Amazon’s next big thing could be a TiVo knockoff


Much like TiVo's Slingbox devices, the Frank DVR as it's now planned will let users record live TV and stream it to their smartphones, though that feature seems up in the air, per Bloomberg's source. Its Fire TV already streams live content to the Amazon Channels service but can not store the video.

Bloomberg reports that the device, codenamed Frank, will have local storage space as well as connecting to streaming players including the Amazon Fire TV. The concept reportedly allows for transmitting the video stream wirelessly to smartphones. 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. This device would be at the center of a new service slightly different from that of the devices offered by TiVo and Dish.

Inside Amazon's labs the project goes by the name of Frank.

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It's not yet known if this DVR device will include service with Amazon Prime.

Fire TV streaming devices are among Amazon's best-selling products.

Unlike Amazon's other entertainment-focused offering, the Fire Stick, the Fire TV Cube is meant to be hub for not just playing Netflix and Hulu, but also turning on cable TV and smart home devices. Right now, Amazon sells Fire TV sets built by Toshiba Corp. and Westinghouse, and is seeking more manufacturing partners to better compete with Roku Inc., which features its software in many TV models.