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How Much Power Does a Roku Stick Need?

Roku sticks are one of the best tools of the 21st century. Not unlike the Amazon Fire TV Stick, they are small compact sticks you can plug into your TV to get a wide range of programs, movies, and TV shows to watch. You can watch live sports, news, most movies, and oodles of television shows. If you have been trying to find a way to watch the latest entertainment, a Roku stick may be the right answer for you, however, what kind of power does it need to work?

Roku sticks require only 0.6 amps of power, however, your standard USB port that supplies 0.5 amps of power will still be sufficient enough to run your Roku stick. The Roku will only use 2-3.5 watts depending on what you use it for.

Your mileage may vary depending on your circumstances, but it’s important to understand these power recommendations or “requirements”.

Powering a Roku from a Standard USB Port – How Much Power Does a USB Port Supply?

TV side details, with two usb inputs, one hdmi arc and headphone jack

Many smart TVs, especially the newer models, have HDMI or USB ports that you can use to plug in your Roku. This stick allows you to keep the cables to a minimum and have more space with fewer wires. It is one of the best ways to get all of the apps you love while having fewer things connected to your TV. It is the ultimate way to keep a clean TV setup. The stick is also straightforward to use. All you have to do is find an appropriate plug to stick it into, and the rest will be taken care of.

When you first get your Roku stick, plugging it in is the first step. When you start it up, it’ll walk you through a set-up phase where you’ll configure your account and walk through the steps of getting it all directly on your TV or laptop. Though it may not seem like much, a USB port can supply 5V of electricity with a current of 0.5A current. The overall power output will be 2.5 watts. The design and model of your USB port will depend on how much power it can supply. Even the most basic USB should supply enough power for your Roku stick.

Power Requirements for a Roku Stick

Roku Ultra 2022

4K/HDR/Dolby Vision Streaming Device and Roku Voice Remote Pro with Rechargeable Battery, Hands-Free Voice Controls, Lost Remote Finder, and Private Listening

As we explained before, typically, your Roku stick will need around 0.6 amps of power, but the standard USB port will only carry 0.5. This .1 will not be an issue for the Roku and it’ll work just fine despite the discrepancy. The mileage on your stick may vary depending on the USB. Newer Roku sticks will come with an external USB drive if it is not sufficient for your computer or TV, additionally, if your TV is newer, it will still have an HDMI port that can easily connect the Roku.

It’s worth mentioning that If you unplug your Roku, it will save your information, but it will apply any new updates and may take a while to turn back on. It may also have you log back into any apps. If you leave it plugged in but you’re not necessarily using it, this will draw little to no power. It may draw 1 watt to keep it idle, but nothing that’s worth worrying about.

How does a Roku Streaming Stick’s Power Use Compare to Other Home Devices

There are a few other kinds of devices that can help you stream TV and movies. Most of them will draw some sort of power from your TV or computer, but you will find that the Roku draws the least amount of power. Overall you will find that the Roku uses less power and has an easier setup than many of the other options. It is simple and straightforward to use making it one of the most appealing choices for most TV watchers.

  • Google Chromecast- Like the Roku system, this will plug into your USB port or HDMI plug. Instead of 2.5 watts like the Roku, this will only need 2.0 watts. This will work with all TV and most computers. The only downside to this product is you need a phone app to control and use it.
  • Firestick TV- This is another alternative to a Roku and has a relatively similar setup (our guide). However, it needs much more power than the others. It requires 3-4 watts for videos and 4-6 watts for games. Though it will depend on what you use it for, it does need much more power than the Roku.
  • Apple TV 4K- The downside with this is that you need the latest version of the TV to use this device. It will not work if you have an older TV. If you are streaming HD content, it will use 5.77 watts which is almost double what Roku uses.

What Are the Roku Monthly Fees and Why Does It Ask for Payment Information?

You may be wondering if there is a monthly fee for Roku services. You will be glad to learn that there is no monthly fee, just a one-time payment to buy the whole system. However, be sure to understand that the apps that aren’t connected automatically to the Roku stick will cost an additional fee. Roku will not charge you for anything without your permission. Roku will take and store your payment information to make charging your card easier for any additional apps you choose.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Roku is highly rated because it is a user-friendly device that most people can quickly figure out, moreover, it’s also possible to connect it to a projector which we’ve walked through before. The responses of the system are as fast as the internet will allow, which is usually instantly.No matter what you choose, you will want to understand how much power it draws. This can hinder the lifespan of your TV or even your laptop. Even if your TV is plugged in, the small Roku draws power from it.

This can vary all of the electronics lifespans and is often overlooked when choosing a system to help you live stream. There are now many different types of Roku systems you can choose from; they will help you stream in different ways and achieve other goals. Each version may draw different amounts of power based on what you are doing. And note that if you do have a power issue, watch for the low power error and check out or related post on fixing it!