I wanted to know whether I can power my Fire TV stick with the USB port on my TV. Because it will save some extra wires and power outlets at the back of my TV. So, I researched whether you can, and here’s what I found.
It is definitely possible to power a Fire TV stick using a TV’s USB port, but you will need a USB to micro-USB additional cable.
This cable will be needed because some TV models don’t supply enough power for the Fire TV stick to work properly. It depends on the specific ports you have on your TV, and you’ll need to test it with your specific TV.
The Fire TV stick needs a certain amount of power to work (1 Amp), some USB ports are not made specifically to be used to power devices that are plugged into it. Also, there are a few issues that will come up when it’s not the right type of USB ports.
So, read on where I will explain how to test your USB port and the issues that will come up if it’s not the right one.
How To Check If the USB Port On Your TV Is The Kind That Can Power A Fire TV Stick
Certain USB ports on the back of TVs were only designed to be used with devices like DVD players and USB flash drives. But, they do also supply a bit of power.
Older USB ports only supply 0.5 Amps of power.
But, Amazon recommends about 1 Amp for the Fire TV stick to work.
I have been unable to find the official specifications from Amazon showing that it needs 1 Amp as a minimum. But, all of the separate power adapters you can buy for the Fire TV stick state that they have the required 1 Amp, that is needed for the Fire TV stick. And many customers who use the Fire TV stick have said that this is how much power it needs.
To see if your USB ports are 3.0 and will supply enough power for your Fire TV stick to work, you can look up the specifications for your TV. But, an easier way is to plug in your Fire TV stick into your TV USB ports and see how it works. You will run into one or two issues if the USB port isn’t supplying enough power:
|1. You will get an error message on the Fire TV stick|
|Once you plug it into the USB port your Fire TV stick will power up. But, you will get an error message which says ‘not enough power’. The error message will only show if your TV is on the right channel. |
As you may be aware your Fire TV stick plugs in your HDMI port as well. And TVs have a few different inputs.
So, using your TV remote make sure it’s on the right input (HDMI), otherwise, you won’t see the error message. It will be on the same input that you use to watch your Fire TV stick.
If you see that error message it means that the USB port on your TV isn’t supplying enough power and you can’t use it to power your Fire TV stick, unfortunately.
|2. Your Fire TV stick will work, but it will run slowly|
|If your USB port is supplying enough power so that you don’t get the error message, it still might not work properly if it isn’t supplying enough power – about 1 Amp. Typically, it will take longer to load between screens, and when you are searching for movies and TV shows. |
This is because the Fire TV stick uses more power when you are using the menus compared to when it is just sitting idle. You will also notice it running slow and taking a long time to load when you play games on it.
So, if you notice your Fire TV stick running slowly when you plug the power cord into the USB port then it’s a sure sign that your USB port isn’t supplying enough power.
You can still run it from your USB port if you have to because you don’t have a spare power outlet. But, be prepared that it will run slowly.
How Do I Connect My Amazon Fire TV Stick To The USB Port?
The Amazon Fire TV stick comes with a micro USB power adapter. But, you can plug in any micro USB cable into the Fire TV stick. So, you can use a cord that has a micro USB end and a USB end and plug the USB end into any USB port.
Micro USB cables, and USB cables now seem to be the most popular and easiest to find and buy. And they are used on almost all portable electronic devices like Bluetooth speakers, external hard drives, and anything else you can charge these days. Even Vape pens, and USB powered fans.
A point of confusion might be that the Amazon Fire TV stick also plugs into the HDMI port which looks a lot like a USB port. But, they are separate. On it’s own the Fire TV stick should be plugged into the HDMI port, and into the wall to power it.
A micro USB is a universal port though, and it is used on many other devices such as Android smartphones, external hard drives, and Bluetooth speakers. So, you can find cables that have a USB end which is used to plug them into computers for the most part.
So, many people have these types of cables lying around, and you can technically use one to power your Fire TV stick. By plugging it into the USB ports that are on TVs, and receivers. This will free up some wires, and power outlets, and make your home theater setup less cluttered.
Why Does A Fire TV Stick Work On Some USB Ports and Not Others?
More modern USB ports – USB 3.0 and newer, output the required amount of power – about 0.9 Amps. But, older USB ports USB 2.0 and below only supply 0.5 Amps. USB 3.0 is the newer technology and virtually all modern USBs are 3.0, according to Partitionwizard.com.
This is why some of them work and some of them don’t. Certain TV and receiver manufacturers will use different USB port types, so it depends on the particular model TV or receiver you have.
It’s a good idea to check what USB port types a TV or receiver has when you go to buy a new one.
Does The Fire TV Stick Have An Internal Battery (can it work without being plugged in)?
The Fire TV stick needs to be plugged the entire time you are using it, because it doesn’t have an internal battery. And it needs to be receiving power when you are using it.
The power adapter is a micro USB though, and you can plug it into a USB port to power it. But, you’ll need to test the specific USB ports you have on your TV to see if it supplies enough power.
Why Does The Fire TV Stick Need More Power?
A Fire TV stick connects to Wi-Fi and searches the internet which uses quite a bit of battery. You might have noticed this when you are using your smartphone. If you aren’t connected to the internet the battery will last a lot longer.
But, when you connect to Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G and start checking your Facebook, or using maps the battery drains very quickly. It also does a lot of processing like a small computer, when it displays the menus, and searches the internet.
Some USB modems connect to the internet but don’t need a USB 3.0 port to function. But, a USB modem only connects to the internet and doesn’t search the internet or display menus which takes up more power.
Other USB devices like flash drives don’t connect to the internet so don’t need as much power. But, you need to connect to the Wi-Fi and internet to use your Fire TV stick. And you also need to be connected to the Wi-Fi to record on your Fire TV stick.
If you’re new to recording on your Fire TV stick then I would check out my complete guide about how to record on your Fire TV stick. You can check it out by clicking here: Can You Record on a Fire TV Stick?.