Amazon is giving cord-cutters another way to record and stream over-the-air broadcasts with its new Fire TV Recast ($229). This nondescript black box, a little smaller than an Xbox, connects to an HDTV antenna, and then will stream content via Wi-Fi or Ethernet to any connected Fire TV-enabled device, which can include a smartphone, TV, or Echo Show.
There's a few clever features with the Fire TV Recast. For one, the setup process will guide you to the best place to locate the antenna in your house. Then, the Recast box itself will analyze your network and automatically determine the best method to stream content to your Fire TV device, whether that's using your Wi-Fi network, or establishing a direct connection to the device itself. You can also view shows remotely on your smartphone or tablet, too.
Also, once your Fire TV detects you have a Recast device, it will automatically update its interface to include a DVR menu, where you can access your recordings, and show content, such as shows currently airing, in the lower half of the home screen.The channel guide can also incorporate listings from Prime Video as well as Playstation Vue.
To be sure, the Fire TV Recast is not the first device that lets you record broadcast video. Plex Live TV, for example, is one of the more popular services. However, this new device adds more functionality to those already in the Fire TV ecosystem.
The starting price for the Fire TV Recast is $229, and comes with two tuners and a 500GB hard drive; a second model ($279) will have four tuners and a 1TB hard drive. Both are available for pre-order, and will ship in November. We're looking forward to some quality couch-surfing time to test it out.