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Amazon Working on Tablo-Like Networked DVR (Report)

Amazon is working on a networked DVR for live broadcast programming, Bloomberg reported Friday. There is no release date for the device yet, with Bloomberg noting that the company may still decide not to release the product at all.

The device is being built by Amazon’s Lab 126 unit, which already developed the company’s Fire TV and Echo products. It is internally known as “Frank,” according to the report.

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bloomberg likened Amazon’s DVR to TiVo’s retail products, but the features described in the article make it sound more like networked DVRs offered by upstarts like Tablo. The DVR would be able to stream recorded programming to mobile devices, and also interact with existing Fire TV devices over a consumer’s home network.

Traditional DVRs like those made by TiVo are usually plugged directly into a TV, and come with their own user interface. Networked DVRs on the other hand can be placed anywhere in a consumer’s home, usually come without a HDMI port, and stream recorded programming to existing smart TVs, streaming sticks and mobile devices.

Amazon has increasingly been adding network programming to its Fire TV devices via its Amazon Channels store, which the company uses to resell video subscription services. Some of the networks available via Amazon Channels include HBO, Showtime and Cinemax.

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However, Amazon is not able to offer local broadcast programming on an a la carte basis. A DVR that makes use of free over-the-air programming could close that gap, and offer fire TV owners access to networks like ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

 

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