Amazon RECAST OTA DVR formerly known as "Frank" - Page 25 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #721 of 790 Old 02-06-2020, 09:15 AM
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The Echo Show supports Amazon's Silk browser as well as Firefox. Thanks for asking the question. You reminded me that Firefox was an alternative to Silk. I am, right now, testing Firefox's stamina and will followup on this post.
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post #722 of 790 Old 02-06-2020, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
The Echo Show supports Amazon's Silk browser as well as Firefox. Thanks for asking the question. You reminded me that Firefox was an alternative to Silk. I am, right now, testing Firefox's stamina and will followup on this post.
Please do provide details (a URL). I didn't know it was possible to view Recast in a browser.
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post #723 of 790 Old 02-06-2020, 11:23 AM
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Please do provide details (a URL). I didn't know it was possible to view Recast in a browser.
I think we are having two conversations here. Amazon makes a device called the Echo Show. The Show has two browsers installed -- their own Silk browser and Firefox. I use these browsers to view www resources including a blog of my recipes and, for instance the State of the Union address. Both browsers revert to the Show's home screen if a web page has been idle for too long. With Silk, I had to restart the SOTU a half dozen times due to this flaw. I am able to watch the entire video with Firefox. My recipes close after inactivity in either Silk or Firefox.

The Show can also view the Recast's live and recorded programs, but that is not in a web browser. There is an app for that.
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post #724 of 790 Old 02-06-2020, 11:28 AM
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I think we are having two conversations here.
Yes we are. I assumed your question was related to Recast since that's what this thread is about.

Glad you solved your browser problem.
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post #725 of 790 Old 02-06-2020, 11:40 AM
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Sorry for the confusion, but this is THE authoritative thread on Recast and its supported devices. If you know of a better option, please let me know. I was hoping someone following this thread would have an answer since no one on the fanboy threads seems to.
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post #726 of 790 Old 02-06-2020, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
Sorry for the confusion, but this is THE authoritative thread on Recast and its supported devices. If you know of a better option, please let me know. I was hoping someone following this thread would have an answer since no one on the fanboy threads seems to.
No idea which other thread. Just didn't expect general Fire TV questions here, hence my confusion. Not much action over here anyway, so no harm done. May as well talk about the weather.
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post #727 of 790 Old 02-11-2020, 12:07 AM
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I thought I would throw in an anecdotal data point regarding the FireTV tuner. I have a single rooftop antenna, split through a distribution amplifier three ways. Two of the drops connect to Tivo Bolts, and the third to a four tuner recast. The last 48 hours have been strong north winds, which typically creates multipath issues due to movement of the tree canopy in the line of sight of the antenna. Lots of gust related breakups and macroblocking on the Bolt recordings, but much to my surprise, the Recast recordings of the same programs (despite the low signal strength warning) were clean.

My previous impression was that the recast tuner array was about the same as a four tuner bolt, and both devices were not as capable as an inboard ATSC tuner on a reputable brand TV. I have revised my opinion.

FWIW, I am primarily using the recast for viewing both live and time shifted recordings to one TV, located in a room without coax access to the antenna, nor ethernet connectivity. It has worked very well using a non 4K fire stick (with the volume adjustable remote) via wifi. I am in stucco exterior house, and the wire lathe turns the house into a faraday cage as far as indoor antennas are concerned.

The recast still has a few issues: the signal quality warnings should be issued as a message in the fire tv settings window, not as a popup or nag screen; and I still get the odd message that the recast is off line, when it hasn’t been.. but my overall impression to date has been very favorable. At some point, when the wife’s love of the Tivo wanes, or the 3 TB hard drive fails, the recast may become the primary dvr.
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post #728 of 790 Old 02-11-2020, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tapokata View Post
My previous impression was that the recast tuner array was about the same as a four tuner bolt, and both devices were not as capable as an inboard ATSC tuner on a reputable brand TV.
I found the Recast's tuners weren't as good (strong) as my TiVo Roamio's. So much so I couldn't get a solid signal on one channel I have never had an issue with TiVo. I did try removing the splitter (and re-aiming the antenna) however because of other issues (reasons I wouldn't swap) I didn't try an amp...

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post #729 of 790 Old 02-11-2020, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tapokata View Post
I thought I would throw in an anecdotal data point regarding the FireTV tuner. I have a single rooftop antenna, split through a distribution amplifier three ways. Two of the drops connect to Tivo Bolts, and the third to a four tuner recast. The last 48 hours have been strong north winds, which typically creates multipath issues due to movement of the tree canopy in the line of sight of the antenna. Lots of gust related breakups and macroblocking on the Bolt recordings, but much to my surprise, the Recast recordings of the same programs (despite the low signal strength warning) were clean.
The FireTV does not have a tuner. The Recast has a tuner.

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My previous impression was that the recast tuner array was about the same as a four tuner bolt, and both devices were not as capable as an inboard ATSC tuner on a reputable brand TV. I have revised my opinion.
Too hot can cause as many problems as to little. This surprises me. This morning, I started Cheyenne on my Echo Show as I moved from my bedroom to the kitchen. No issue with the TiVo, but failure (low signal) on the Show via the Recast.

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Originally Posted by tapokata View Post
FWIW, I am primarily using the recast for viewing both live and time shifted recordings to one TV, located in a room without coax access to the antenna, nor ethernet connectivity. It has worked very well using a non 4K fire stick (with the volume adjustable remote) via wifi. I am in stucco exterior house, and the wire lathe turns the house into a faraday cage as far as indoor antennas are concerned.
Same here. Secondary source for out of reach televisions and devices. I'm pretty happy, but I believe the tuners are far inferior to any other device I own.

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The recast still has a few issues: the signal quality warnings should be issued as a message in the fire tv settings window, not as a popup or nag screen; and I still get the odd message that the recast is off line, when it hasn’t been.. but my overall impression to date has been very favorable. At some point, when the wife’s love of the Tivo wanes, or the 3 TB hard drive fails, the recast may become the primary dvr.
Check this out: https://freetvforme.wordpress.com/20...-for-everyone/
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post #730 of 790 Old 02-11-2020, 04:41 PM
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The FireTV does not have a tuner. The Recast has a tuner.
Of course- brain fade. I blame the chemo.
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post #731 of 790 Old 02-12-2020, 02:01 PM
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Has there been any recent software updates on the Recast? Commercial skip or whatnot...

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post #732 of 790 Old 02-13-2020, 10:48 PM
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Has there been any recent software updates on the Recast? Commercial skip or whatnot...
Still showing Fire OS 6.2.6.8 on my recast. No commercial skip, yet. Last major upgrade, IIRC allowed for the use of user supplied USB drives for added storage.
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post #733 of 790 Old 02-28-2020, 11:02 PM
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Hi folks,

Just picked up a 4 tuner Recast and a couple of 4K Fire Sticks a couple of days ago. Installed one stick and the Recast on one tv to test them out and am pretty happy with the performance so far. Even at 720p the picture on the primary OTA channels rivals that of my Spectrum cable box at 1080i and looks better than the National Geographic channel that comes in at 720p. The tuner picked up 10 more channels than my tv tuner had also.

Question about installing the second stick now, the instructions said to install the Fire Stick before doing the Recast. Can I just unplug the Recast before installing the second stick, then
plug it back in or will I have to totally re-do the Recast set-up?

TIA band happy viewing!
Ish

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post #734 of 790 Old 02-29-2020, 05:07 AM
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When I installed my 2nd Fire Stick I did not disconnect my Recast. I just plugged in the Fire Stick, set it up, and within maybe 15 minutes, the FireStick found the Recast.

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Originally Posted by Ishniknork View Post
Hi folks,

Just picked up a 4 tuner Recast and a couple of 4K Fire Sticks a couple of days ago. Installed one stick and the Recast on one tv to test them out and am pretty happy with the performance so far. Even at 720p the picture on the primary OTA channels rivals that of my Spectrum cable box at 1080i and looks better than the National Geographic channel that comes in at 720p. The tuner picked up 10 more channels than my tv tuner had also.

Question about installing the second stick now, the instructions said to install the Fire Stick before doing the Recast. Can I just unplug the Recast before installing the second stick, then
plug it back in or will I have to totally re-do the Recast set-up?

TIA band happy viewing!
Ish
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post #735 of 790 Old 02-29-2020, 12:06 PM
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As noted above, no disconnect is necessary, and welcome to the Recast experience.

Remember that the Recast transcodes video on playback, using tuner signal paths for this process. Due to hardware limitations, the Recast can transcode only two unique programs concurrently. In other words, a four tuner Recast can record up to four unique programs concurrently, but that number declines with each time a tuner is used to playback a program (or live viewing, which essentially is the same). If you are using three Fire devices to view Recast programs at the same time, only two of those can be unique.

For example:

Watch live on firestick screen “A” and record three other channels at the same time
Watch different channels live on Firestick “A” or “B” and record two other channels at the same time

Trying to watch a live or recorded unique channel concurrently on a third Fire device will not work if the other two devices are actively playing a unique live or recorded stream.

We have four Fire devices in use (two sticks, and two FireTv televisions), but we are never watching more than two screens at the same time, so that is not a dealbreaker for our household.
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post #736 of 790 Old 02-29-2020, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lend27 View Post
When I installed my 2nd Fire Stick I did not disconnect my Recast. I just plugged in the Fire Stick, set it up, and within maybe 15 minutes, the FireStick found the Recast.
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As noted above, no disconnect is necessary, and welcome to the Recast experience.
Thanks for the tips Lend27 and tapokata, much appreciated Got the second Fire TV Stick 4K set up today and everything is working great so far. By the time I got through with set-up and back to the home screen it had already discovered the Recast DVR too.

I've got a LOT of exploring / experimenting to do with these things but I'm pretty sure this system is going to work great in place of my seriously overpriced cable TV service. He-he, looks like my cord cutting event is coming up real soon

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post #737 of 790 Old 03-04-2020, 01:19 PM
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So here is an oddity...

Using an Insignia FireTV, I was looking at the specs from the Insignia FireOS information screen, which is basically input resolution and audio format. So viewing any sub-channel not broadcast in HD:

a.) live (antenna) Insignia FireTV tuner feed, input resolution is displayed as 480i (as expected)
b.) live from Recast tuner, same feed, shows as 480p (also expected)
c.) recording of same broadcast, on playback, shows 576p

The FireTv is naturally scaling the source up to it’s native 4K display rate, so there is no obvious visual difference between live Recast 480p and Recorded 576p input. It may be an oddity or bug of the Insignia TV, and likely difficult to reproduce from using a FireTV 4Kstick, as that device scales from 720p to 2160p, and it’s that hdmi input default that is displayed by most TV sets. It is strange that the live from Recast and Recorded from Recast are showing different resolutions for the same source material, especially in that transcoding is always done on the fly (recorded at native MPEG resolution, and transcoded as the recording or live buffer is played back).

HD source recordings display at the expected transcode resolution of 720p rate.

Odd, and curious.
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post #738 of 790 Old 03-22-2020, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roginator5 View Post
It sounds like maybe your wifi is fighting to see which to use - the router or direct to the FireTV. (I could be wrong)

This was posted in the FireTV help forum:

"1. Rewind + left direction at the same time for 3 seconds, then release and press the menu button

2. An app will load, It may take a few seconds to load. Try again if not coming up after 10 seconds.

3. When the dialog is displayed, scroll to the bottom of the screen to find the network congestion optimizer checkbox. Uncheck the box to disable."
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I'm pleased to report you were not wrong. I downloaded the app, turned off network optimization, and everything started working correctly. Many thanks, Roginator5
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Originally Posted by dlflannery View Post
Can you please provide a link or directions to find this post or thread on that forum? TIA

EDIT: I found the thread:
https://www.amazonforum.com/forums/d...-in-large-home

And I see that doing this erases some configuration info and could require a reset to factory defaults. !?
BUMP: Very helpful info!

Many thanks to Roginator5, JT01 and dlflannery for posting this question and resolution/link. I'm sure glad I had read this whole thread before purchasing the Recast or I wouldn't have known about this hidden app and setting. (The darn setting should be in the main Network Settings Menu in the first place...)

I started having a lot, and I mean A LOT of buffering over the last couple of weeks and I remembered reading about turning off the network optimization "feature" . Since following these instructions to disable it the performance on my Recast has been very good. So good I can hardly tell any difference between the Recast and my Spectrum cable box.

One thing I'd like to note though. The instructions say to "uncheck" the box next to "Disable Network Optimization". My box was already unchecked so I had to click on it to "check" the box to disable the optimization feature.

Doing so did not erase any configuration info and I did not have to do any kind of reset, just clicked the reconnect button, waited for it to complete and then hit the reboot button. Now everything is great. Channels load faster and start out much clearer than before. It seems the optimize function was spending all it's time trying to figure out which way to go instead of letting the Recast do it's job.

Once again, many thanks to these folks for providing an essential fix for the Recast.

Happy Viewing!
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post #739 of 790 Old 03-23-2020, 05:15 AM
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I was getting some buffering on YTTV due to a weird problem with my router, so I decided to try to use the Recast to watch the evening news (because I need more bad news). It had been about a month since I tried to use it, and it apparently hadn't recorded anything in weeks. Might be time to put it up on craigslist if I cannot even count on it as a backup. I can't use it anyway when my ISP is down, so I am not sure what the point is in keeping it at this point.
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post #740 of 790 Old 03-23-2020, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
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I was getting some buffering on YTTV due to a weird problem with my router, so I decided to try to use the Recast to watch the evening news (because I need more bad news). It had been about a month since I tried to use it, and it apparently hadn't recorded anything in weeks. Might be time to put it up on craigslist if I cannot even count on it as a backup. I can't use it anyway when my ISP is down, so I am not sure what the point is in keeping it at this point.
Why can't you use it when your ISP is down? The Recast is for OTA broadcasts and should still function without internet.

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post #741 of 790 Old 03-23-2020, 02:19 PM
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Why can't you use it when your ISP is down? The Recast is for OTA broadcasts and should still function without internet.
You should be able to watch live and recorded TV without internet. New recordings are iffy, depending on how much of the schedule is still cached from the time internet was lost. If you have intermittent internet, an old school DVR+ or Iview is your best bet. Even Tivo needs internet now and then.

I'm fortunate that I haven't had anywhere near the number of issues @ncted has had. Still working ok for me. Though I did go through a period where it needed a hard reboot at least once a week. But that was a while back.

If they would just get rid of that damn "weak signal" warning and keep the Pluto guide updated, I'd be happy.
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post #742 of 790 Old 03-23-2020, 03:07 PM
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Why can't you use it when your ISP is down? The Recast is for OTA broadcasts and should still function without internet.
The Recast cannot seem to talk to the firesticks, including the one on the same switch as the recast, if the default route doesn't pass traffic. My AT&T Fiber RG does not pass traffic on the home network (LAN side) if there is no WAN connectivity. I tried disconnecting the ethernet from all the Amazon devices, so they would fall back to WiFi, but that didn't work.
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post #743 of 790 Old 04-14-2020, 05:09 AM
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I went looking for a recording that YTTV missed last week (engineers are supposedly working on the problem), and amazingly, the Recast had it, but I found that 3 of my 4 Firestick 4Ks were stuck in some kind of upgrade loop. I was able to break one of them out of the loop, but now it won't connect to my home network via the ethernet adapter.
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post #744 of 790 Old 04-16-2020, 07:06 AM
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I was able to fix one of my Firesticks and reset it to factory defaults, but it still does not see its ethernet connection.
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post #745 of 790 Old 04-17-2020, 07:53 AM
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I was able to fix one of my Firesticks and reset it to factory defaults, but it still does not see its ethernet connection.
How are you supplying power to the Ethernet adapter/Firestick? Using the USB connector on the TV, or even the power supply provided with the Firestick, are sometimes not enough for reliable network connectivity. Nothing stresses the Firestick more than the network power draw, and networking is everything on a streaming device. I had to switch to a 1.2a power adapter to stabilize my network connection.

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How are you supplying power to the Ethernet adapter/Firestick? Using the USB connector on the TV, or even the power supply provided with the Firestick, are sometimes not enough for reliable network connectivity. Nothing stresses the Firestick more than the network power draw, and networking is everything on a streaming device. I had to switch to a 1.2a power adapter to stabilize my network connection.

I am using the power supply that came with the Firestick 4K.
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post #747 of 790 Old 04-17-2020, 08:08 AM
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I am using the power supply that came with the Firestick 4K.
Yeah, that PS is only 1a, and it's not enough even without the Ethernet dongle. I'm not sure why Amazon supplies an underpowered unit by default. Replace it with a 1.2a adapter and that may fix your issue.

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post #748 of 790 Old 04-17-2020, 08:57 AM
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Yeah, that PS is only 1a, and it's not enough even without the Ethernet dongle. I'm not sure why Amazon supplies an underpowered unit by default. Replace it with a 1.2a adapter and that may fix your issue.

That is ridiculous. I have switched over to Roku for everything at this point anyway, so not a huge deal, but it is still annoying to hear about this limitation.
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post #749 of 790 Old 04-17-2020, 09:05 AM
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That is ridiculous. I have switched over to Roku for everything at this point anyway, so not a huge deal, but it is still annoying to hear about this limitation.
Well, the only limitation is the supplied adapter, not the Firestick itself, and it's easily and cheaply fixed. I had plenty of extra adapters laying around anyway, so replacing both of mine didn't cost me anything.

And Amazon used to supply 1.2a adapters with its older devices, so maybe they changed vendors to manufacture their current adapters and chose poorly. They've had plenty of grief about it on the Web, but they're probably too big to care anymore.

I love my Firestick 4K and its integration with the Recast, so I live with these occasional anomalies that are fairly easily addressed.

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post #750 of 790 Old 04-17-2020, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncted View Post
I was able to fix one of my Firesticks and reset it to factory defaults, but it still does not see its ethernet connection.
What ethernet adapter are you using? The Amazon adapter should work and there are some after-market Gigabit adapters that work, but there are other after-market adapters that don't work or are very unreliable, probably due to chipset incompatiblities.
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