Fire TV Recast: How To Watch Local Channels Without Cable
The Fire TV Recast is Amazon’s newest entry into the cord cutter market. This device can receive and record free over the air (OTA) channels via HD antenna (not included), and then rebroadcast that content to different devices in your house over your wifi.
Read on to see if this Amazon Fire TV live TV solution is right for you!
Amazon Fire Stick Live TV
One of the major shortfalls of streaming devices is the fact that you can’t get local TV on Firestick, Fire TV, etc…
You may be able to get on-demand content, but you are still under the thumb of cable companies for live TV.
Fortunately, there are now ways to get around cable companies and get live TV on your Firestick and Fire TV that are 100% free and legal.
If you have a Fire TV antenna and Recast box, you can pick up all the over-the air channels being broadcast by your local tower without having to EVER PAY ANYONE! Simply tune in with your HD antenna attached to your Recast box, and watch all the free channels on Firestick.
So let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of this particular cord-cutting device.
The Recast is a pretty nondescript black box with zero bells and whistles. It’s a strictly utilitarian piece of equipment that does what it’s supposed to efficiently.
It has an RCA cable attachment that you can use to connect to your HD antenna (neither the cable nor the antenna come included, but can be purchased cheaply). It also has an ethernet adapter to connect to your router, or you can use wifi to connect. Once the Recast is hooked up to your home internet connection, you can watch on any Amazon device.
Once the HD antenna is picking up channels from your local broadcast tower(s), you will be able to get free channels on Firestick and Fire TV.
Fire TV DVR
In addition to providing cable channels on Firestick, the Recast acts as a DVR. That’s right, the fire TV channels can be recorded by the Recast for watching at a later date.
The $230 model comes with a 500GB hard drive and two tuners, so you can record two shows at the same time. The $280 model comes with a 1TB hard drive and four tuners, which allows for four shows to be recorded simultaneously.
Amazon clearly put a lot of thought into the recording aspect of the Recast. You can set time, date, and channels for recording obviously, but you can also include start and stop buffer times, protect recordings from deletion, prioritize recent episodes, and skip reruns. You can also set the priority of recordings, so if there is a conflict, the Recast can cancel the lower priority program. We thought this was super convenient, and provided a lot of flexibility for users.
The Recast is connected to your TV via your router, which means that you can control your firestick local channels and amazon fire tv channels from the same menu on your device. This keeps you from having to toggle your TV inputs when you want to switch from streaming to fire tv local channels. Instead, all of these options are available from the same menu screen, allowing seamless transition. This is much more convenient than having your antenna hooked directly to your Fire TV.
We found the replay functionality pretty seamless on this device, with minimal buffering or lag. The fact that we could pause and rewind live local sports seamlessly was especially welcome.
What Channels Do You Get With Firestick And Recast?
Amazon fire tv channels that are available will depend on your location. Generally, you can expect to get the major networks, local channels, regional sports, Spanish language channels, and usually a few “odds and ends” channels.
You will probably have to try a few different locations around your house before you find the ideal spot for your HD antenna. We had to adjust our antenna 4 or 5 times before we found the perfect against a window. Now we receive 21 local channels pretty seamlessly.
One of the best features of the Amazon Recast is how easy it is to set up. We were watching local channels on our Fire TV less than 15 mins after unboxing. It’s significantly easier to use for a cable cutting newcomer than, say, the SiliconDust HDHomeRun series.
You can also play the Recast recordings on your phone or laptop using the Amazon Fire TV live tv apps, which are free to download, and give you extra flexibility with your viewing options.
Amazon Recast Drawbacks
The main issue with this tuner box is that it only supports Amazon devices, such as Fire TV or Fire Stick. If your house entertainment network is more geared towards Apple or Roku, the Recast may not be worth it. If you are already an Amazon user, that won’t be an issue. If you don’t have a streaming box setup already, you can pick up a new Fire TV or Firestick starting at only $30.
The other drawback is that it is a bit pricier than similar tuners, but we do think that the functionality of the Recast makes it worth the investment if you are serious about cord-cutting. It’s a one-time investment that will provide years of free fire tv channels, so shelling out a bit more for a superior product makes sense in our opinion.
The Recast is probably the most functional tuner/DVR on the market for people looking to cut the cable cord.
The slightly higher price and the fact that it’s only compatible with Amazon products does limit it somewhat.
However if you have the cash and are fine with using the Fire TV interface, you probably couldn’t do better with what’s on the market right now.
- One time purchase for unlimited OTA streaming.
- Very user friendly
- Excellent DVR capabilities
- Tons of storage space
- Only compatible with Amazon products
- Antenna and Firestick not included