Amazon Fire TV Recast review: One of the best cord-cutter companions yet

If you are an experienced one Cable TV cable cutter You might be familiar with names like Tablo, SiliconDust and Channel master. They all make DVRs that record the free over-the-air television (OTA) that you can get with an antenna in most regions of the country. However, outside of the world of cutting-edge cable cutting, they are little-known names.

Do you know what a household name is? Amazon. The major retailer’s first streaming DVR, the Fire TV Recast ($ 230 on Amazon), offers a great new option for the niche (but growing) OTA TV audience and could help push cable cutting even further into the mainstream.

The recast isn’t cheap at $ 230, but the advantage of Amazon is that unlike other data, you don’t have to pay anything to get guidance data Tablo and DVR-stable TiVo for example. Sure, Amazon wants you to spend money on digital content and Prime membership, but as long as you have a basic (free) Amazon account, a home network with broadband internet connection, an antenna, and a Fire TV Stick (from 35 US -Dollar) You don’t have to pay anything beyond the starting price to use Recast. This is a refreshing change in a world increasingly geared towards milking you a few more dollars a month.

The rewrite is priced above most other options. The Channel Master DVR + is set and will be Stream + Replacement still needs work, the TiVo Bolt OTA is finnicky and costs $ 500 all-in – and nobody works with more than one TV at the same time. The cheaper AirTV comes closest to the competition with the new version, but does not include an integrated DVR (it is a DIY USB hard drive). And of course Live TV streaming services to like YouTube TV, DirecTV now and the rest has its perks, but start at $ 35 a month if you want local channels.

If you want a comfortable, versatile viewing experience on your home and mobile TVs, but don’t want to pay for this privilege every month, Amazon Fire TV Recast is currently the product I would recommend for cable cutting.

What’s in the box?

Amazon Fire TV Recast review
Amazon Fire TV Recast review – CNet

Connect a $ 10 indoor antenna to the recast and you’re good to go- Sarah Tew / CNet

Did you know that the modern “black box” flight data recorder for passenger jets is not black – or a box? Instead, it has the shape of a piston and is orange. However, if I imagined what it is should It looks like it is similar to the recast of Amazon Fire TV. This thing is black, it’s a box and it’s a recorder.

This recast is designed to live out of sight somewhere near the OTA antenna it is attached to, so design is not that important. It’s so indistinct that it wasn’t until I was writing this paragraph that I realized I had turned it upside down – the top is made of black plastic with “Amazon”, while the bottom is made of grippy rubber. If for some reason the dimensions are important, they are 7.1 inches square and 2.9 inches high – or the same size as a Mac Mini. There is an operating LED on the front which lights up red during recording, white when the device is switched on or blue if there are connection problems.


Coax, Ethernet and USB on the backRy Crist / CNetMost people connect to the recast using WiFi because the best TV reception in your house is unlikely to be near your router. For others, there is an Ethernet port on the back. There is also a USB port on the back, but it cannot yet be used for expanded storage (although the functionality is still available). However, it can be used to power a tuner amplifier. You will also find the coaxial antenna connector on the back. Just plug in an external antenna (see our favorite HD TV antenna here) and launch the Fire TV app.

Unfortunately, the rewrite’s contributions to the Fire TV menu are not in the foreground. The Live TV tile appears at the top of your Recently Used bar. A helpful symbol for the elapsed time shows how far the last set channel extends through its current program. Most of the menu area, however, is devoted to app icons and Amazon streaming shows. You’ll have to scroll down five rungs in the menu ladder to find more Live TV options, while the tiny “DVR” menu item on the top main menu serves as the primary gateway for the full functionality of the recast.

Sarah Tew / CNet

The Fire TV Recast comes in two main versions – two 500GB ($ 230) tuners or four 1TB ($ 280) tuners – but the company is also bundling the 500GB version with a Fire TV Stick 4K for $ 50 and an indoor HDTV antenna for $ 250. While you can only use the recast with a tablet or phone, it’s really designed to be used with a Fire TV. They’re cheap – you’ve already spent $ 200 on them, just get one. It’s worth noting that you can only watch live TV or recordings on two different devices at the same time.

The Fire TV mobile app has your content in the foreground and center, with Now displayed as the first page. The next thing is the recording with the remote control to control your Fire Stick. Users may find that they use the app more often than the remote control, especially when watching TV remotely.

Ready, aim, Fire TV

I’ve tested DVRs for many years and the recast doesn’t act like a first generation product. It feels pretty fully sculpted from the start, and it integrates seamlessly with the Fire Stick’s user interface.

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