The Amazon Fire TV Recast DVR is Discontinued. What Should I Do With It Now?

by | Last updated Sep 14, 2023

Back in August 2022, Amazon confirmed to TechHive that it was discontinuing the Amazon Fire TV Recast DVR:

We are constantly evaluating our product and service offerings to best serve the evolving needs of our customers. Many of the features offered by the Recast are now available through other apps on Fire TV, and we are focusing our efforts and resources on other Fire TV devices and services that provide great value to our customers.

Amazon, via TechHive

I thought this was a shame because Recast was a solid broadcast TV DVR that had great integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Despite what Amazon said in their statement, there isn’t really a replacement “app” for what the Recast did, namely, record broadcast TV shows on a local hard drive.

If you own a Recast, here are some things you might want to consider for your next steps.

1. Keep Using It Until It Stops Working

If you want to keep using your Recast, you can for now. Amazon has committed to providing software security updates through at least 2026.

However, that doesn’t mean they’ll diligently keep up with bug fixes maintaining the channel guide. Already there have been some reports of series recording not working on the Recast. Amazon said they were aware of the problem, but users have still reported it being broken.

With the announced layoffs in Amazon’s hardware division, it’s hard to imagine that maintaining an end-of-life hardware product is going to be high priority moving forward.

So, using your Recast until it breaks is indeed an option, but check from time to time to make sure the features you use are indeed still working.

2. Sell It

Right now, used and working Recast devices are pretty hot on eBay. A 500GB 2-tuner model can sell for over $200!

Some insane prices for used Recasts on eBay
Some insane prices for used Recasts on eBay

So, if you want to “cash out”, now is the time to do it. If you wait until features (like the channel guide) start breaking, undoubtedly the price will plummet and you might be left with a brick (with a little value, see next item).

I actually sold mine on eBay and got over $200! Unfortunately, it must have gotten damaged during shipping because it was dead on arrival at the purchaser. So, I had to issue a refund and take a loss on the shipping and fees, which was a bummer. But, it wasn’t a total loss, as you will see.


3. Gut It and Re-Purpose the Hard Drive (if your unit isn’t working)

If and when your Recast stops working (like mine), you could gut it for parts, mainly the hard drive if you’re tech-savvy. The Recast uses a 2.5″ 5400RPM Western Digital laptop hard drive rated at 3Gb/s.

Here are some good instructions on how to disassemble a Recast. Basically, peel off the corners of the rubber feet to reveal screws. After unscrewing and removing the cover, probably the hardest part is sliding the inner assembly out of the box. The article tells you where to press to do this. Everything after that is a piece of cake.

My gutted Amazon Fire TV Recast, minus hard drive
My gutted Amazon Fire TV Recast, minus hard drive

From there, you can remove the drive and swap it into an old laptop to give it some new life. Or, much easier, do what I did, which is pop it into a USB caddy (readily available from Amazon – here’s one I recommend) to turn it into a portable USB hard drive. When I plugged the caddy into my Mac, it was able to format it. My Windows machine didn’t immediately recognize the drive, but I bet there is some utility that allows you to format it.

Hard drive from the Amazon Fire TV Recast
Hard drive from the Amazon Fire TV Recast inside of a USB caddy

There’s one thing that makes these drives extra special. Western Digital calls them “Digital Video Drives” because they are optimized to capture up to 12 simultaneous HD video streams with low temperature and high reliability.

Given that, these drives are perfect to use with a Tablo, which is what I’m doing, or another DVR like the AirTV 2 that accepts USB hard drives! It works great in both of these DVRs, and I no longer need a separate power supply for my drive, making the whole thing less cluttered. The drive gets power right from the USB port and is really quiet!

Tablo with external drive from my gutted Amazon Fire TV Recast!
Tablo with external drive from my gutted Amazon Fire TV Recast!

It’s kind of fitting that I’m using the hard drive from one DVR as the hard drive for another!

I’m also going to hang onto the power supply and fan in case I can use them for some other project.


More About the Tablo DVR

If you choose to sell your Recast, I’d recommend getting a Tablo to replace it.

I’ve been using Tablo DVRs for years and they’ve worked well for me. They’re easy to use, and you can attach external storage, which makes your storage capacity pretty darn huge. Read my full review of Tablo:

Conclusion

What are you going to do with YOUR Amazon Fire TV Recast? Let me know in the comments. – Brian


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Brian Shim, DisableMyCable.com

I'm an electrical engineer (BSEE Caltech) with twenty years of experience designing industrial and consumer products, and now a web developer who loves to share ways to save money on TV content, Internet access, and cell phone plans! Read more about me here.

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22 Comments
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KC
KC
1 month ago

Brian, I have a FIRE TV RECAST 500GB need better instructions or video how to set this up
Instructions says I need a window antenna (why) distance is pretty long any way of using a wifi signal to do this? I am streaming programs antenna is wifi.
Am I better off selling this on Ebay?

Rudolf Goetz
Rudolf Goetz
2 months ago

Hi Brian,
Just happen to come across your post on Tablo.
We have an aging Magnavox HDD that sends the antenna-recorded video over HDMI to our LG smart TV without any WebOS issues. Unfortunately, it recently started having playback problems.
Looking at Tablo as potential replacement, but their note about not working with LG WebOS is troubling me.
I could physically connect Tablo with USB or Ethernet to my LG TV, but is the “Tablo note” saying that the TV will not be able to receive anything from their box?
What if I just use an Ethernet to HDMI adapter? Wouldn’t that work just the same as with our current HDD?
Any insight would be much appreciated.
Sincerely,
Rudy

Rudy Goetz
Rudy Goetz
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Shim

Hi Brian,
Thanks for your reply.
So you think the ONN streamer would essentially de-couple the LG WebOS issues from the Tablo and thus make it work like any other non-problematic TV?

Regards,
Rudy

Rudy Goetz
Rudy Goetz
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Shim

OK, Thank you Brian.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it true that the ONN streamer comes only into play for internet-based content?
For on-air antenna content to be recorded and played back, Tablo does not need the streamer stick?
Or is there a more fundamental problem with WebOS that affects Tablo com to the TV over Ethernet and/or USB?

Regards,
Rudy

Rudy Goetz
Rudy Goetz
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Shim

OK, I understand now.
Would be nice if Tablo folks would mention that somewhere.
BTW, I was told yesterday by a Tablo rep that they now have gen 4 working with Roku, which I have.
We’ll see how it goes.

Thank you so much for your support and insight.
Regards,
Rudy

Jimmy
Jimmy
3 months ago

Hi Brian, I couldn’t get my Tablo to record my local antena stations. Is there a way to do that?
48067

Jimmy
Jimmy
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Shim

Thank you. It is brand new white gen 4. We have rescanned channels multiple times but it won’t recognize the channels that my current antenna was picking up before. Do we have to have the Tablo antenna or can we use our other one?

Jimmy
Jimmy
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Shim

Thank you Brian!

Kathy
Kathy
3 months ago

I attached my TV antenna to my Recast so all my TVs are able to get local channels. What app replaces that ability? I’ll be using mine until it dies.

Joe
Joe
6 months ago

I bought mine at a yard sale 2 years ago and never hook it up. I finally hooked it up 3 months ago. I love it. I hope it last for many years!

Irnie
Irnie
6 months ago

I got mine two years ago and at first the problems were frustrating, but after the issues subsided, it’s been great! I hope Amazon brings these back as these are so easy to use that even they non-tech savvy people in my home can use it without being frustrated(of course after the issues went away for us). I’m going to use ours until it dies.

Hans Hilpertshauser
Hans Hilpertshauser
7 months ago

Love mine. I hope that it will continue to work for a long time down the road. I have not run into any issues whatsoever. Its a shame that this didn’t take off. When I first heard of it I thought it was way overpriced for what it was. Once I got my hands on it 2 years ago I can’t recommend it enough. I hope that Amazon considers doing a new version down the road as everyone I know that owns one because of me really loves it and hasn’t looked back.

Richard
Richard
7 months ago

To me, the big advantage to the Recast/Fire stick is that my aging parents can turn on the TV, access over the air TV, streaming services, and DVR with ONE REMOTE.

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