Amazon RECAST OTA DVR formerly known as "Frank" - Page 7 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #181 of 650 Old 11-28-2018, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Lend27 View Post
I am having difficulty with voice going out of sync with video on a regular basis.
I am using a FTV4KS along with Recast. This happens mostly on OTA channels but sometimes also on PlayStation Vue.
If I change channels it goes back into sync, but it’s a real PITA.
Anyone having same issue?
Any recommended fixes?
I already tried what Amazon recommends to no avail.

Thanks,
Len
Yes!

I have seen that problem across all my Fire TV's that are hooked to 4k sets. It's not just my Recast, but PS Vue, Prime Video and Netflix.

It started in the last big update. I found that shutting off the Frame Rate matching in the Fire TV Display settings corrects the issue for me.

Stephen
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post #182 of 650 Old 11-28-2018, 06:58 AM
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I pre-ordered the Recast back in early November and got it on release day. So far I'm pretty happy with it as it's giving me the ability to have live TV on more sets than with my U-Verse (which I'm ditching). Suprisingly, or not, in spite of occasional/momentary soft picture, the PQ is better than the U-verse boxes. I'm one of the lucky Fiber to the Home users, so I expect better from AT&T.

Between the Recast & PS VUE with their fairly seemless integration to the FTV ecosystem, I'm cutting the cord. It'll save me about $50 a month and I'll have (more or less) the same stations.

I too got the $60 credit for the pre-order on the 4-tuner version. I used that to get a FireTV Cube for my Living Room at no cost since they've been on sale for 60 bucks. I might be able to pull my harmony hub out as the FireTV cubes (albeit limited) remote control capabilities are doing everything I need since I'll be down to 2 sources in that room (Fire TV and Xbox1x).

So far, I like the recast quite a bit as it is. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with it as it matures.
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post #183 of 650 Old 11-28-2018, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Roginator5 View Post
I got one of the 4-tuner Recasts and can get the local stations I'm interested in.

BUT the picture on a good 55" TV is pretty awful for the most part. The compression renders the picture painful to watch for me. It's a bit better on a smaller 48" TV watched at a greater distance. ...
How strange. I'm watching on a 55" Samsung TV. I honestly can't see the difference between the Recast and my $130 per month Comcast service. The Recast picture looks great to me. Is it your antenna?
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post #184 of 650 Old 11-28-2018, 06:28 PM
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Mine also looks sharp on a 55" screen. Perhaps he has network speed issues. It will show obvious compression and lower res if you have low bandwidth. So I think moving the Fire Stick around for stronger wifi would also be worth a try.
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post #185 of 650 Old 11-28-2018, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
Mine also looks sharp on a 55" screen. Perhaps he has network speed issues. It will show obvious compression and lower res if you have low bandwidth. So I think moving the Fire Stick around for stronger wifi would also be worth a try.
You guys must have really heavy compression on your cable services if you think the Recast is as good or better than those cable services are.

I can recall the horrible picture on DishNetwork at my dad's house. They compressed the heck out of some channels. The common complaint was "clay faces" where faces were devoid of any detail and had a weird coloration.

I use a small cable company which compresses most (all?) channels, but not horribly so.

The ONLY situation where the Recast shines is with animated shows like The Simpsons. When you apply a 10Mbps compression to something that only requires a fraction of that you get an excellent, sharp picture. Just a tiny bit worse than OTA.

I look forward to the day they come out with a Recast and FireTV stick combo which can handle full resolution OTA broadcasts. I'll probably buy another one. Until then, it'll be a backup to Windows Media Center.
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post #186 of 650 Old 11-29-2018, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Roginator5 View Post
You guys must have really heavy compression on your cable services if you think the Recast is as good or better than those cable services are.

I can recall the horrible picture on DishNetwork at my dad's house. They compressed the heck out of some channels. The common complaint was "clay faces" where faces were devoid of any detail and had a weird coloration.

I use a small cable company which compresses most (all?) channels, but not horribly so.

The ONLY situation where the Recast shines is with animated shows like The Simpsons. When you apply a 10Mbps compression to something that only requires a fraction of that you get an excellent, sharp picture. Just a tiny bit worse than OTA.

I look forward to the day they come out with a Recast and FireTV stick combo which can handle full resolution OTA broadcasts. I'll probably buy another one. Until then, it'll be a backup to Windows Media Center.
I have no idea of my compression rates on Comcast, only that we watched the Recast for 7 days and noticed no quality issues whatsoever.
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post #187 of 650 Old 11-29-2018, 01:21 PM
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I purchased a Recast durring the Black Friday sale. I have 2 outdoor antennas pointed in different directions, so used a combiner to get the 2 signals down to one for input into the Recast. Set it up last Sunday using an Ethernet cable and the phone app -all went well. Tested it with the Fire TV (pendant style) via wifi on my basement Vizio tv - perfect. (For clarity's sake, Recast is hard-wired to my Netgear Nighthawk router, Fire TV connects to router via wi-fi) Then tested it via wifi on the Fire TV 4K on my main Vizio tv upstairs in the living room - major problems. The FTV4K recognizes the Recast and will play the live streams and recordings, but so much buffering is going it's unwatchable. The circle comes on - the stream plays for a few seconds - the circle comes back - plays again for a few seconds, etc. I have no problem with Netflix, Prime Video, or Youtube on the FT4K, all of which have higher resolution (more data) than the Recast and the distance from my NetGear Nighthawk router to the FTV4K is shorter than to the basement FTV. Occasionally, the FTV4K will lose the connection with the Recast, then connect again -don't know why. As I said, Netflix,etc is coming off the same router to the FTV4K, no problem. Recast from the router to the basement FTV, no problem. Recast from the router to the living room FTV4K - big problem.

I have ordered a Amazon ethernet adapter for the FTV4K in the hope that will fix the problem, but the Recast works so well with the basement FTV that I'm beginning to think the FTV4K is defective, although I only have problems with it and the Recast. All suggestions appreciated - thanks in advance for your help.
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post #188 of 650 Old 11-29-2018, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
Mine also looks sharp on a 55" screen. Perhaps he has network speed issues. It will show obvious compression and lower res if you have low bandwidth. So I think moving the Fire Stick around for stronger wifi would also be worth a try.
Those complaining might be using the 4k stick. The 4k stick has a known issues with the Recast that causes what may appear to be compression issues. Those with older Fire TV devices will likely receive better picture quality than the 4k stick until Amazon fixes this issue.

(although Broadcast TV can only be 1080i or 720p, some cable companies may receive a 1080p signal from the broadcaster, and then most likely compress that and send it down the line coming out with something slightly better than 720p signal. But if your seeing much worse than OTA signal there must be other issues involved. Mine looks very similar to the OTA signal)
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post #189 of 650 Old 11-29-2018, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JH64 View Post
How strange. I'm watching on a 55" Samsung TV. I honestly can't see the difference between the Recast and my $130 per month Comcast service. The Recast picture looks great to me. Is it your antenna?
As Roginator5 pointed out, comparing the Recast to cable isn't the best comparison. With cable, you don't get what you pay for - OTA is almost always a better picture, unless you're signal is so weak you're getting frequent pixelation and freezes. So if the Recast looks the same as cable, that may not be such good news.

If you can run an antenna cable down to your TV, you could compare the Recast with your TV's own tuner. You'd probably find the TV tuner's picture looks better, at least on 1080i channels....

Still, the Recast's PQ may be plenty good enough, depending on how big (or small) your screen is and what you're used to.
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post #190 of 650 Old 11-29-2018, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
As Roginator5 pointed out, comparing the Recast to cable isn't the best comparison. With cable, you don't get what you pay for - OTA is almost always a better picture, unless you're signal is so weak you're getting frequent pixelation and freezes. So if the Recast looks the same as cable, that may not be such good news.

If you can run an antenna cable down to your TV, you could compare the Recast with your TV's own tuner. You'd probably find the TV tuner's picture looks better, at least on 1080i channels....

Still, the Recast's PQ may be plenty good enough, depending on how big (or small) your screen is and what you're used to.
Understood, Comcast may dumb down OTA signals. However, I didnt run an antenna to my TV tuner to compare its signal with Comcast for 5 yrs, so I'm in no rush to do so for the Recast.

My response was to relate my experiences as the poster was claiming his Recast was close to unwatchable. My experience is the opposite. My Recast signal is very watchable, and as good as my Xfinity X1 box. And for me, that's very good news.
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post #191 of 650 Old 11-29-2018, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JT01 View Post
I purchased a Recast durring the Black Friday sale. I have 2 outdoor antennas pointed in different directions, so used a combiner to get the 2 signals down to one for input into the Recast. Set it up last Sunday using an Ethernet cable and the phone app -all went well. Tested it with the Fire TV (pendant style) via wifi on my basement Vizio tv - perfect. (For clarity's sake, Recast is hard-wired to my Netgear Nighthawk router, Fire TV connects to router via wi-fi) Then tested it via wifi on the Fire TV 4K on my main Vizio tv upstairs in the living room - major problems. The FTV4K recognizes the Recast and will play the live streams and recordings, but so much buffering is going it's unwatchable. The circle comes on - the stream plays for a few seconds - the circle comes back - plays again for a few seconds, etc. I have no problem with Netflix, Prime Video, or Youtube on the FT4K, all of which have higher resolution (more data) than the Recast and the distance from my NetGear Nighthawk router to the FTV4K is shorter than to the basement FTV. Occasionally, the FTV4K will lose the connection with the Recast, then connect again -don't know why. As I said, Netflix,etc is coming off the same router to the FTV4K, no problem. Recast from the router to the basement FTV, no problem. Recast from the router to the living room FTV4K - big problem.

I have ordered a Amazon ethernet adapter for the FTV4K in the hope that will fix the problem, but the Recast works so well with the basement FTV that I'm beginning to think the FTV4K is defective, although I only have problems with it and the Recast. All suggestions appreciated - thanks in advance for your help.
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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post #192 of 650 Old 11-29-2018, 07:30 PM
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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)

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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post #193 of 650 Old 11-30-2018, 02:13 AM
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Ethernet vs. wifi

It turns out the ethernet adapter I got was a waste of money. The FireTV 4K and pendant style both use 802.11ac. Way faster than the ethernet speed I was getting from my router. Surprisingly, fast.com showed I was getting around 30-40Mbps from ethernet and 150Mbps from wifi. I only get 150Mbps from my ISP, so that looks oddly high.

30Mbps is fine for streaming, but I feel the need for speed!

It's weird the FireTV 4K still only has 10/100 ethernet. I would have expected 10/100/1000. But I guess for $34.99 we can't expect gold plating.
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post #194 of 650 Old 11-30-2018, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Roginator5 View Post
It turns out the ethernet adapter I got was a waste of money. The FireTV 4K and pendant style both use 802.11ac. Way faster than the ethernet speed I was getting from my router. Surprisingly, fast.com showed I was getting around 30-40Mbps from ethernet and 150Mbps from wifi. I only get 150Mbps from my ISP, so that looks oddly high.

30Mbps is fine for streaming, but I feel the need for speed!

It's weird the FireTV 4K still only has 10/100 ethernet. I would have expected 10/100/1000. But I guess for $34.99 we can't expect gold plating.
It seems topsy-turvy. I get 30-40MBps over Wifi, and 100+MBps over Ethernet. But my Wifi signal isnt the most reliable. It randomly "drops" so I use Ethernet.

I also have an issue where my 100+ Ethernet connection has dropped to around 20Mbps. I ran a CAT5 cable under the house and I have the feeling the issue is either in my crimping of the end connectors, or a mouse has a taste for cabling. It ran 100+ for the longest time.
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post #195 of 650 Old 11-30-2018, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by JT01 View Post
I have 2 outdoor antennas pointed in different directions, so used a combiner to get the 2 signals down to one for input into the Recast.
That makes me wonder: it it possible to have two Recasts on the same network? Of course each Recast would only be able to record from the antenna it's connected to, but does each Fire TV have to be bound to one particular Recast, or can you access both Recasts from one Fire TV?
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post #196 of 650 Old 11-30-2018, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
That makes me wonder: it it possible to have two Recasts on the same network? Of course each Recast would only be able to record from the antenna it's connected to, but does each Fire TV have to be bound to one particular Recast, or can you access both Recasts from one Fire TV?
I believe Amazon only allows one Recast per Prime account.
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post #197 of 650 Old 12-01-2018, 06:59 AM
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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."
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. !?

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post #198 of 650 Old 12-01-2018, 09:33 AM
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"Connected Home?" Bah! Maybe I'm just too old, but I cannot understand why a wall clock or microwave oven should ever be connected to the freaking Internet!

I have a wall clock on my kitchen wall. It tells me the time, date, indoor and outdoor temperature; even the phase of the moon! The date & time are exact to the second because it syncs itself to WWVB every night. It even handles DST on its own. All I ever have to do is change the batteries every few years when it tells me to. The outdoor temperature comes from an outside thermometer gizmo that transmits to the clock at 900 MHz. It tells me when to change those batteries too. None of that needs the Internet.

Now, if I also wanted a weather forecast on the face of that clock, I could understand involving the Internet - but then it's not a wall clock anymore; it's essentially a TV tuned to a weather channel. I have one of those in my kitchen too, and it doesn't need the Internet either; just a TV antenna.

Kellyanne Conway once claimed our microwave ovens were spying on us. I thought that was one of the stupidest things I'd ever heard - but a voice activated, Internet-connected microwave oven actually could spy on you! Voice activation I dig, but what could possibly be the advantage of hooking a microwave oven to the Internet?
I have similar clocks. But mine will not connect to WWVB. It can't get a signal from my basement condo. So I wish they connected to the Internet. The same for a microwave. Any device that has a clock, I would like it to connect to the Internet. That way I know the clock will always be right. Otherwise the time will drift faster or slower over time and will need to be manually corrected. Like with my wall clocks, microwave, and stove.

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post #199 of 650 Old 12-01-2018, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
As Roginator5 pointed out, comparing the Recast to cable isn't the best comparison. With cable, you don't get what you pay for - OTA is almost always a better picture, unless you're signal is so weak you're getting frequent pixelation and freezes. So if the Recast looks the same as cable, that may not be such good news.

If you can run an antenna cable down to your TV, you could compare the Recast with your TV's own tuner. You'd probably find the TV tuner's picture looks better, at least on 1080i channels....

Still, the Recast's PQ may be plenty good enough, depending on how big (or small) your screen is and what you're used to.
FiOS still broadcasts at the same bitrate of the local channels. Any OTA recording I make with my TiVos, is identical in size to the recording I make from my TiVos on FiOS.

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post #200 of 650 Old 12-01-2018, 09:43 AM
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How strange. I'm watching on a 55" Samsung TV. I honestly can't see the difference between the Recast and my $130 per month Comcast service. The Recast picture looks great to me. Is it your antenna?
That's because Comcast converts everything to 720P now. As well as H.264. So any 1080i OTA station is re-encoded to H.264 and down converted to 720P before being sent over the cable system. And then they also lower the bitrate more than it should for the change to H.264. Which all results in lower quality. There is a big difference in my area between the picture quality from OTA stations broadcast on Comcast and the OTA stations broadcast on FiOS(which is identical to actual OTA signal.)

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Need for Tuners

My pre-set recordings for tonite show why a 4 tuner model,of whatever system you may prefer, is easily going to become a necessity.

My series recordings tonite are all episodes of Columbo, Hunter, and Svengoolie. I have a buffer of 1 minute following the scheduled end time, and none before.

Columbo 7-8:31 Tuner 1
Hunter 8-9:01 Tuner 2
Svengoolie 9-10:01 Tuner 3
Columbo 8:30-10:01 Tuner 4
Hunter 9-10:01Tuner 1
Hunter 10-11:01 Tuner 2

The buffering of a minute or two before/after a recording can easily tie up a tuner you may have thought would be available.

I always Reccomend spending a bit more for extra tuners when available. The difference between the 2 and 4 tuner recast isn't much, plus you get the increased storage space.

Just wanted to present a real world situation.
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post #202 of 650 Old 12-01-2018, 12:26 PM
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The buffering of a minute or two before/after a recording can easily tie up a tuner you may have thought would be available.
I always Reccomend spending a bit more for extra tuners when available. The difference between the 2 and 4 tuner recast isn't much, plus you get the increased storage space.
Just wanted to present a real world situation.
I have no argument with your procedure. On Tuesday, I record CBS from 8pm to 11pm. On a normal week those three programs need no padding. Each ends with "Next week on...". While you may wish to record that part, I save space and tuners by not doing any padding.
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post #203 of 650 Old 12-01-2018, 01:34 PM
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I have similar clocks. But mine will not connect to WWVB. It can't get a signal from my basement condo. So I wish they connected to the Internet. The same for a microwave. Any device that has a clock, I would like it to connect to the Internet. That way I know the clock will always be right. Otherwise the time will drift faster or slower over time and will need to be manually corrected. Like with my wall clocks, microwave, and stove.
Amazing in this day and age that clocks in consumer devices, appliances, cars, computers, etc. can't keep reliable time. The old electric alarm clock I had as a kid in the early '60s never seemed to vary...of course they were synced to the 60 Hz power line frequency which is very accurate over time.
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post #204 of 650 Old 12-01-2018, 04:47 PM
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Better PQ?

Live picture quality today on the Alabama/Georgia game seemed better than usual. It actually looked acceptable. It was from local CBS station originally 1080i.

It DID have dropped frames on commercial breaks, but who cares about those?

Maybe they sent a patch through.

This was on the pendant-style FireTV. I haven't checked the FireTV 4K.

EDIT: Watching the RECORDING on the FireTV 4K, the picture was still acceptable and the commercials didn't exhibit dropped frames.

If you access that secret screen, it LOOKS like MAYBE a new version was pushed to the FireTVs this morning?

Someday maybe we'll know the hidden secrets. But I am pleased with how it looks now. Not QUITE as good as OTA, but pretty good.

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post #205 of 650 Old 12-01-2018, 05:26 PM
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"Connected Home?" Bah! Maybe I'm just too old, but I cannot understand why a wall clock or microwave oven should ever be connected to the freaking Internet!

I have a wall clock on my kitchen wall. It tells me the time, date, indoor and outdoor temperature; even the phase of the moon! The date & time are exact to the second because it syncs itself to WWVB every night. It even handles DST on its own. All I ever have to do is change the batteries every few years when it tells me to. The outdoor temperature comes from an outside thermometer gizmo that transmits to the clock at 900 MHz. It tells me when to change those batteries too. None of that needs the Internet.
Welp... if you want "atomic clocks" you might have to accept a net connected clock.. or hope some one comes up with an NTP to wwvb device, or GPS to wwvb to mimic the signals needed by those...

WWVB could be shut down, if the internal budget feud at NIST doesn't get resolved...

https://www.voanews.com/a/time-may-b...s/4554376.html

https://www.dslreports.com/forum/r32...ep-15-Deadline

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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Now, if I also wanted a weather forecast on the face of that clock, I could understand involving the Internet - but then it's not a wall clock anymore; it's essentially a TV tuned to a weather channel. I have one of those in my kitchen too, and it doesn't need the Internet either; just a TV antenna.
You need a personal WX station.. tells you all you need to know. Some of the newer ones can fetch data to display, as well as display local conditions for an educated user to make use of.


As for the microphones on all that stuff.. nope... never going to happen...

Notice: I no longer provide assistance in re OTA antenna and RF related queries.
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post #206 of 650 Old 12-02-2018, 10:46 AM
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Does anyone else have issues with the Recast tuning to ABC or NBC using voice commands? When I say "Alexa tune Fox" or "Alexa tune CBS," it takes me directly to the live channel. When I say "Alexa tune ABC," it announces "Here's what I found" and takes me to a screen showing some kids cartoons and below those, it will show ABC as a station. When I say "Alexa tune NBC," it normally announces, I didn't understand that.

I have been able to get it to go to ABC if I say "Alexa tune ABC television."
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post #207 of 650 Old 12-02-2018, 11:38 AM
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“Watch ABC” works for me.
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post #208 of 650 Old 12-03-2018, 06:43 AM
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Amazon RECAST OTA DVR

I want to see one of these. It looks like Best Buy is the only brick and mortar store near me that carries these. Has anybody else seen these at other local retailers yet?

Even though I have DirecTV Now, which carries my main local OTA broadcast channels, I still like having my Slingbox PRO-HD and 500. Here are a couple of reasons:

-The Slingbox app has an Audio Only (AO) mode. There are times I only want to listen to audio and want or need the video. For example, if I am driving in my pickup truck, I can listen to a program. It is obviously neither safe, nor legal in Minnesota, to watch the video while in motion. AO uses less battery power AND less data.

-Slingbox doesn't seem to care where I watch, whether I am located in my home market (DMA) or not. Although I don't travel a long ways from home very often, when I have, I might still want to listen to things on my local home channels. With DirecTV Now, I can't watch my local channels when I am out of my market.

Does the Amazon RECAST allow streaming of local, over the air channels, out of your home market?

Last edited by Jim1348; 12-03-2018 at 07:52 AM.
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post #209 of 650 Old 12-03-2018, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
Does the Amazon RECAST allow streaming of local, over the air channels, out of your home market?

I've used the Fire TV Android app to access ota and recordings from my Recast approximately 30 miles from my home, and it works pretty well. However, this is still within the coverage area of my local channels and I don't know what (if any) location limits Amazon is placing on phone access. Maybe someone else has tried it farther away?

Last edited by JT01; 12-03-2018 at 02:07 PM.
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post #210 of 650 Old 12-03-2018, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
Does the Amazon RECAST allow streaming of local, over the air channels, out of your home market?
There's no mention of any restrictions on watching with your mobile app.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custo...HBR6YWBHRD799N
If its a deal-breaker you should contact Amazon and ask.
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