A reader asked me to test the Amazon Fire TV Recast’s power usage, so I pulled out the trusty Kill A Watt meter and ran a few tests. Even though the included power supply is capable of outputting 50 watts of power, I found that the Fire TV Recast used between 9 to 15 watts of power, depending on what it was doing a the time. Here’s what that means to your wallet and some more detailed figures.
At idle, without anything being recorded or streamed, the Fire TV Recast was using about 9 to 10 watts of power. This was right after a fresh restart of the device. None of my Fire TVs were interacting with the Recast, nor were any channels being recorded. I have the 1 TB 4-tuner model, which is what I used for these readings.
For every tuner being used, whether it was to watch a live channel or to record a channel, the power usage increased by about 1 watt. Power consumption is the same whether you’re watching a live channel or recording a channel because, in both instances, a recording is taking place, since the Fire TV Recast maintains a buffer of anything you’re watching live so that you can rewind at any time.
With 4 different channels being recorded at the same time, the Fire TV Recast was using between 13 and 14 watts of power. It didn’t seem to make a difference if the channels being recorded were also actively being watched live by a Fire TV device.
While 4 channels were being recorded, I then started watching 2 different recorded videos using 2 difference Fire TVs, all simultaneously. This is the most activity the Fire TV Recast is able to achieve, since only 2 devices can be watching content at once, regardless of how many tuners are present. At this maximum load, the Fire TV Recast was consuming between 14 to 15 watts of power. The Kill A Watt meter would display 16 watts every so often for a split second, but the power usage never actually stayed at 16 watts.
If the Fire TV Recast sits idle for 20 hours a day at 10 watts of power consumption and is at maximum load for the other 4 hours at 15 watts of power consumption, that means it consumes 0.26 Kilowatt-hours of power per day. At the national US average of $0.12 per kilowatt-hour, that comes to a power consumption cost of just under $1 per month or $11.39 per year.