Amazon RECAST OTA DVR formerly known as "Frank" - Page 17 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #481 of 539 Old 06-14-2019, 03:11 PM
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I'm not familiar with the term repack and repacked means. I have not had an OTA setup since leaving Windows Media Center in Windows 8 in favor of Windows 10. Have the OTA signals changed in the last 5 years?
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post #482 of 539 Old 06-14-2019, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Adams View Post
I'm not familiar with the term repack and repacked means. I have not had an OTA setup since leaving Windows Media Center in Windows 8 in favor of Windows 10. Have the OTA signals changed in the last 5 years?
This may help as a start:

https://www.tablotv.com/blog/next-wa...y-plan-rescan/

http://www.tvanswers.org/
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post #483 of 539 Old 06-15-2019, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Adams View Post
I'm not familiar with the term repack and repacked means. I have not had an OTA setup since leaving Windows Media Center in Windows 8 in favor of Windows 10. Have the OTA signals changed in the last 5 years?
They are in the process of changing. Everything is moving down-frequency to make room for mobile data.
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post #484 of 539 Old 06-15-2019, 01:39 PM
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Thanks for the update on repack. It's good to be aware of it as I'm considering leaving Comcast cable and phone.
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post #485 of 539 Old 06-15-2019, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Adams View Post
Thanks for the update on repack. It's good to be aware of it as I'm considering leaving Comcast cable and phone.

If you want more info, check out this site: https://www.rabbitears.info/static.p...e=repack_tools
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post #486 of 539 Old 06-15-2019, 04:37 PM
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... and this will give you a better idea of the big picture.
https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/fcc-in...ition-schedule

Some stations already in low VHF will stay put.

One thing Recast is absolutely terrible at is aiming. It tells you whether the signal is good or bad, but that's about it. For precise aiming, you'll want to connect your antenna directly to your TV first. I know most of my TV's have very good signal strength indicators, so I can aim very precisely.

In my market, most of my stations are in the same general direction. So I aim sort of in the middle of the pack but a little closer to my weakest ones. It's fine to give up a little signal strength on your strongest stations in order to pull in the weaker ones.

However, one channel is in the exact opposite direction (180 degrees) of my other stations. For that one, I actually had to mount a second antenna and join it with my main antenna using a splitter in reverse.

Bottom line is by the end of the repack, a good VHF antenna will be important (UHF not so much), but how your antenna is currently aimed will probably not change except for some sub-channel consolidation. But you'll want to use your TV's tuner for aiming, not the Recast.
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post #487 of 539 Old 06-16-2019, 09:53 AM
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Antenna requirements vary by location and some may continue with uhf only. Please may i be one of those....?
i repointed uhf_yagi again today but will not be testing much until end of summer.

As for original star trek i prefer the original interlacing and to be same age as i was when it was first-run.

Got new recast_junior yesterday and defenestrated air tv.
I wired in recast and set it up with android fire tv app.
It works via android phone quick test but neither alexa show can use it. I have a fire stick somewhere and will find/try it some day.
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post #488 of 539 Old 06-16-2019, 04:10 PM
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The only channels being repacked in this market are all UHF and will stay UHF. We have a PBS and ABC affiliate in high VHF, and they are going nowhere. Of the four UHF channels being moved, all of them give me multi-path fits on breezy days, while others in the same direction and tower distance are consistently fine. So, I have some hopes that the repack will help.

One possible advantage to the Recast is that I have a second antenna in the attic of my detached garage, which is located under/around the LOS path through the problematic trees. I currently have a tablo connected to that antenna, and can stream those affected stations without as many macro- blocking and pixellation reception issues, although the SD transcoding creates other picture issues, as illustrated above.

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post #489 of 539 Old 06-19-2019, 04:33 AM
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Quick test results for 'remote viewing' and rookie n00b setup stuff via FRANK:

Viewing via FRANK alexa-recast on android phone remotely worked great on free wifi.

Remote access to FRANK/recast is way faster, way easier, way more reliable than for Tablo/your-tuner-has-been-reassigned. root-cause of that may be FRANK's superior tuner gain and/or less-splitting-of-signal, or could be 47 other things.

I haven't figured out how to record anything on recast/FRANK yet. Still no frank access on big TVs. No frank access via big echo-show or small spherical echo-show. Seems small spherical echo-show will never work with Recast (lame) but the big one should work if I plug in fire-tv dongle and do some administrative setup on a TV.

It is surprising that Alexa-show and Recast did not discover each other without some sort of administrative intervention needed by me or the fire-tv dongle or some web page or some app. I can't find any "recast" skill under Alexa-skills-and-devices under the Alexa app.

The rest of the FRANK setup/ergonomics is so seamless and excellent, there must be a good reason why manual/web/app/dongle intervention is required to get Recast set up with a gaggle of Alexa-Shows.
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post #490 of 539 Old 06-19-2019, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tveli View Post
I haven't figured out how to record anything on recast/FRANK yet. Still no frank access on big TVs. No frank access via big echo-show or small spherical echo-show. Seems small spherical echo-show will never work with Recast (lame) but the big one should work if I plug in fire-tv dongle and do some administrative setup on a TV.

It is surprising that Alexa-show and Recast did not discover each other without some sort of administrative intervention needed by me or the fire-tv dongle or some web page or some app. I can't find any "recast" skill under Alexa-skills-and-devices under the Alexa app.

The rest of the FRANK setup/ergonomics is so seamless and excellent, there must be a good reason why manual/web/app/dongle intervention is required to get Recast set up with a gaggle of Alexa-Shows.
Frankly, this is surprising to me too. Check this out for some help...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custo...6QHMSB7NRTL5EY

Quote:
Originally Posted by RecastHelp
Pair Your Viewing Device with Fire TV Recast
Compatible, up-to-date Amazon devices detect each other and pair automatically.

To pair devices manually:

Go to Settings.
Select Live TV, and then Live TV Sources.
Then, select Fire TV Recast and Pair a Fire TV Recast.
And this...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custo...9-25DCE393FAF0

Quote:
Originally Posted by RecastFAQ
Record Alexa, record 'Empire.'

Note: Asking Alexa to record a TV show will result in the recording of the entire series.

Delete Alexa, delete 'The Flash.'
Cancel a recording Alexa, cancel my recording of 'Chef's Life.'
See the channel guide Alexa, show me the channel guide.
Tune to a channel Alexa, tune to the CW.
See your storage usage Alexa, how full is my DVR?
Show your recordings Alexa, show my recordings.
I mostly bought a Recast to watch television on my Shows. I don't do much more than...
  • Alexa, show channel guide
  • Alexa show my shows

On a Fire TV Stick, I just scroll across the top to DVR, press the center of the remote control disk, then navigate the tiles or the channel guide. If you do not see the DVR option, make sure your stick is up to date.
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post #491 of 539 Old 07-01-2019, 08:29 AM
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Well, I decided to try the Recast. The 1TB models are $100 off today for Prime members and camelcamelcamel tells me the price doesn't get better than that. My plan is to spend the 4th setting it up and trying it out since going outside will not be an attractive option.
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post #492 of 539 Old 07-02-2019, 05:00 PM
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Who's enjoying the new Live tab on the Fire TV? Brings together the Recast and Pluto channels, and any other live sources, and provides thumbnails of what's currently showing. Also groups like channels, such as sports, into one area.I like it,much easier to see what's playing than the guide.
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post #493 of 539 Old 07-03-2019, 04:55 AM
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Who's enjoying the new Live tab on the Fire TV? Brings together the Recast and Pluto channels, and any other live sources, and provides thumbnails of what's currently showing. Also groups like channels, such as sports, into one area.I like it,much easier to see what's playing than the guide.
I look forward to checking it out.
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post #494 of 539 Old 07-03-2019, 09:52 AM
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Just sent back my Amazon Recast! No comparison to Tivo on recorded shows!
720 Vs 1080 is like night and day on a quality tv.
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post #495 of 539 Old 07-03-2019, 10:22 AM
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Just sent back my Amazon Recast! No comparison to Tivo on recorded shows!
This and autoskip has me passing on the Recast... I even have a free Fire TV 4K unboxed. My locals are so bit starved I can't give up any more quality.

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post #496 of 539 Old 07-03-2019, 11:57 AM
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I guess I have old eyes, but I can't tell much of a difference on my 55" 4k set. I only get a couple of 1080 channels anyway. I'll trade the convenience for the slight (to me) PQ difference. I do miss commercial skip and quick mode a little, but not enough to want to plug my Tivos back in.
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post #497 of 539 Old 07-04-2019, 06:54 AM
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I got mine setup last night. I couldn't resist the price. I set some timers. It is no Hopper3, but it might be good enough for just locals + streaming. Also, if they do actually add commercial skipping as it rumored, it might become much more attractive.

Initial Impressions:

-PQ is better than I expected. Not perfect, but not bad at all, especially compared to cable and satellite.
-They don't tell you that you may have to wait a while before the DVR tab shows up on your FireTVs devices. It was upwards of an hour on one of mine.
-Still more clicks than I would like to get to the guide, recordings, and live channels. I realize Alexa is supposed to shortcut that stuff, but I dislike voice interfaces.
-Tuners seem decent. I don't have the perfect antenna setup right now, but it still was able to tune what I consider to be marginal stations reliably.
-Works fine on my current wi-fi setup. I bought a MoCA adapter for the room I put it in to get the best OTA reception, but it wouldn't play nicely with my existing MoCA setup for some reason, so I reverted to wi-fi and it works just fine. I still plan to make it work over MoCA long-term, but it wasn't required.
-It isn't as good as a Tivo, but it costs a heck of a lot less, and I can have one device (Firestick) to have access to locals and streaming apps at each TV location. That was the promise of the Roamio and Mini, but it was never achieved. The Recast gets a lot closer, albeit with some loss of functionality compared to the Tivo.
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post #498 of 539 Old 07-04-2019, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncted View Post
I got mine setup last night. I couldn't resist the price. I set some timers. It is no Hopper3, but it might be good enough for just locals + streaming. Also, if they do actually add commercial skipping as it rumored, it might become much more attractive.

Initial Impressions:

-PQ is better than I expected
Resolution is actually pretty close to Dish's infamous HD-Lite. So you shouldn't notice much of a difference at all coming from Hopper.
Quote:
-Still more clicks than I would like to get to the guide, recordings, and live channels.
Varies by remote. My Fire TV Edition TV actually has a guide button. And my universal remote adds numbers/dash for direct channel entry. That jumps directly to live tv from anywhere.
Here are the commands on my universal that work with Recast:
http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/vi...=135925#135925
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post #499 of 539 Old 07-04-2019, 10:16 AM
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Resolution is actually pretty close to Dish's infamous HD-Lite. So you shouldn't notice much of a difference at all coming from Hopper.
Varies by remote. My Fire TV Edition TV actually has a guide button. And my universal remote adds numbers/dash for direct channel entry. That jumps directly to live tv from anywhere.
Here are the commands on my universal that work with Recast:
http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/vi...=135925#135925
In some ad hoc comparisons, the best transcoded channels on Dish look better than any of the channels on the Recast, with the exception of motion. The Recast channels show a smoother motion than any of the Dish channels. The worst transcoded Dish channels are not as good looking as the Recast channels. In a channel to channel comparison of my Dish locals to the equivalent Recast channel, I'd say Dish looks slightly better, aside from the motion difference which favors the Recast. I'd say the Recast transcoding is good enough for network shows, especially considering the price.
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with the exception of motion. The Recast channels show a smoother motion than any of the Dish channels.
big deal for me right here. my aged eyes are ok with soft and transcoded, but motion blur makes me sick.
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post #501 of 539 Old 07-04-2019, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
I guess I have old eyes, but I can't tell much of a difference on my 55" 4k set. I only get a couple of 1080 channels anyway. I'll trade the convenience for the slight (to me) PQ difference. I do miss commercial skip and quick mode a little, but not enough to want to plug my Tivos back in.
I view on 65 inches and I'm rather sensitive to image quality as our local station engineers will attest to. Our PBS used to look the worse and now they look the best as everyone else has bit starved their main feed more and more. So much so I have sworn off a few iffy series... found a better use for my time.

I gave a whopping $199 for my TiVo and can't really find a reason to pay for lessor quality and fewer features. If the Recast was as good or better I'd swap just for something different as I have in the past. I guess I should try the Fire TV 4K one of these days however the little I do stream the Shield TV and TV apps handle it nicely. The remote has TD Ameritrade printed on it however I think it's a "standard" Fire TV 4K.

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post #502 of 539 Old 07-04-2019, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
big deal for me right here. my aged eyes are ok with soft and transcoded, but motion blur makes me sick.
Actually, I find a lot of content on Dish and DirecTV has choppy motion, not blurred.
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post #503 of 539 Old 07-05-2019, 05:06 AM
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Been using the Recast since it launched. Amazon even gave me full credit without asking for the hoopla over the $60 price drop special offered right after it launched. Thought about the TIVO OTA but paying for a guide(lower price) I barely look at anyway gave me pause. The ability to put the Recast anywhere as long as you have wifi was a big plus even though in my case it wasn't necessary. Commercial skip would be nice but until that happens or not, Alexa skip or just the plain ol' remote 30 second skips is just fine.
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post #504 of 539 Old 07-07-2019, 12:32 PM
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Some updates I posted over on SatelliteGuys.us:

"I tried the out-of-home streaming this morning at work on my Fire Tablet. It worked really well. As good or better than DishAnywhere. I wish it could download for offline viewing like DA does as well though."

"I'm watching the women's world cup final on it now on my Firestick 4K connected to my 70" UHD Sony. Gotta say, it looks pretty good - not perfect, but pretty good. Even the sea of orange, waving their Netherlands flags doesn't seem to give it much trouble. Of course, the OTA broadcast is 720p to start with, so no down-rezing necessary. In direct (or as direct as I can get, switching back and forth) comparison, I'd say it looks about as good as Dish, at least for my local Fox affiliate."

"After a few days of playing around with the Recast, I can say it is a pretty decent OTA DVR with a number of good features. It is in no way anywhere near as good a user experience as the Hopper/Joey we are used to or the Tivo Roamio OTA(TE3)/Mini we used to have, but we could probably adapt to the occasional pauses and delays for things like trick play, menu navigation, etc. The real advantage I see to the Recast is simply not having to switch inputs to go from linear/DVR to streaming apps. Tablo and AirTV also offer this, albeit with somewhat less integration than you get with the FireTV platform. As we watch fewer and fewer broadcast TV shows, something like the Recast makes a lot of sense. Anyway, I am probably going to hold onto it, even if I keep Dish in the long term, as a backup in case of rain fade, and maybe eventually I'll drop local channels from Dish and use the Recast exclusively for receiving those."
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The real advantage I see to the Recast is simply not having to switch inputs to go from linear/DVR to streaming apps. Tablo and AirTV also offer this, albeit with somewhat less integration than you get with the FireTV platform.
One place where the Recast/Stick exceeds is in the integration of OTA and OTT. Yes, because you do not need to change inputs, but also because when you install the Pluto, Philo, or Vue app, those channels are added to the Recast EPG. If you add Prime Channels, those are added to the EPG. So you do not even have to hop from app to app as you change programs.
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post #506 of 539 Old 07-07-2019, 07:01 PM
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One place where the Recast/Stick exceeds is in the integration of OTA and OTT. Yes, because you do not need to change inputs, but also because when you install the Pluto, Philo, or Vue app, those channels are added to the Recast EPG. If you add Prime Channels, those are added to the EPG. So you do not even have to hop from app to app as you change programs.
I hope they offer that functionality with the other live streamers as well. Sling Blue in particular would fill in the gaps of the few cable channels we still watch.
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post #507 of 539 Old 07-07-2019, 11:43 PM
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I hope they offer that functionality with the other live streamers as well. Sling Blue in particular would fill in the gaps of the few cable channels we still watch.
I think that the EPG program guide integration could be a game changer. Amazon's inclusion of HBO as a Prime Channel premium add-on allows for HBO Now to be utilized in their TiVo app, as an example, along with others like Britbox. Similar inclusion of live streaming services (SlingTV, Hulu, or heaven forfend YouTube Live) under the Amazon FireTV guide inside a Prime app could help to extend Prime usage on both FireTV and non-Fire OTT devices (assuming that guide services are integrated into all flavors of Prime apps). Just a dream, but providing a single input menu source that allows the user to see and access all content available- across a variety of platforms and devices.... could be very compelling.
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post #508 of 539 Old 07-08-2019, 03:35 AM
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I hope they offer that functionality with the other live streamers as well. Sling Blue in particular would fill in the gaps of the few cable channels we still watch.
Have to assume the streamers are paying tribute to Amazon for integration. Hopefully, it is minimal and the others opt in, but, given the exclusivity agreements in the OTT arena, I am not optimistic. Free, cheap, and complete, Amazon covers your bases with Pluto, Philo, and Vue.
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post #509 of 539 Old 07-08-2019, 03:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tapokata View Post
I think that the EPG program guide integration could be a game changer. Amazon's inclusion of HBO as a Prime Channel premium add-on allows for HBO Now to be utilized in their TiVo app, as an example, along with others like Britbox. Similar inclusion of live streaming services (SlingTV, Hulu, or heaven forfend YouTube Live) under the Amazon FireTV guide inside a Prime app could help to extend Prime usage on both FireTV and non-Fire OTT devices (assuming that guide services are integrated into all flavors of Prime apps). Just a dream, but providing a single input menu source that allows the user to see and access all content available- across a variety of platforms and devices.... could be very compelling.
Absolutely! This is the inexpensive a la carte programming on a single box with a single remote cord cutters have been clamoring for all these years.
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post #510 of 539 Old 07-08-2019, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
Have to assume the streamers are paying tribute to Amazon for integration. Hopefully, it is minimal and the others opt in, but, given the exclusivity agreements in the OTT arena, I am not optimistic. Free, cheap, and complete, Amazon covers your bases with Pluto, Philo, and Vue.

Just thinking about how it might be done, it could just be a simple JSON feed with links to the content within the specific apps. I doubt there would need to be money changing hands for that, but that doesn't mean they did it that way. One thing that I wondered about is whether they are using a shared data source. Amazon uses Tribune (or whatever they are called these days) guide data. Not sure what the currently-supported live streamers are using for guide data, but I know that Sling uses Rovi/Tivo data, so that may be one reason it isn't currently supported while those others are. Pluto is probably a special case though as its "channels" aren't traditional. Anyway, it is nice to see better integration.
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