Mass Media & Technology

Maximum temperature of an hdmi tv stick?

Roku NowTV, AmazonFireTV, Roku etc (April 2019)

Upon start up, literally within seconds, my Roku NowTV stick is supposedly at 80C. This is not a warning message, but from it's statistics menu. After watching videos, the same menu reports over 100C. This is it's first ever use, and does not seem to be defective, given this kind of reading seems quite common. I am wondering if anyone knows what the maximum working temperature should be, for safety's sake? Although very few, the occasional forum has the odd user that states their tv has been ruined as a result of using these devices. Thanks for any info
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
If your NowTV stick was seriously anywhere near 100 degrees C, it would have melted immediately.

What's more likely is that the sensor is defective (or not wired up properly on the inside or even configured correctly) and you would do well just to ignore it. If the device is too hot to hold in your hand then start to worry, and like all electrical equipment provide suitable ventilation.

Presumably the Smart Stick has an adaptor so it can run either off a USB port on the TV or a mains adaptor. Apparently some TVs can power a HDMI device on its own (so said the documentation for the Amazon Firestick but I had to use the power adaptor for it). Running anything off the USB port is a recipe for disaster sometimes because they can't always provide enough or stable power. You'll do better to connect it to the wall.
tesandco Founding member Granada North West Today
Another flaw I ran into with running these sticks off a television USB port is that it can hide other problems it's causing. I spent months trying to track down why several muxes on Freeview were either breaking up or disappearing completely, even powering off everything else in the room except the TV to try and rule out any device interference. It eventually turned out to be the vanilla Roku stick causing interference with terrestrial (how exactly I'm not sure, as wifi frequencies are quite far away, and you'd expect everything else on them to be shielded given where they're intended for use). And although I thought I'd cut power to everything else, as it was drawing its power from the set at that time it remained active!
TV Whirl - Still covering UK idents, presentation, teletext and programmes after 19 years
noggin Founding member
My Roku UHD Streaming Stick+ ran VERY hot when streaming iPlayer UHD HDR stuff during the World Cup and Wimbledon and started randomly reporting HDCP errors. (I enabled the diagnostic menus and the temperature readings shot through the roof)

I know others experienced the same thing - and a number of heat sink mods (large bulldog clip and lump of metal seems to work) have been used to reduce the temperature to stop this.

Thanks for the reply.

In comparison, I have found my laptop's CPU maximum or 'throttle temperature' to be 90C, and for hdmi adapters available online (and I suspect also any port on a tv), their maximum working temperature is suggested to be around 85C. There is no recommended working CPU temperature in the stick's manual. The NowTV Roku stick temperature from within it's hidden menu has a visual indicating safety. The top of the page shows someone else's example. For my own, 80C is in light orange after switch on, just over two thirds of the way along the bar, which seems to indicate a maximum allowed temperature of set of around 120C before any built-in temperature warning would kick in. After use, 100C is in dark orange but still not quite near the end. Perhaps the temperature is incorrect, but the bar is not..

High cpu readings seem to apply to most tv sticks judging by user comments, regardless of manufacturer. This is one reason I didn't think of the reading as suspect. Surely a simple software update could fix these readings, if the sensors were all off slightly? Users claim their devices no longer work as they should after they stream for a certain length of time. Perhaps this is their internet cutting off often, due to a poor signal. Reverting back to the menu mid-play might also be a software bug.

A stress test for the first competitor Fire tv stick can also be found online, which sees it climb to 200F after a few minutes (just over 90C):
Another reason I didn't question the reading is that there are one or two reports of similar devices ruining televisions, despite not always using the tv usb port for power. However, due to the lack of similar complaints, I'm not sure if this is just coincidence and bad tvs, or just suspect posts.

I did have the device initially plugged in to the usb port, but as you suggest I've swapped to the adapter, because turning off the television would no longer equal the stick switching off. I'll keep it on idle and watch that temperature. The device should switch off after four hours of being idle, I'm still not completely percent convinced over the readings being way off the mark. The companies themselves don't seem to want to give details over temperature, and roku themselves giving away free hdmi extenders on their page that covers the device overheating, doesn't really give confidence. There is no ventilation on the stick itself either. Judging by some forums and youtube videos, users have gone as far as to drill holes to reduce readings, and even added heatsinks. (edit- sorry, just noticed the extra posts)

I think I will eventually switch to a box with a fan, but I'll have to look around online to see what fares best in similar stress tests.

* last ever edit - upon start up, the stick starts at 54C, and on idle climbs up to around 85C. This is the same, regardless as to whether the tv has been on for a long time or not (always using the stick's power supply). It takes around 10 minutes to get to 85C. Watching videos, it goes over 100C as noted before. I suspect it has no dedicated graphics chip on board. I can still use the NowTV player on the laptop for the service, but I don't think I'm going to be chancing these sticks with any television. Roku also seem to make televisions, of which I've noticed one user to be complaining about overheating. There seems to be a common issue here.

ps for anyone with a similar device, this stick is a NowTV Roku model 3801 from last year, v568.13E04185A, with the latest 20181221 update, running on 5V 1A. On idle in the stats menu, it seems to fluctuate between 216mHz and 1000mHz occasionally (probably not important). Thanks for all your replies
Last edited by Ace on 27 April 2019 3:32pm - 3 times in total

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