The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a top streaming device, that effortlessly connects to your Television via the HDMI port. 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 is also impressive for streaming services like Hulu and Disney Plus, making it the most popular choice.
How much power does a Firestick need? Firesticks need a constant power supply of 5 volts at 1 amp, typically from an AC adapter. They connect to TVs via HDMI for data, but this doesn’t power them. A TV’s USB port can be used, but might not provide enough power, causing an error message.
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 USB power to the Firestick. There are also different types of Firesticks and this can also affect how much power it needs.
- Power supply requirements: All Firestick models need a 5-volt at 1 amp (5W) power supply, regardless of the version.
- Connection and Power: The Firestick connects to the TV via HDMI for data but requires an AC adapter or USB port for power.
- TV USB Powering: Firesticks can be powered by a TV’s USB port, though it might not provide enough power, leading to low-power errors.
- Continuous Power Necessity: Firesticks require a continuous power connection to function and must be connected to a power source at all times.
Power Requirements for Amazon Fire TV Stick
Even though there are several types of Firesticks (Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick Lite), they all require the same amount of power even while the 4K one, like this one from Amazon, provides higher resolution content. Unlike Roku (our guide), these devices typically require a power supply of 5 volts at 1 amp (5W).
Both devices connect to the TV’s HDMI port, which isn’t a power source for the Firestick. The Firestick comes with an AC adapter that needs to be plugged into a wall outlet.
The TV’s HDMI port only enables device recognition, while the AC adapter powers the Firestick from an electrical outlet. It could be challenging to find an open outlet with numerous connected devices, and opting for a power strip would add more cables to your setup.
Yet, it’s important to remember that a Firestick requires continuous power to function. It needs to be connected to a power source at all times during use. Respecting the Amazon Fire TV Stick’s power requirements will make it last longer.
Will a Different USB Wall Adapter Than the One Provided Work?
If you need a solution without extra cables, using a spare USB port on your TV might work (we have a guide on this), especially if it’s less than two years old. However, you might get a low-power error message for the Firestick. This is because the TV’s USB port often doesn’t supply enough power.
The best 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 draw power from the TV’s USB port, which in most cases isn’t capable of providing the single amp it needs. Its length is shortened from 5 feet to 6 inches and has a thicker copper core, allowing more power to reach 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.
After buying the Firestick, you don’t have to spend more on components; you can use USB ports on other devices like gaming consoles, which often offer more power than TV USB ports. Just connect the Firestick to a USB port on the selected 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.
Fire Up Your Firestick
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. You can even connect it to a non-smart TV or a projector, as long as it has USB ports that might be able to provide an amp of power. And if you’re wondering whether you can use a 4K Firestick with a non-4K TV, we have another article on that.
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.