It has been 4 years since the Fire TV Recast was released and it appears as though the over-the-air (OTA) DVR companion to Fire TV devices is being discontinued. The Fire TV Recast has been a consistent staple of the Fire TV lineup ever since its release in 2018, but now, for the first time, Amazon is no longer selling the cheaper of the two Fire TV Recast models and both versions are no longer available across several other 3rd-party retailers.
Searching Amazon for the Fire TV Recast no longer brings up a listing for the model equipped with two tuners and a 500 GB hard drive. Only the Fire TV Recast with four tuners and 1 TB of storage is currently available for purchase. Clicking to see the buy options on the cheaper 500 GB model’s review page is now redirecting to the more expensive model. Best Buy, on the other hand, does still have the 500 GB model for sale, however, it is now marked as a clearance item and the 1 TB model is no longer available at Best Buy. Both B&H (500 GB & 1 TB) and New Egg (500 GB & 1 TB) list both Fire TV Recast models as unavailable, which is further evidence that the Fire TV Recast is being phased out.
The Fire TV Recast provides access to local OTA broadcast channels through an HD antenna for Amazon Echos Shows, Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, Fire TV Cubes, and the Fire TV mobile app, much like the built-in tuners in Fire TV Smart TVs do. The Fire TV Recast also serves as a DVR to record those broadcasts and stream them over your local network. Ever since its release, it has been a bit of a niche device, since most Fire TV users seem to prefer to stream local channels through various Fire TV apps instead of through antennas.
It became clear early on that Amazon wasn’t going to put much effort into improving the Fire TV Recast after its release since the once “considered” feature of commercial skipping never arrived. The only significant update to the Fire TV Recast after its release was the addition of external hard drive support, for expanding its recording capacity, which was promised at launch. While the Fire TV Recast has consistently received software and security updates since its release, no other changes have been made to its functionality over the years.
When Amazon released its big Fire TV interface overhaul in 2020, the Fire TV Recast began to be treated as a second-rate citizen. Whereas it once had its own dedicated “DVR” tab in the Fire TV’s main navigation menu, accessing Fire TV Recast recordings became buried under several sub-menus in the new interface. This made my DVR Recordings Shortcut app among the most used variant in the bunch of apps. Amazon did slightly remedy this annoyance months later with the addition of a DVR row in the Live tab, but, to this day, there are still Fire TV Recast interfaces, such as the device’s settings screen, that were never updated to match the new interface’s asthetic and, therefore, now look out of place.
Amazon is expected to announce new Fire TV devices next month, such as the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube that leaked in recent software updates, so, perhaps the discontinuation of the Fire TV Recast is leading up to a new model being revealed. Adoption of the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard, which the current Fire TV Recast does not support, is slowly making its way across the US, so this would certainly be a good time for a 2nd-gen Fire TV Recast with support for 4K broadcasts to be released. Given the little attention Amazon has given the current Fire TV Recast over the years, I don’t see that as likely, but one can hope.
Amazon has now confirmed that the Fire TV Recast is being discontinued with the following statement to TechHive:
We are constantly evaluating our product and service offerings to best serve the evolving needs of our customers. Many of the features offered by the Recast are now available through other apps on Fire TV, and we are focusing our efforts and resources on other Fire TV devices and services that provide great value to our customers.