Amazon used its fall event in Seattle on Thursday to announce a network-connected DVR. Dubbed the Fire TV Recast, the device is capable of recording free over-the-air broadcast programming and streaming it to multiple devices.
Fire TV Recast will cost $229.99 for a two-tuner version with an integrated 500GB hard drive. The company will also sell a four-tuner version with a 1TB hard drive, which is able to record up to four shows at a time, for $279.99 in November. The company also has plans to extend storage of both devices with the option to connect an external hard drive, but this feature won’t be available at launch.
In many ways, Fire TV Recast is very similar to Tablo’s network-connected DVR for cord cutters. As such, it will have to deal with some of the same issues that other networked DVRs have faced before. Many consumers still aren’t quite used to DVRs that don’t plug directly into their TV, and anyone ditching their cable subscription may be underwhelmed by the programming available on broadcast channels.
Amazon is looking to mitigate some of those issues by closely integrating Fire TV Recast with its existing devices. Echo Show owners will be able to stream broadcast recordings straight to their smart display, and Amazon is promising to simplify DVR control with its Alexa voice assistant.
The company is also sweetening the deal by offering Fire TV Recast without any additional monthly fees. The makers of competing DVRs tend to charge consumers monthly fees for access to their programming guide, which can range anywhere from $5 to $15 a month.
Word of Amazon working on a networked DVR first broke in August, when Bloomberg reported about the plans.
Amazon also used Thursday’s events to announce a plethora of other devices, including a subwoofer, a Hi-Fi receiver, an amplifier, an audio adapter, and revamped versions of its Echo Plus and Echo Show devices.
Update: 4:15 p.m. PT: This post was updated with additional information on the 1TB version of the Fire TV Recast.