Amazon FireTV + Recast

lparsons21

lparsons21

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Jul 17, 2009
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I’ve been fiddling around with various streaming boxes in an attempt to come up with the one box that will fit all the various niches. Well, I didn’t find the one box, but I did find a 2-box solution that hits all the marks.

That is the combo of Amazon’s FireTV with their Recast OTA DVR! Virtually every streaming service has an app for the FireTV with the exception of HBO Max and Peacock, but those can be easily sideloaded to the FireTV and they work well.

While Amazon’s UI isn’t my favorite, it is functional and pretty easy to get used to. The FireTV’s remote is great, simple and elegant to use and it supports Alexa. Alexa with streaming apps is a bit hit or miss for things it can do, but in general it offers voice search and some controls of playback. The offerings are better with Amazon things like Amazon Channels and playback using them can be controlled easily. With other apps most often only pause and play work for sure with maybe trick play in others.

Part of Amazon’s UI has a ‘Live’ section which encompasses live viewing of some streaming ‘channels’. Pluto, Philo, Sling, YouTubeTV and Hulu+Live are available there if you subscribe to them and the presentation is the same as other parts of the UI. A vertical layout by either service or content is the norm.

Adding the Recast to the mix allows for viewing live/recorded over-the-air channels. It shows up in both the ‘DVR’ menu selection or ‘Live’ menu selection. The presentation can either be by content or it also has a grid guide.

On my setup, in the DVR section I have a grid guide that has both the over-the-air channels as well as the Pluto channels. You can mark channels as Favorites and then they will show up at the top of the grid guide. Or you can Hide channels which helps slim down the guide. You can’t change the sorting order though.

The over-the-air tuners in the Recast are the strongest I’ve ever seen. I’m pulling in some channels I didn’t even know existed though they are of little value to me. Video is great, even on those sub-channels that are in SD. Still SD upscaled of course, but very well done IMO.

One advantage to the FireTV+Recast combo is that only one TV input is needed as the Recast talks to the FireTV via your network, either wired or via WiFi. And that brings up the only operational negative IMO. The Recast only works with FireTV devices.

The cost is a bit on the high side but it is a one-time cost. The guide service is free unlike some other OTA DVR solutions. Not the greatest guide info I’ve seen but good enough IMO.
 
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mwdxer1

mwdxer1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 3, 2015
1,809
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Seaside Oregon
I’ve been fiddling around with various streaming boxes in an attempt to come up with the one box that will fit all the various niches. Well, I didn’t find the one box, but I did find a 2-box solution that hits all the marks.

That is the combo of Amazon’s FireTV with their Recast OTA DVR! Virtually every streaming service has an app for the FireTV with the exception of HBO Max and Peacock, but those can be easily sideloaded to the FireTV and they work well.

While Amazon’s UI isn’t my favorite, it is functional and pretty easy to get used to. The FireTV’s remote is great, simple and elegant to use and it supports Alexa. Alexa with streaming apps is a bit hit or miss for things it can do, but in general it offers voice search and some controls of playback. The offerings are better with Amazon things like Amazon Channels and playback using them can be controlled easily. With other apps most often only pause and play work for sure with maybe trick play in others.

Part of Amazon’s UI has a ‘Live’ section which encompasses live viewing of some streaming ‘channels’. Pluto, Philo, Sling, YouTubeTV and Hulu+Live are available there if you subscribe to them and the presentation is the same as other parts of the UI. A vertical layout by either service or content is the norm.

Adding the Recast to the mix allows for viewing live/recorded over-the-air channels. It shows up in both the ‘DVR’ menu selection or ‘Live’ menu selection. The presentation can either be by content or it also has a grid guide.

On my setup, in the DVR section I have a grid guide that has both the over-the-air channels as well as the Pluto channels. You can mark channels as Favorites and then they will show up at the top of the grid guide. Or you can Hide channels which helps slim down the guide. You can’t change the sorting order though.

The over-the-air tuners in the Recast are the strongest I’ve ever seen. I’m pulling in some channels I didn’t even know existed though they are of little value to me. Video is great, even on those sub-channels that are in SD. Still SD upscaled of course, but very well done IMO.

One advantage to the FireTV+Recast combo is that only one TV input is needed as the Recast talks to the FireTV via your network, either wired or via WiFi. And that brings up the only operational negative IMO. The Recast only works with FireTV devices.

The cost is a bit on the high side but it is a one-time cost. The guide service is free unlike some other OTA DVR solutions. Not the greatest guide info I’ve seen but good enough IMO.

I have had my recast for several years. It works great. The 2 week guide is free. I was missing a few channel guides for OTA, so I bought a Tablo as I was told the folks at Tablo could get guides when others couldn't. They pretty much talked into it. It has been quite the disappointment. Besides, the cost of the 2 week guide, several channels have no guides. I asked them about, their response was there was nothing they could do. In the meantime the folks at Recast added more guides, so I am only missing two (METV & METV+). The other guides are all there. Once the year is up, I plan to put the Tablo away and only use the Recast. I am very impressed with the Recast. It isn't perfect, but nothing is. The guide is more complete and totally free.
 

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