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Amazon Finally Drops Recast Hardware, Ditches Antenna for Standard Streaming

Joshua Thiede

The days of antenna-based TV are going the way of the dodo, and Amazon is packing up its gear in search of greener pastures. In a recent release from AFTVnews, the multimedia juggernaut confirmed that it is discontinuing its Fire TV Recast devices, removing some options from its online stores entirely. While users can grab one of Amazon's other multitude of products, the ability to record content and keep the data in-house instead of in the cloud will no longer be an option.

The Amazon Fire TV Recast is a digital video recording (DVR) device that allows users to capture content from broadcast stations. While other Amazon Fire products allow viewers to do the same, they accomplish the task with built-in tuners connected directly to the TV, storing all of the recorded data in the cloud. The Recast had several advantages, the first of which allowed users to keep their DVR files in their local libraries. The streaming device would also connect to Fire TVs wirelessly, letting viewers put the device where it will get the best reception while watching in another part of the house.

Since most Fire TV viewers prefer to stream directly from their TVs or Firesticks, the Recast was a very niche product. Amazon apparently understood this, as with each software update from its release in 2018 has done little to improve the viewing experience or functionality. In fact, some of the in-app DVR menus stand out as woefully antiquated next to their more modern Fire product counterparts. While the more expensive four-tuner Recast can still be found on the company’s website, the lower-cost, two-tuner alternative is only available from third-party dealers.

Amazon’s move away from in-home data collection may have a more sinister motivation as the company may not want to let content outside of its own storage resources. Even so, the death of this very focused device is certainly not the death knell for Live TV streaming, but more likely a shift in Amazon’s desire to streamline its inventory and provide a product line that its customers are more likely to use.

TBD

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