One of my readers told me that his Amazon Fire TV Stick was causing interference with his broadcast TV channels. When he unplugged the stick, his reception improved and his TV could receive more channels.
I did a quick test with my own Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (purchased in 2019) and didn't find any difference in my TV reception with on or completely unplugged.
However, when I researched online, I found a ton of other users in various forums complaining of TV interference caused by their Amazon Fire TV Sticks. They all said the interference went away when they unplugged the Stick.
The problem seems to be more common with Amazon Fire TV Sticks as opposed to other streaming boxes like Roku, Apple TV, etc. The earliest post on this problem that I could find was in 2011, continuing all the way up to 2019. Unfortunately, no one mentioned exactly which Stick model they had.
If you want to check for this problem, first unplug your Stick and check your TV reception, especially the flaky channels. Then, plug your Stick in and watch a program on it to make sure it is running, then switch back to antenna. Compare your TV reception to the first run. If there is a channel you lost after you plugged in your Stick, unplug it (or put it in sleep mode) and verify the channel comes back. If it does, there's a good chance your Fire TV Stick is causing interference.
If you've confirmed that your Fire TV Stick is indeed causing interference with your TV reception, there are three solutions that folks have confirmed solve the problem (other than just not using your Stick).
Multiple sources on the forums plus my reader confirm that wrapping the Amazon Fire TV Stick in tinfoil solves the interference problem!
The foil acts as an electromagnetic shield around the Stick, preventing the worst interference from escaping.
Theoretically, a perfect shield would also prevent your wireless remote and Wi-Fi from working with the Stick. But, no one has reported that problem. If you do have problems with your remote not working or Wi-Fi not connecting after you wrap the Stick, try leaving some gaps in the foil.
Some folks are also concerned about trapping heat. Well, foil conducts a lot better than plastic, so as long as there isn't an air gap between the plastic case and the foil, I don't think heat will be a problem (the foil might even act as a heatsink of sorts). But, it's another thing to keep an eye out for.
A less "hack-y" solution is to get a long HDMI extender cable (like six or ten feet) and use that to plug your Stick into your TV. That will allow you to place it far away from your antenna. You will to experiment with position until the interference goes away.
Folks in the forums have reported that this works as well, and there's less chance of causing problems with your Wi-Fi or remote with this method.
Here are some cables that should work well:
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The third solution is to put your Fire TV Stick into sleep mode every time you want to switch to broadcast TV. You can do this by pressing and holding the Home button on the remote. You'll see this screen on your Stick:
Choose "Sleep" and your interference should go away.
Of course, this can be a pain to do every time you switch from your Stick to Broadcast TV, but it does work.
So there you have it, three ways to stop your Amazon Fire TV Stick from interfering with your TV reception. Did any of these work for you? Please comment below! - Brian
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