I bought a NowTV stick a few months back and it's been used regularly with no problem.
I recently bought a second one and while my daughter was watching youtube, a warning kept coming up on the screen saying it was overheating. I'd never even considered this might happen before.
I checked the stick and sure enough, it was red hot - like, barely touchable hot. The exposed metal on the HDMI plug was burning hot - I could not physically keep my hand on it.
Thinking it was faulty I swapped it immediately for the other one, and checked the temperature less than half an hour later in the "secret screen". There was no warning during this time but the temperature of the stick was a scorching 111°C.
The NowTV stick isn't plugged direct into the TV - TV only has one HDMI so I'm using a 3-in-1 extender which is a good foot away from the TV.
I read somewhere to try powering it from the TV's USB port, but the NowTV stick then complains it isn't getting enough power.
I've read that these things have destroyed TVs - statements I'd normally take with a pinch of salt but something in direct contact with the inner electronics of a TV, running at over 100C? This cannot possibly be safe.
Have I just dropped on two faulty ones? Or is this normal? If this is as good as it gets then I simply won't be using them as I'm sure the heat is going to cause damage in one form or another.
Hi @Anonymous User
The NowTV stick does run hot, otherwise i doubt there would be this help article written below.
111 deg seems excessively hot to me and i would be inclined after trying all the different HDMI port configurations on both your HDMI Hub switcher and Television to maybe look at an alternative way of watching nowtv on your TV.
Perhaps get a full refund for the stick and look at either the older nowtv black box or new 4K smart box where i know both these two devices that i own run cool (even during the hot summer months from my experience using these two nowtv devices).
Sorry i couldn't offer any help with regards to this matter.
I would have thought that if the stick was overheating, then it might malfunction or freeze. Some people report on NowTV sticks dropping back to the menu during watching, but this is probably more to do with the devices having a bug and being in need of another system update.
I bought a basic NowTV stick a few days ago, but I haven't checked the temperature in any system menu just yet. I suppose the real way to test will be with a lot of use. In my opinion they shouldn't really be going much above 70C. In comparison, my laptop's processor throttles at 90C to protect itself from internal damage. It normally runs between 45C-70C max.
The latest NowTV sticks are made by Roku. Roku give away mini hdmi extension cables to try and keep their own devices cool (NowTV customers don't apply). I think Amazon firetv sticks also have extension cables now bundled. I doubt any of this does much to fix the problem in the long run. Giving away free cables is surely a big hint that the manufacturers know their devices have trouble maintaining a reasonable temperature though.
All these sticks use fast processors which will generate much heat in time, yet are compact into such a small space with no real ventilation at all. They are highly likely to get very hot over prolonged usage. I think many of these devices may not be that fit for purpose when viewing for very long periods. If yours is scolding hot-painful to touch, then yes, I would avoid using it to prevent damage to the tv. If it's overheating faster than before, then the stick may be damaged or in need of repair (not worth your time).
The solution is to probably avoid sticks from now on and try popular tv boxes instead. NowTV seem to have one, but I would research the reviews and ask within the tech forums to make sure they don't have the same overheating issues.
Yeah I expect heat. Even 60, 70.... possibly even 80C on a hot day. But over 110C? Handling the thing at that temperature is down right dangerous. It's a serious burn risk. OK the casing may not be quite 110C but the exposed metal on the HDMI plug certainly is.
NowTV seem to have largely ignored the problem. Their only solution is to "stop using it if it overheats". So that's precisely what I'm going to do, and go to Amazon Prime instead.
They've completely buried their heads on the issue, which by the look of it, is widespread. They've completely ignored my pleas for advice on Twitter, too.
Maybe the box is better. More scope for ventilation, heatsinks and active cooling. But I'm not willing to give them another £40 just to find out.
Thanks for the replies, people. More helpful than you realise.
The stated purpose of the Amazon Fire TV extender is to improve the WiFi signal, and secondarily to enable it to be used in places where it won’t fit into an HDMI port, or it fouls the plugs for devices on either side (being rather bigger than a NowTV Stick.
There is no clue to the temperatures it might reach in the product name
But sooner or later, someone is going to be referring to the NowTV OnFire Stick, if this thing keeps going above the temperature of boiling water
Videos from channels and apps on the NowTV stick surely use a variety of video codecs, which will put more or less strain on the processor. A higher resolution / higher video quality may also put more strain on the cpu and lead to a higher temperature. According to the packaging, NowTV seems to only stream at 720p. I'm not sure if youtube or any other apps are capable of higher. If so, then perhaps watching 1080p content, whether on youtube or in general, is an issue.
There seems to be a variety of secret menus on the boxes. I don't know if they are the same menus are found on the sticks. If so, then there might be something in there to limit the resolution to 720p or lower to reduce the cpu load. If there is a way to limit the internet bitrate, that will probably not make a difference unless the resolution automatically adjusts itself. I'll have to test it out tomorrow to see what is available, if anything.
A stress test on a competitor stick (Amazon Fire) shows 200F (90C) at full cpu usage here
Relating to the NowTV manufacturer, one Roku user only noted a drop in around 8C using the free hdmi extenders they started shipping, linked to their page on overheating. The page however relates to 'DirectTVNow', a US service. A link on that page takes them to the Roku homepage which relates the extenders as a last resort to overheating
An update (since I don't seem to be able to edit any posts:
I've tried it out properly for the first time. I use the power adapter, and connect it to an hdmi port on the tv that allows the stick to have space on all sides for heat to escape properly.
Idle, within seconds of powering up, the hidden menu shows the stick to be at 80C. It slowly creeps up to around 85C.
Using youtube, I choose a long video that shouldn't stress it too much (one of those 'train driver's view videos'), and played it for a good twenty mins or so, followed by some random music videos for around half an hour. Reverting back to the temperature menu, the stick is now at 101C.
After the normal menu appears, pressing Home five times then FF, PLAY, RW, PLAY, FF should show the temperature, but it also has a colour bar to indicate safety. 101C is in orange, rather than red to indicate a critical or danger zone, so it would seem the stick can go higher, but not by much.
Given the immediate reading of 80C which is in lighter orange, I believe the temperature reading to be a higher estimate than the reality. Turning off at 101C, the stick was very warm, but not hot to the touch.
I cannot say I trust it however, as I am certain with wear that the same videos may stress it further, possibly causing real damage . If in doubt, eventually update to a tv box with a cooling fan, and in the meantime try not to use the stick for long periods of time.
I had noticed it, when it failed, it was very hot, it definitely needs a heat sink. Thinking of designing one that radiates heat away via the HDMI or perhaps venting the casing. This kind of temperature might damage the circuit boards in the TV. Additionally, the power down does not work on mine.
Although it slightly defeats the point of having a Stick at all, if you are worried about this hot thing near your TV then you can put it out on a long HDMI cable, M/F, or a regular M/M cable with an F/F coupler, and have it as far from the TV as you like.
With room, possibly, to treat it like a CPU, and couple a heatsink to it with thermal paste.
However, I think it’s faulty; I have a NowTV Stick which is always powered, though it sits in free air on a short HDMI extender off a Samsung One Connect box, and it never gets above being slightly warm to the touch.
I will get and post some secret menu measurements later on.