Amazon’s Fire TV Recast is a one-time, $230 purchase that lets you watch and record live TV at home and on the go

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fire tv recast review

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Amazon

  • Amazon’s Fire TV Recast ($230-$280) is a live viewing and recording box that works with a Fire TV device and TV antenna to bring you local channels at home and on the go.
  • It features easy set-up, seamless integration with Amazon accounts and the Fire TV, reliable viewing and recording features, and it’s a one-time purchase with no subscription fees.
  • I would recommend it for anyone who wants to watch local, live TV without the hassle and cost of adding another subscription streaming service to their plates.
  • For a limited time, Amazon has discounted the Fire TV Recast: Get a 2-tuner Fire TV Recast for $50 off or a 4-tuner Fire TV Recast for $60 off.
  • We anticipate the Fire TV Recast could see an even steeper discount this July on Amazon Prime Day, but $50-$60 off is still a solid deal for the device. You can check out all of our Amazon Prime Day 2019 coverage here.

It’s not an easy time to be a cable provider. As millions of people realize they only ever watch a tiny fraction of the channels in their cable package, they’re switching over to and relying entirely upon subscription-based streaming services in droves.

Though I haven’t had cable in six years, I do miss it sometimes. Most US adults, myself included, still prefer getting their news through TV, but none of my streaming subscriptions have local news channels. There’s also the thrill of watching sports games, awards shows, and reality talent competitions in real time with viewers across the country, not knowing exactly what’s going to happen next – which, again, is missing with streaming subscriptions.

Of course, there are live TV streaming options like Hulu Live and ESPN+, but they can cost hundreds of dollars a year, so the ultimate cost savings may be minimal.

In late 2018, Amazon began shipping out its solution, called the Fire TV Recast ($229.99+), a box that lets you watch and record live TV on your Fire TV, Echo Show, or phone. It’s another option to consider as you figure out what TV content you care most about watching and how you want to watch it. I got my hands on the Recast to see why you might want to add it to your home entertainment setup.

Here’s what you need to make the Fire TV Recast work and how to set it up:

In order to watch and record live TV, you’ll need the Fire TV Recast device, a Fire TV Stick or Fire TV Edition television, and an HD antenna. If you’re missing the last two devices, Amazon offers a bundle of all three for only $20 more.

As long as you follow the set up instructions closely and your devices (the Recast and the Fire TV stick or television) are all connected to the same network and account, your Recast should be up and running within half an hour.

The Recast unit and your HD antenna don’t have to be placed near your TV, which was a relief to find out since that area is often already cluttered enough. In fact, it’s better if your antenna is mounted on a window. The Recast itself isn’t too big, measuring 7.1″ x 7.1″ x 2.9″ and weighing 2.4 pounds.

The Fire TV app walks you through the set up process.

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The Fire TV app walks you through the set up process.
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Amazon Fire TV

After the antenna scans for all the channels within its radius, you can start watching content on your TV or smartphone.

On your Fire TV, a new section, “DVR,” will automatically appear in the top menu bar.

Look for the DVR option in the main Fire TV menu.

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Look for the DVR option in the main Fire TV menu.
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Connie Chen/Business Insider

You can browse what’s currently on, what’s coming up ahead, and a list of your recorded shows.

The days of channel-surfing are back with this familiar-looking guide of scheduled programming.

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The days of channel-surfing are back with this familiar-looking guide of scheduled programming.
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Connie Chen/Business Insider

The app is also easy to navigate and record shows on. Whether you hit ‘record’ on your TV or phone, the recording will show up on both devices.

I loved being able to watch live and recorded shows from anywhere.

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I loved being able to watch live and recorded shows from anywhere.
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Amazon Fire TV

There are two storage sizes of the unit available: the 500 GB, which can record up to two shows at once and store up to 75 hours of HD programming, and the 1 TB, which can record up to four shows at once and store up to 150 hours of HD programming.

The interface isn’t perfect – for example, you can’t search for channels and shows directly or schedule recordings through the app. Overall, however, the viewing and recording experience is reliable and strong enough that I can live with these small drawbacks. Hopefully, Amazon has plans to update these features to make the product even better.

In the meantime, you’ll be able to watch the news and live events as they’re happening, record the ones you can’t catch live, favorite your most-watched local channels, and enjoy entertainment on your phone, all without paying a subscription.

Who should buy the Fire TV Recast? In short: Amazon and Fire TV fans who miss watching live, local TV.

Due to its seamless connection to the rest of the Amazon/Fire TV ecosystem, the Recast is a top option if you already own a Fire TV device. It’s as intuitive to navigate and integrates with the existing menu and your Amazon account.

I’m usually the person who stands on the sidelines and offers the occasional, non-committal murmur of support as others sweat their way through tech set-up, but even I found the process of setting up and using the Recast easy. The $230 to $280 cost will be a one-time investment that pays for itself over time.

For a limited time, Amazon has discounted the Fire TV Recast: Get a 2-tuner Fire TV Recast for $50 off or a 4-tuner Fire TV Recast for $60 off. We anticipate the Fire TV Recast could see an even steeper discount this July on Amazon Prime Day. You can find all of our Amazon Prime Day 2019 coverage here.

Get the Fire TV Recast, (500 GB, 75 hours) for $179.99 here [$50 off]

Get the Fire TV Recast, (1 TB, 150 hours) for $219.99 here [$60 off]

Get the Fire TV Recast (500 GB, 75 hours) bundle with Fire TV Stick 4K and an HD antenna for $249.98 here