Advertisements Introduction With no overriding logic I decided to give Amazon Recast a tryout and see if I prefer it over TiVo. In my case a Roamio TE4 with blocked guide ads ($199 with Lifetime) and a Amazon Recast ($179 / Fire TV 4K free). This post will be more of a log versus a review with miscellaneous updates. To a large degree the swap process is routed in the bad taste from ads and change for the sake of change... something different. For the time being I'll be running both in parallel with day to day usage almost exclusively the Recast. After a month or so I'll either sell the TiVo or return the Recast. Installation I believe you need the Fire TV app (and Amazon account) to install the Recast and I happen to have a Fire tablet collecting dust. More than likely if I didn't have the tablet and Fire TV 4K sitting around I wouldn't have bother with the Recast as realistically I don't expect it to outperform TiVo in any measurably way based on my usage. I split my OTA antenna signal and was happy to see TiVo was still receiving the channels I record. The Recast couldn't be simpler to hookup. OTA signal, network cable (in my case) and power. My tablet is rather under-powered however installation was very quick with only scanning for OTA channels taking a few minutes. Once installed you can view live TV and recordings via the tablet but not much more as far as I know such as scheduling recordings or re-configuring the Recast. At this point I woke up the Fire TV 4K and it already had the DVR option on the menu bar. The DVR interface plays out very similar to the others so how you feel about the interface will carry over. You get On Now, My Recordings and DVR Manager columns. The first thing I did was go into DVR Manager/DVR Settings/Channel Management and hide all of the channels I don't view (26) and setup Favorites (7) that I do view. Signal strength I was good to go. Finally I went to DVR Manager/DVR Settings/Live TV Sources/Fire TV Recast/Default Recordings Options where you set Start/End buffers and Recording Preference (new episodes in my case). Under DVR Manager is also Channel Guide, Scheduled Recordings and Recording Priority. You can play around and find a few other options however that's about it. You're ready to watch TV. I only have a few hours of usage and I'll update the below as I become more acquainted with its in and outs... my likes and dislikes. Daily Usage As mentioned above you can hide channels so they don't appear in the guide Forwarding through the guide (especially one day at a time) it will buffer Skip forward (30 seconds) and backwards (10 seconds) is fairly smooth (not particularly fast) and it will buffer multiple presses of the remote (which is very nice) For scheduling I have only clicked on the show in the guide and selected Record Series - no Alexa or whatnot at this point in time - it won't allow you to view guide data prior to "now" Even though the interface is rather primitive and feature lacking streaming on a "cheap" Fire tablet works great. Effortlessly streams and connecting my Bluetooth headphones was painless. Video/Audio Noticed (or should I say my wife) the occasional lip sync issue - skip backwards might get you in sync Rare buffering in the image - might be my weak WiFi - most often a recording will ramp up the quality as it begins Flipping back and forth between the Recast and TiVo I think... - Recast has a higher contrast ratio (gives the image a little more pop) - 720p channels look more detailed on the Recast - I suspect a little more image processing, the above mentioned contrast and possibly some (mild) edge enhancement - 1080i channels look very similar On rare occasions I would "spot" a possible encoding issue - overall the image never felt as "solid" as TiVo Recast upscales the image to 4K and I use naive on TiVo so the TV is doing the upscaling (LG OLED set) so it's hard to draw any actual conclusions here General Notes Recast can only stream (play) to two devices concurrently Recast won't clip recordings (cut-off buffer before/after) to record either the same or different channel One advantage is I can use my Bluetooth headphones with OTA since the Fire TV 4K supports such There is no undelete recordings If you reset Fire TV 4K back to factory settings you reset a few of the Recast configurations such as favorite/hidden channels however your scheduled recordings are retained Initial Reaction Going in I was worried about image quality and lack of AutoSkip. At this point I think image quality won't play a part in the decision. Skip forward is smoother than I guessed so it helps a little bit against AutoSkip. Also a big chunk of my viewing is done via chase play where AutoSkip doesn't come into play anyway. Until I spend some serious time with the Recast I don't think it's fair to address the two interfaces. However I can say most of the time the Recast takes a second (or three) to buffer live TV or a recording Conclusion After two weeks the Recast has been returned. I'll miss its concept but not its execution. Going in I was always leaning towards the Recast... I wanted something new. However in virtually every category I was giving up more than I was getting in return and finally I ran across the straw that broke the Recast's back. I could have perhaps worked past the issue but there were simply too many others to the point it wasn't as effortless and as smooth as TiVo's experience. The last straw was reception strength. My PBS station turned iffy. Fine most of the time with a solid "Good" rating however on occasion it would breakup or even lose signal completely. For years it's never been an issue with TiVo. I was up for re-aiming the antenna which was a microcosm of the differences between the two. The Recast offers a few categories such as Poor and Good where TiVo provides a numeric readout which allows you to actually fine tune the signal. After numerous attempts (using TiVo) I couldn't improve the attic antenna's signal strength and I'm not willing to try an amp - I did try removing the splitter. If that was the only issue I would have sadly there are many more I couldn't overlook or change. For my usage outside of support for (Bluetooth) headphones and an integrated interface the entire experience wasn't as "slick" and generally lacking just enough features and or performance it wasn't as enjoyable. For lack of a better description it always felt you were attempting to use a streamer as a DVR. If they release new hardware and or software I'd gladly give it another attempt. All of the above is my experience and may have little or no value for someone else's use case.