The Amazon Fire TV Recast over-the-air DVR won’t be out for over a month, but Amazon is already working on adding improvements to the device beyond what it will be capable of doing when it’s released. We already know that support for external USB storage will be added to the device soon after it’s released. Now it sounds like Amazon is at least considering adding advanced ad-skipping capabilities that will automatically skip TV commercials. They’re also working on ways to simplify the discovery of over-the-air content.
Variety’s Janko Roettgers was invited by Amazon for a closer look at the Fire TV Recast and has published an article with his impressions that you should definitely check out if you’re curious about the DVR. Roettgers says that Fire TV devices on the same network as the Fire TV Recast will automatically recognize that the DVR has been added and will add relevant interfaces, such as an “On Now” row to the home screen for live programming and a new “DVR” menu to the navigation menu at the top of the Fire TV interface.
Amazon has said that they are considering adding “advanced ad skipping” to the Fire TV Recast. As Roettgers points out, this is a feature that competitors like Tivo and Plex already offer with their DVR services. If added, this will presumably allow customers to skip commercials in recordings either automatically or with a single click. Roettgers says that, for now, you can press the forward button on the Fire TV remote to skip ahead 30 seconds at a time to quickly jump past commercials, but it’s entirely a manual process.
Something else Amazon has said is that they’re working to “simplify discovery of over-the-air content with future software updates.” Apart from the channel program guide and searching, it sounds like there won’t be ways to filter over-the-air content by type or genre at launch. The ability to, for example, browse only movies or only sports programming will likely be added after the Fire TV Recast is released.