Amazon RECAST OTA DVR formerly known as "Frank" - Page 14 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #391 of 538 Old 03-20-2019, 08:23 PM
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Update on external drive

After clogging the internal drive of my Recast with a large number of shows to get it to store all new recordings on the external drive, I was a bit concerned by the constantly flashing light on the external drive. Also, a couple of shows continued to record - even after I deleted the scheduling for them. And the Recast seemed a bit sluggish.

So I decided to restore the Recast to factory defaults - losing the 50+ Maverick episodes I had collected from the Heroes & Icons channel.

It went smoothly but slowly. It even re-formatted the external drive again.

So I sat down to my TV - fully expecting to have to re-enter all my favorites and recording schedule. Imagine my surprise to find it was all still there. Apparently everything is stored on the cloud rather than the Recast. That helps explain the slight delay in making changes to the recording schedule, etc.

The light on the external drive is still blinking - maybe faster than before. Since everything is stored on the cloud, I'm a bit worried the phantom TV show will be recorded again tomorrow. I'm hoping not, but...

How would one completely clear a Fire TV account? I have two Fire TV devices. Restore to factory defaults on both?
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post #392 of 538 Old 03-20-2019, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Roginator View Post
Apparently everything is stored on the cloud rather than the Recast. That helps explain the slight delay in making changes to the recording schedule, etc.
I would assume that makes it easy for them to track everything you record and watch.
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post #393 of 538 Old 03-21-2019, 07:04 AM
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You can delete an episode through the Options menu. When you have an individual episode selected, press the menu button and you can either delete the episode or protect the episode.
Thanks so much!
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post #394 of 538 Old 03-21-2019, 07:24 AM
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You're welcome.
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post #395 of 538 Old 03-21-2019, 10:49 AM
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How does the Recast handle multiple affiliates of the same network? It appears from the screen shots that stations are labeled by network, rather than channel or call sign. I live in an area where CBS and Fox stations from a neighboring market can be easily received. Is there a way to tell these apart or to set priority for which one to record from?
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post #396 of 538 Old 03-21-2019, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Griffin View Post
How does the Recast handle multiple affiliates of the same network? It appears from the screen shots that stations are labeled by network, rather than channel or call sign. I live in an area where CBS and Fox stations from a neighboring market can be easily received. Is there a way to tell these apart or to set priority for which one to record from?
Good question. I think during the scan of available channels, the Recast gathers the channel IDs to provide the program guide. When it first came out, you couldn't select from which station you wanted to record a series. It also listed the stations in alphabetical order.

So in the earlier version if you wanted to record a series, it would record ALL shows across ALL channels. They have since fixed that by showing a dialog asking if you want ALL instances recorded or just the ones on the current channel.

They rushed the Recast to market before Christmas and it had a few "glitches" like this.
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post #397 of 538 Old 03-21-2019, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Griffin View Post
How does the Recast handle multiple affiliates of the same network? It appears from the screen shots that stations are labeled by network, rather than channel or call sign. I live in an area where CBS and Fox stations from a neighboring market can be easily received. Is there a way to tell these apart or to set priority for which one to record from?
You can remove a channel from the guide, by number.
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post #398 of 538 Old 03-21-2019, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
I would assume that makes it easy for them to track everything you record and watch.
I was about to say that. It's likely that just about any Internet-connected device (TiVo, Apple, Android, DVR+, Fire TV, Roku, etc.) is going to do at least some tracking. Usually they don't make that quite so obvious, though
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post #399 of 538 Old 03-21-2019, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
I would assume that makes it easy for them to track everything you record and watch.
Which would be flawed data. Because we are watching OTA channels, at least part of the time we may have the TV record some show, such as "Touched By An Angel", simply because OTA choice is limited. Targeted ads then may include suggestions to purchase the "Touched By An Angel Boxed Set" - uuummmm, no thanks.
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post #400 of 538 Old 03-22-2019, 01:31 PM
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OT question:

I initially hooked my Recast up to one of those flat-mat window antennas with a supposed range of 30 miles. I received 34 channels but NBC was not one of them. So I then hooked the Recast up to a more traditional "remote movable" outdoor antenna - with that antenna I get 48 channels and NBC is mostly there, but sometimes it stutters. My question is: should I spend money on a 2019 150 mile flat-mat window antenna? Id really like to remove the outdoor antenna and also improve reception. We have no loft for the antenna and live in a wooded-rural setting. Thanks.

My tower locations: http://tinypic.com/r/99qe4j/9

Last edited by JH64; 03-22-2019 at 01:39 PM.
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post #401 of 538 Old 03-22-2019, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JH64 View Post
OT question:

I initially hooked my Recast up to one of those flat-mat window antennas with a supposed range of 30 miles. I received 34 channels but NBC was not one of them. So I then hooked the Recast up to a more traditional "remote movable" outdoor antenna - with that antenna I get 48 channels and NBC is mostly there, but sometimes it stutters. My question is: should I spend money on a 2019 150 mile flat-mat window antenna? Id really like to remove the outdoor antenna and also improve reception. We have no loft for the antenna and live in a wooded-rural setting. Thanks.

My tower locations: http://tinypic.com/r/99qe4j/9
You have mountains, and therefor multi-path interference. Your signal strength may not be the problem. You need to use something decent to aim your antenna, the Recast is useless for this. Maybe your TV has a good signal strength indicator? The flat window type antennas are not good with multi-path, and moving one even an inch can be the difference between signal or no signal. Rotating them also can matter.

I have huge problems with multi-path, so I finally got one of these and put it in the rafters. I was able to rotate it to get all the channels I wanted and good signals too.
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post #402 of 538 Old 03-22-2019, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post
You have mountains, and therefor multi-path interference. Your signal strength may not be the problem. You need to use something decent to aim your antenna, the Recast is useless for this. Maybe your TV has a good signal strength indicator? The flat window type antennas are not good with multi-path, and moving one even an inch can be the difference between signal or no signal. Rotating them also can matter.

I have huge problems with multi-path, so I finally got one of these and put it in the rafters. I was able to rotate it to get all the channels I wanted and good signals too.
Thank you.The antenna I have is almost identical to what you have pictured. It looks like its my best option then? I have it mounted outside a bedroom window.
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post #403 of 538 Old 03-22-2019, 04:33 PM
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Thank you.The antenna I have is almost identical to what you have pictured. It looks like its my best option then? I have it mounted outside a bedroom window.
Yes, but you need a TV or other tuner with a good signal meter you can use to aim it.
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post #404 of 538 Old 03-22-2019, 04:34 PM
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That antenna is not generally considered to be worth much. Go to Walmart.com Search for "TV antenna". Then click on "clearance". Notice how cheap these antennas are? There's a reason they are cheap.
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post #405 of 538 Old 03-22-2019, 04:53 PM
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https://www.bestbuy.com/site/mohu-ai...?skuId=4756200

On sale today great antenna.


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post #406 of 538 Old 03-22-2019, 07:29 PM
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Here's the forum for antenna talk. https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hd...topic-580.html
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post #407 of 538 Old 03-22-2019, 08:32 PM
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Thanks all for the antenna tips, I will go check out the forum
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post #408 of 538 Old 03-24-2019, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JH64 View Post
OT question:

I initially hooked my Recast up to one of those flat-mat window antennas with a supposed range of 30 miles. I received 34 channels but NBC was not one of them. So I then hooked the Recast up to a more traditional "remote movable" outdoor antenna - with that antenna I get 48 channels and NBC is mostly there, but sometimes it stutters. My question is: should I spend money on a 2019 150 mile flat-mat window antenna? Id really like to remove the outdoor antenna and also improve reception. We have no loft for the antenna and live in a wooded-rural setting. Thanks.

My tower locations: http://tinypic.com/r/99qe4j/9
Best way to get good advice on questions like this: Repost your question in the "HDTV Technical" subforum and follow these instructions:
Put YOUR LOCATION in the TITLE of ALL antenna threads & TVFOOL info in 1st post
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
Doing these two things will help you get faster help and improve searching for the next guy.

EVEN IF IT DOESN'T SEEM RELEVANT, DO IT, ANYWAY because it IS relevant. Every question may be answered differently depending on your location. Even if you think your issue is location agnostic it may become so later in the thread. Plus, you might meet someone near you who'd like to buy you a beer. Bonus.

Also BEFORE YOU START A THREAD, check to see if there's already one for your area in the Local Reception section. See the INDEX at the top. Pick the city you're closest to. If the thread's active, post there first. If you get no response or the most recent post in the city thread is a couple of years old, THEN post here. The reason? People in that thread subscribe to it. Local people will get an e-mail saying you need help. Post here and you're liable to get more generic help from people who don't live near you.

Other tips to those seeking antenna assistance appreciated. Only posting this because every thread seems to go 7 or 8 posts deep asking the same questions. If we can get those handled in the initial post, I think we can help new members far more rapidly.

Go to TVFOOL.com and run a report for your location. Copy the resulting url from your browser's window and paste it into your initial post. Remember to use a LINK and not an image. Your address won't show on the link except to you. A typical TVFool link looks like this:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...60ed844775364a

The location you put in your title needs to be specific. "Central Florida" won't work. "Ocala" would be much better. And, for God's sake, don't use latitude and longitude here or in your TVFool report. It's bad form to make extra work for the people you're asking to help you.

If you don't have a high enough post count to put in the link, PM me and I'll do that for you. Don't make a bunch of garbage posts just to get the count up.

One more thing. Don't ask for help if you're not going to be able to check the thread frequently. We have posters asking for help, then disappearing for days and weeks. Wait until you can participate to post.


Thanks

Doc
Rabbit73 and several others will be along quickly with good advice.
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post #409 of 538 Old 03-25-2019, 04:13 PM
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Best way to get good advice on questions like this: Repost your question in the "HDTV Technical" subforum and follow these instructions:
Put YOUR LOCATION in the TITLE of ALL antenna threads & TVFOOL info in 1st post
Rabbit73 and several others will be along quickly with good advice.
One more thing... this isn't the proper forum for antenna questions. That would be https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hd...topic-585.html
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post #410 of 538 Old 03-26-2019, 06:46 AM
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One more thing... this isn't the proper forum for antenna questions. That would be https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hd...topic-585.html
Apologies. I figured that as there were lengthy responses on peripherals such as external drives (formatting structure types) and methods to access/join recorded files (against the Recasts intended purpose), antennas would be fair game too.

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post #411 of 538 Old 03-26-2019, 11:10 AM
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IMO it's no biggie; antennas are just surprisingly complex, so you get the best help by asking where the antenna experts hang out BTW don't be surprised if they ask you a lot of questions.
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post #412 of 538 Old 03-28-2019, 08:39 AM
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Anyone had any issues with their Recast and the channel repack? Tivo seems to take forever to update their database. I am curious how Amazon (and others) compare.
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post #413 of 538 Old 04-05-2019, 08:59 AM
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Do a cold reboot occasionally

I recently started getting "delete failed" messages when trying to delete recordings. I restarted (warm booted) the recast via the menu twice to no effect. Checked assorted settings and noticed the "about" info was stuck on loading. I then did a cold boot by unplugging the power cord, waiting 30 seconds and plugging it back in. This fixed the problem and I was able to delete the recordings. Apparently, the network connection to the recast was disrupted, which is interesting as the recast is hard-wired via Ethernet. Bottom line - no computer short of an IBM mainframe runs correctly forever without rebooting, so you may want to occasionally unplug the recast, not just restart from the menu.
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post #414 of 538 Old 04-06-2019, 06:54 AM
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I have had that "delete failed" message several times during the month or so that I've had the Recast. Sometimes, restarting the Fire Stick itself will unjam it. Other times, as you said, unplugging the Recast and starting over does the trick. It's frustrating sometimes working with first generation equipment.
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post #415 of 538 Old 04-06-2019, 05:58 PM
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I had a similar problem, but turned out I was the cause. Couldn't successfully delete anything from my fire stick even after several reboots of everything - Recast, stick and router. So I tried deleting from the Fire TV app on my phone, and that worked fine. It finally dawned on me that I had left my VPN connected to the UK from watching BBC the night before. So I disconnected the VPN and everything started working fine again. Bottom line is, such failures are probably due to network connectivity issues of some sort.
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post #416 of 538 Old 04-07-2019, 08:02 PM
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Back on the question of hard disks: since the Recast now supports external drives, and it seems to use "good 'ol" ext4 formatted disks without any encryption, has anyone tried replacing the INTERNAL drive yet?

Since others have posted that the external disk seems to access a lot; either the internal disk is doing the same thing (and we don't know about it) or it is treating the external disk separately. To give credit (Roginator, et. al.), others intentionally fill up the internal disk so that the external disk is the only one written to.

So replacing the internal disk would be trivial if there weren't some system files there also. But even if there were, all we would have to do is format a new disk as ext4, then copy over whatever files are on the old disk (as long as absolute positions weren't important, boot sector stuff, etc., etc.)


At this point, the only thing holding me back is that the Recast plays everything as 720p (and that my DVR+ is still working fine) -- it is just a shame that 1080i content gets down converted. One-by-one the upgraded Recast has nicely plugged the holes in my decision making process.

Thanks,

Scott
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post #417 of 538 Old 04-14-2019, 06:09 AM
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Thanks for the update, 25-or-6-to-5824. 720p is fine for many use-cases although obviously a blocker for many serious sports/NFL/MLB/OTA viewers.

Currently I'm testing TV 'cordcut' streaming-based solutions for self/spouse/friends/family plus an increasingly common use-case:
elders who have normal/expected dementia for their age. Seems many of these folks OTA local news plus their favorite cable-news-channel. Another common aspect is that many of the elders cannot navigate any menu-based GUI system, no-go, no-how, not-happening. Some can handle voice-remote. One has an Alexa-show but I cannot recommend/advise her a recast-based setup without testing it 100% first and knowing every possible pitfall so as to limit reduce her exposure/frustration with unnecessary software randomness.

Please advise me about whether there an Alexa/Recast solution via which Alexa will tune her real TV to MSNBC or local news channel!
Such a setup could be a "WIN".

There are multiple possible non-Alexa approaches for providing cable news and local news which I am testing incrementally along with valid ISP credentials along with the elder's daughter-in-law. I will test Alexa-Recast asap too but only so much time and so many nice OTA-DVR solutions. Thanks to everyone for their detailed reports and ideas here.

Fwiw, currently I'm testing SlingBlue+OTA and it is A W E S O M E , displacing Tablo from the sole working antenna connection. I plan to restore TabloHD-homerun along with SlingAirTV soon, and soon add an Alexa Recast - testing all 4 devices in parallel via 4-way splitter and reoptimized antenna setup.

OTA-TTFN!
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post #418 of 538 Old 04-14-2019, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tveli View Post
Thanks for the update, 25-or-6-to-5824. 720p is fine for many use-cases although obviously a blocker for many serious sports/NFL/MLB/OTA viewers.

Currently I'm testing TV 'cordcut' streaming-based solutions for self/spouse/friends/family plus an increasingly common use-case:
elders who have normal/expected dementia for their age. Seems many of these folks OTA local news plus their favorite cable-news-channel. Another common aspect is that many of the elders cannot navigate any menu-based GUI system, no-go, no-how, not-happening. Some can handle voice-remote. One has an Alexa-show but I cannot recommend/advise her a recast-based setup without testing it 100% first and knowing every possible pitfall so as to limit reduce her exposure/frustration with unnecessary software randomness.

Please advise me about whether there an Alexa/Recast solution via which Alexa will tune her real TV to MSNBC or local news channel!
Such a setup could be a "WIN".


There are multiple possible non-Alexa approaches for providing cable news and local news which I am testing incrementally along with valid ISP credentials along with the elder's daughter-in-law. I will test Alexa-Recast asap too but only so much time and so many nice OTA-DVR solutions. Thanks to everyone for their detailed reports and ideas here.

Fwiw, currently I'm testing SlingBlue+OTA and it is A W E S O M E , displacing Tablo from the sole working antenna connection. I plan to restore TabloHD-homerun along with SlingAirTV soon, and soon add an Alexa Recast - testing all 4 devices in parallel via 4-way splitter and reoptimized antenna setup.

OTA-TTFN!
Please post your findings! 😀
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post #419 of 538 Old 04-14-2019, 09:51 AM
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Please advise me about whether there an Alexa/Recast solution via which Alexa will tune her real TV to MSNBC or local news channel!
Such a setup could be a "WIN".
Not exactly. You can say "Watch NBC", and it will tune to that. But if you say a cable channel, you're presented with a list of programs and apps. It won't tune to any Pluto channels by voice even though they're integrated into the guide. If you got Philo, it MIGHT tune to those channels since it's integrated into the Recast guide, but the failure to tune Pluto channels raises doubts.

This is all using the Mic button on my Fire Stick remote. I don't have another Alexa device.

My elderly mother has no dementia, thank goodness, but still struggles with technology somewhat. Being able to tune her OTA channels by voice has been helpful. She still has to tune her cable channels from menus.
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post #420 of 538 Old 04-14-2019, 07:20 PM
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Here is a nice tear-down of the Recast:

http://www.aftvnews.com/fire-tv-reca...r-the-air-dvr/


I would rather just swap-out the internal drive instead of hanging an external drive o nthe Recast. However, the tear-down poster, Elias Saba, didn't have anything further on this.


Another poster, Kevin, responded that there is some additional block info that needs to be copied over:

Quote:
Hmmm. I am in USA and my fire tv recast has adb. So downloading is a simple `adb pull `. To add a larger drives I would pull the block image (`adb pull /dev/block/mmcblk0 mmcblk0.img`) and format a larger drive with it, then stick the larger drive back
ADB is an android command. Since the internal disk is ext3 (or ext4), then there should be a linux equivalent process to copy the disk's image, pop in a new disk, then restore that image.


Has anyone tried this yet? It isn't clear why Amazon hasn't decided to put an 8TB disk in the Recast yet. Maybe thermal reasons? which drove them to the external solution...

Scott
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