storage
– You can only watch two streams (live or recorded) at a time
It’s not clear to me if a Show on the same account outside the home could stream media.
Also, Amazon collects information relating to your use of over-the-air TV content which may include the name of the channel watched, the name of the program watched, and the duration.
Tablo charges an additional $150 for a lifetime subscription. The Tablo is more expensive than the Recast, when you add the lifetime service. You’re comparing apples to oranges.
Right. If you are content to stream to two devices, not expand storage, and only stream to Amazon devices, the Recast may work for you…until Amazon changes something, anyway. For most people, four concurrent streams, unlimited storage, and support for multiple set top boxes add value.
I would be content with that. Not everyone has a family.
The Recast also streams to android and IOS devices. It might be possible to stream to an NVIDIA Shield Android set-top box.
Sure would like to know what the Program Guide data source is, and hope it isn’t the crappy Rovi (now TiVo) data.
The guide data is from gracenote which is superior to the Rovi data. Tivo used to have gracenote guide data until they were aquired by Rovi.
No one mentioned the fact that Tablo or any other small companies can go out of business without notice. The lifetime subscriptions paid become worthless and you got a brick in the end. I personally never think paying for lifetime subscriptions is a good idea unless the companies that sell them are big and reputable enough to back them up.
That’s true, but Amazon has a bad habit of walking away from or obsoleting hardware. Maybe more important is the closed nature of the Amazon ecosystem. I think TCL Roku televisions are a much better value than Fire TV televisions. Tablo and HDHomerun do not rely of the affection of an unreliable behemoth. The bottom line is that there are two established options out there that are a better value than the Recast.
I’m hoping that Nuvyyo’s implementation of Tablo wouldn’t brick like Simple.TV did, but it would certainly be less convenient to use.
There’s also AirTV (as Bob Jay mentioned). Its party trick is Sling TV integration on several platforms, but I seem to recall hearing that a Sling TV subscription isn’t required.
interesting that Comcast called me and offered to increase my speed and included there streaming app with all local channels and Starz for 12 months for $10 less than I am currently paying only 2 days after the debut of this device?