Amazon’s Fire Sticks are a great choice for turning a regular TV into a Smart TV that can stream, and the 4K Fire Stick is the most popular model.
However, what can a 4K Fire Stick actually do? Is it worth the higher price? And can you use a 4K Fire Stick on a non 4K TV?
We have found that you can use a 4K Fire Stick on a non 4K TV as long as it has an HDMI video input port, or you have an HDMI adapter for whatever video input port it has. It is backward-compatible up to 720-pixel resolution at 50 hertz, and it makes for a great future-proofing investment.
- What Is the Difference between a 4K Fire Stick and a Regular Fire Stick?
- Can You Use a 4K Fire Stick on a Non 4K TV?
- Will a 4K Fire Stick Work on a 720p TV?
- Can I Use a 4K Fire Stick on an Older TV?
- Does the Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick Work on Any TV?
- What Are the Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick Requirements?
- How Do I Use a 4K Fire Stick on a Non 4K TV?
- Why Isn’t My 4K Fire Stick Working on a Non 4K TV?
What Is the Difference between a 4K Fire Stick and a Regular Fire Stick?
There are five main differences between a 4K Fire Stick and a regular Fire Stick: their supported video output, supported audio output, computing components, size, and warranty.
Supported Video Output
When it comes to the supported video resolutions, a regular Fire Stick is limited to a maximum of 1080 pixels at 60 fps.
Meanwhile, a 4K Fire Stick can support up to – you guessed it – 4K UHD HDR at 60 fps.
Supported Audio Output
The two Fire Sticks also differ on what audio outputs they support.
They both can support Dolby Atmos and surround sound, but the 4K Fire Stick can support up to 7.1 for surround sound and 5.1 for HDMI audio passthrough.
Between the two, the 4K Fire Stick has newer, more advanced computing components that allow for more efficient processing.
This makes it a great choice for future-proofing, especially if you plan to get a new 4K TV once your current TV wears out.
However, because of its different components, the 4K Fire Stick is also bigger.
The regular Fire Stick is about the size of a USB, while the 4K Fire Stick is shaped more like a square, which can look a bit clunky.
This probably isn’t the biggest factor on your mind, but it could make a difference if a technical issue comes up!
A regular Fire Stick has a 90-day warranty with service included, but a 4K Fire Stick has a one-year warranty with service included.
Is the 4K Fire TV Stick Faster than the Regular Fire TV Stick?
Yes, the 4K Fire TV Stick is faster!
Amazon claims the 4K Fire TV Stick is up to 80% faster than the regular Fire TV Stick, but users haven’t been able to prove this. However, users have reported that the 4K Fire TV Stick is indeed faster.
Because the 4K Fire TV Stick has a faster processor and more buffering RAM, it’s capable of executing its functions more efficiently – which means it takes less time to do things!
Can You Use a 4K Fire Stick on a Non 4K TV?
In short: yes, you can use the 4K Fire Stick on a non 4K TV.
Of course, it would be ideal if you could use it on a 4K TV so that you can enjoy 4K content, but it’s not necessary.
Will a 4K Fire Stick Work on a 720p TV?
In general, a 4K Fire Stick will work on a TV with a 720-pixel resolution.
However, some users have reported problems with getting a 4K Fire Stick to work on old 720p TVs. When this happens, an “invalid format” error pops up, and the 4K Fire Stick refuses to work.
This error is rare, and shouldn’t appear as long as your 720p TV is in good condition.
Can I Use a 4K Fire Stick on an Older TV?
Although it depends on its model and its condition, you should be able to use a 4K Fire Stick on an older TV even if it’s not a Smart TV or a 4K resolution TV.
Does the Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick Work on Any TV?
No, the Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick won’t work on just any TV.
It requires at least a resolution of 720 pixels and a video input port of some kind.
However, if your TV fulfills those requirements, then yes you can use it!
The 4K Fire TV Stick is backward compatible up to 720p, so it will automatically sense the maximum resolution of the TV and adjust its video settings.
What Are the Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick Requirements?
There are three minimum requirements for the Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick: a wireless internet connection, an Amazon account, and a TV.
A wireless internet connection is needed because that’s how you’ll connect your 4K Fire TV Stick to the streaming apps you want.
Finally, you need a TV that has:
- A video input port. Ideally, it should be HDMI. If it’s not, you’ll have to buy an HDMI adapter for the video input port you do have.
- At least a 720-pixel resolution supported with at least 50 hertz
How Do I Use a 4K Fire Stick on a Non 4K TV?
The 4K Fire Stick is fairly straightforward to use on a 4K TV, but when it comes to non 4K TVs, there are some extra steps you’ll need to take.
To use your 4K Fire Stick on a non 4K TV, you can follow these simple steps:
- Connect one end of the USB cable to your 4K Fire Stick.
- Connect the other end into the power adapter.
- Plug the power adapter into a power outlet.
- If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI input port:
- You’ll need to use an adapter that converts HDMI to whatever video input port you do have. For most old TVs, you could use a VGA adapter , an AV (RGB) adapter , or a component adapter .
- Connect the adapter to a power source if it’s an active converter.
- Connect the adapter to your TV.
- Plug the Fire Stick into the adapter.
- If your TV has an HDMI input port, simply plug in the Fire Stick.
- Use your TV remote to open the TV menu.
- Navigate to the video settings.
- Choose the input that your Fire Stick is plugged into. This should boot up your Fire Stick.
- Take the remote that came with your Fire Stick.
- If it doesn’t automatically pair, hold the Home button for 15 seconds.
- Your Fire Stick should show instructions on how to connect to your WiFi network.
- If it’s not pre-registered, you’ll have to log in to your Amazon account.
- You should then reach the Fire Stick’s home screen.
- From there, you can install streaming applications.
- Once they’re installed, simply log into your streaming accounts.
Why Isn’t My 4K Fire Stick Working on a Non 4K TV?
If your 4K Fire Stick still isn’t working on a non 4K TV, there’s likely a problem with its resolution settings. This often happens with older TVs that have low resolutions.
To change the resolution settings of your 4K Fire Stick, you can follow these easy steps:
- Take the remote that came with your 4K Fire Stick
- If you don’t have Fire OS 5, simultaneously press the Back, Reverse, Right, and Select buttons.
- If you do have Fire OS 5, simultaneously press the Reverse and Up buttons.
- Hold these buttons down for 10 seconds.
- The 4K Fire Stick will cycle through all of its resolution settings and pause at each resolution setting for 10 seconds so that you can see how it looks.
- Press the Select button to choose the resolution that works on your TV.
- Your TV will then light up after 10 seconds. If it doesn’t, wait a bit longer.
Your 4K Fire Stick should now work on your non 4K TV!
There are five key differences between a 4K Fire Stick and a regular Fire Stick.
The 4K Fire Stick supports higher video resolutions and more audio outputs.
The 4K Fire Stick also has more advanced computing components, as well as bigger size and a longer warranty.
Due to its more advanced computing components, the 4K Fire Stick is much faster than the regular Fire Stick.
You can use a 4K Fire Stick on a non 4K TV, although you won’t be able to watch videos in 4K resolution.
A 4K Fire Stick can work on a 720p TV for the most part, but sometimes an “invalid format” error occurs.
You can use a 4K Fire Stick on an older TV, but not just any TV.
At the minimum, a 4K Fire Stick requires a TV with a 720-pixel resolution at 50 hertz, and a video input port that’s ideally HDMI.
It also requires a wireless internet connection and an Amazon account.
To use a 4K Fire Stick on a non 4K TV, you need to plug the Fire Stick into a power source, connect it to your TV, and log in to your Amazon account.
If your 4K Fire Stick isn’t working on a non 4K TV, simultaneously press either the Back, Reverse, Right, and Select buttons, or the Reverse and Up buttons. Hold these for 10 seconds, then select the resolution that works on your TV.
We hope this article helped you!
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.