Amazon has released a new Fire TV device, Recast, which aims to replace the traditional DVR and, perhaps, cable packages altogether.
Amazon's newest addition to its Fire TV product line may take the last of the steam out of traditional cable packages. The Fire TV recast came out earlier this month, and it allows users full access to live broadcasts without the hindrance of a massive subscription deal.
Recast pairs with an HD antenna — the plastic receivers that are growing in popularity — to bring network TV in through a capable recording device. With the recast, viewers can record live TV and then watch it later from any Fire TV stick, or even from a mobile device.
While the Fire TV Recast is yet another triumphant step for those trying to get away from bulky cable packages, it is not necessarily a cheaper option. The Recast does not replace a Fire TV or Fire TV stick, meaning that users will still have to shell out at least $40 for the company's streaming device.
After that, they will need to acquire an HD antenna. These come in a wide range of prices, though obviously the more expensive they are, the more stations they can pick up. On Amazon, they start around $20 or $30.
Finally, the Recast itself does not come cheap. The least expensive version is $230. This is good for 500GB of stored video — about 75 hours of HD content. It also allows users to record two broadcasts at once. The higher-end model goes for $280. This one has 1TB — 150 hours — of storage space, and can record four channels at once.
Obviously, the big draw here is the lack of a monthly bill. Once you have dropped at least $300 on this set-up, you could watch and record regular TV networks with no cable package. However, to get the benefit of switching from room to room, you will still need to outfit each TV with its own Fire TV stick.
On top of that, there is no telling the longevity of a device like the Recast. The brand new release could reach obsolescence in just one year, forcing users to pick up another one and go through the whole ordeal again.0comments
Finally, it is worth noting that an HD antenna can only provide access to network TV — CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, PBS and The CW. For those that like to watch cable channels and premium networks like Comedy Central, HBO or Showtime, they will still need to either buy a cable package or find a streaming service, where a live broadcast is not always available.
All in all the Fire TV Recast is another step in the right direction for cord-cutters, but it has not exactly revolutionized TV-watching. The device is available through Amazon.