One possible cause to Fire TV Stick randomly shutting off

As cool as beaming content to your TV with a Google Chromecast is, there’s something to be said about the reliability and feel of a remote. The first and second generation devices from Google were quick to impress me, but ever since using a Fire TV Stick it’s become my preferred way of streaming.

The only issues I’ve had so far with Amazon’s entry level device is its tendency to sometimes lag (mostly with the Hulu app) and crash when streaming. A little lag is easy to deal with, but random reboots are a buzzkill to say the least.

Overheating is the enemy

Summer 2019 has been a taste of Hell in many parts of the world. Much of the US endured a sweltering mix of heat and humidity, and the heat wave currently moving over Western Europe is one for the record books.

Coincidentally, it’s been those hot days that I’ve experienced the greatest increase in hard crashes. For whatever reason Spotify has given me the most trouble. After looking for any discussion on the topic, I quickly found those pointing to overheating.

It wasn’t the case for everyone, but sure enough, each time the Fire TV Stick decided to shut off it was uncomfortably hot to the touch. I’ve also experienced this with Netflix and Hulu, but Spotify gives the device the most trouble by far.

Why?

This thread on the official Spotify community forum points to the Fire TV Stick not properly managing memory, but again, the issue has only cropped up on particularly hot days. In fact, it’s working without a hitch as I’m writing this.

In my case, the problem seems to stem from the fact that I don’t have central cooling. What air conditioning there is isn’t enough to combat temperatures as high as 96 degrees as efficiently.

Unfortunately, the only fixes I’ve found for overheating in this type of scenario are:

  • Cranking up any type of cooling you have
  • Disconnecting the Fire TV Stick entirely and letting it cool down

The first is unrealistic for most, and at that point you may as well stream through other means (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.).

There’s no doubt about it – it’s damn hot out there.

I remember seeing someone on reddit dealing with the heat wave in Europe complaining about their PS4 shutting down due to the heat. The sad truth is that this is what’s to come until Greenzo saves us all.

Ultimately, it’s what’s driven me to use a back up Chromecast in those occassions as it seems to do a much better job of managing heat internally no matter the streaming source.

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