How Much Power Does a Firestick Need?

Written by Jonah Matthes
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The Amazon Firestick is a small device that easily plugs into the HDMI port on your TV, but in case you need more information on connectivity, we have our guide here. While the device might be small, it manages to do more than you’d expect. Your Firestick gives you access to all of Prime’s entertainment content, and it also allows you to stream other services like Hulu, Disney Plus, and others.

How much power does a Firestick need? For a Fire TV Stick to work properly, it needs 5 volts @ 1,000 milliamps or one amp of power from an electrical outlet, however, if you don't have the proper outlet, there are other options you can use.

One amp may not sound like a lot, but you may be surprised to learn that some electrical outlets are not able to provide enough power to the Firestick. There are also different types of Firesticks and this can also affect how much power it needs.

Power Requirements for Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K

Even though there are two types of Firesticks, both require the same amount of power even though the 4K one, like this one from Amazon, provides higher resolution content. Both plug into the HDMI port on the TV, which is not the power source for the Firestick. You may have thought there wouldn’t be any additional cables needed, but it should've arrived with an AC adapter that must be plugged into a wall outlet.

The HDMI port on your TV only ensures that the two devices recognize each other. The AC adapter is what provides power to the Firestick via the electrical outlet. If you already have multiple devices connected to your entertainment system, finding an open outlet can be difficult. You can always use a power strip, but the downside is that you are adding more cables to your setup.

If you don't want to add another cable to your entertainment system or you don't have enough outlets, there is another option. If there is a spare USB port on your TV, it may be able to provide sufficient power, in fact, we already have a guide on this. However, you will most likely receive an error message warning you that there isn’t enough power for the Firestick to work. If your TV is less than two-years-old, there may be no issue.

Can You Use a Different USB Wall Adapter Than the One Provided?

Fire TV Stick 4K with Battery USB Connected - Smaller

The low power error message can be confusing, especially if the Firestick is turned on anyway. The developers designed the Firestick to transmit this message to prevent consumers with low power from thinking that the device is broken or malfunctioning if they only saw a blank screen. The message typically only appears when you’re using a USB port. Most USB ports on TVs are not designed to provide a full amp of power.

One way to get around this, if you don’t want to use an electrical outlet, is to switch out the USB cable for a different one. You will most likely have to buy the cable, which is probably the last thing you want to do after purchasing the Firestick, but it can be a viable option.

The fire-Cable Plus, like this one on Amazon, was designed specifically for Firesticks that are drawing power from the TV’s USB port, which in most cases isn’t capable of providing the single amp it needs. How it works is simple. Not only is the length of the cable reduced from 5-feet to 6 inches, but the inner copper core is thicker so more power is sent to the Firestick over a shorter distance.

How to Switch Out the Firestick’s Provided Cable

It’s easy to switch out the provided cable with a shorter and stronger one, and it only takes a few steps. Detach the provided cable from the Firestick and attach the new one in its place. With the Firestick connected to the TV’s HDMI port, plug the cable into the available USB port. The other end of the cable will be attached to the Firestick.

Once the new cable is connected, turn the TV and Firestick on. Instead of seeing the low power warning message, the Prime Video home screen should appear. If you haven’t set up the Firestick, the screen will show the prompts you need to follow to access the content.

Can You Power a Fire Stick with a TV’s USB Port?

You can power a Firestick with the USB port on your TV, though you may need to upgrade the cable. Most USB ports on televisions aren’t designed to provide the power the Firestick needs. When this happens you will need to upgrade to a stronger cable with a thicker copper core, just make sure you get the right one.

Spending additional money on other components after buying the Firestick isn’t your only option, you can also search for additional USB ports on other connected devices. Your gaming console comes with USB ports that are often more powerful than the ones on your TV. If you decide to use a port on another device, simply connect the cable to the Firestick and the USB port on the chosen device.

There can be problems depending on the device you choose. For example, if the Firestick is connected to your PS4 or Xbox it might turn off every time you power down the gaming console. To stream content, you’ll have to keep the device constantly turned on and this can cause unnecessary wear and tear that can invalidate any manufacturer warranty you might currently have.

Conclusion

Even though your Firestick, regardless of the type, came with an AC wall adapter it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to search for a nearby open electrical outlet. Your television also has USB ports that might be able to provide an amp of power. If not, and you receive an error message, you’ll have to upgrade to a better USB cable.

Buying a new cable isn’t your only option. You can also use a USB port on one of your other connected devices, however, there can also be problems with the Firestick shutting off simultaneously with the device. The best advice, if you don’t want to or can’t use the AC adapter is to purchase a new USB cable so you’ll avoid any problems with low power.

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About Me

Hi! I’m Jonah. I grew up addicted to different electronics. I began working for an Audio/Video installation company years ago and realized my passion for Home Theaters! The Home Theater DIY is a place for me to share my different findings and experiences about home theaters and home electronics. For more information, check out my about me page!

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