How to access Hidden Resolution Options on the Fire TV

480p-resolution-fire-tv
The Amazon Fire TV voice remote has some undocumented tricks up its sleeve. If you aren’t aware, holding SELECT and PLAY for 10 seconds causes the Fire TV to restart. Similarly, holding RIGHT and BACK for 10 seconds triggers a prompt to factory reset the Fire TV. These hidden options seem to be designed to help you get back to a usable state if, for whatever reason, you are unable to access the Fire TV’s menus. Yesterday I stumbled on some new hidden resolution options triggered from the voice remote.

remote-resolution-options
If you hold BACK and REVERSE and RIGHT and SELECT simultaneously for 10 seconds, the Fire TV will begin to cycle through various resolution settings. It will stop at each setting for 10 seconds and cycle to the next option if you do not press SELECT. Pressing SELECT will save the current display setting. This can be useful if somehow your Fire TV is set to a resolution that your TV doesn’t support.

firetvscreenshot_20141016-085158
Interestingly, using this hidden option allows you to select 480p even though the option is not available in the Video Resolution options found in the Settings menu. When 480p is selected, it will appear as the current setting, but it will remain missing from the available resolution options in the settings menu. One thing worth mentioning is that I believe the Fire TV is always rendering at a resolution of 1920 by 1080 regardless of what resolution is selected and just downscaling the video output. I think this is the case because taking a screenshot of the Fire TV results in a 1920 by 1080 file no matter what resolution is selected in the options menu.

Update

For the final version of Fire OS 5, the button combination to bring up resolution cycling has been changed to holding REVERSE and UP

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64 comments
  1. Moose says:

    The fixed resolution explains why XBMC /SPMC is fixed to 1080p.

  2. Paul Savage says:

    also i updated the remote but now when i search for anything, i get a return saying not in store for everything

  3. Some guy says:

    Thank you!! I have a 720p dlp which I run at 1080i and a receiver which scales 1080p to 1080i for me.

    I was going crazy having the aftv refusing to output 1080p because it saw my display as 720. So it was scaling 1080 to 720, and then my receiver was scaling to 1080i. It was a noticeable drop in quality. Now I’ve got the perfect home theater box!!

    • Mike says:

      How did you get it to go through the resolutions as it seems mine automatically selects the original one before I can do anything?

    • Sleepy_Eyez says:

      How did you fix the issue. My tv is 1080p, my receiver is 1080p, and video source is 1080p on Kodi. When I play the video kodi recognizes the source as 720p. How do fix this?

    • Smarty says:

      720p is higher resolution than 1080i.

      P stands for progressive, i stands for Interlace.

      1080p has 2160 lines.

      720p has 1440 lines.

      1080i has 1080 lines.

      • Neil Bundy says:

        No, not quite it isn’t 1080 x2. Interlaced is half rather than progressive scan being double. 1080i has 540 up and 540 down. 1080p has 2080 down. 1080i may however appear better than 720p depending on your TV it’s a matter for your own personal choice.
        Good point though real resolution at 720p should theoretically be clearer than 1080i.

  4. Mike says:

    For some reason when I try to do this the screen comes up for about a half a second and then goes away. Please help!

    • AFTVnews says:

      It’s not entirely clear, but it seems like the Fire TV will only cycle through resolutions that it determines the connected TV/Monitor will support. If it doesn’t cycle through any resolutions, then it likely is unable to determine which resolutions your TV/monitor supports.

      For example, when I plugged a Fire TV into an LCD computer monitor using an HDMI to DVI adapter, the Fire TV would only output in 640×480 resolution. Trying this remote trick resulted in the same behavior you described with no additional resolution options. My guess is the Fire TV was either confused by the DVI adapter or just couldn’t detect the computer monitors supported resolutions.

  5. Klark1kent says:

    Will the factory reset shortcut reset to original firmware which device was shipped or the most recent update… I am dying to root this bad boy but didn’t catch auto update in time…

  6. Jose Munoz says:

    When I try to connect the Fire Stick to my Samsung TV all I get on the screen is: Mode Not Supported

    I know the Stick works because I can hook it up to my PC monitor. No matter which HDMI port on try on the TV or the AV player I get the same thing: Mode Not supported.

    • moki says:

      UP & REWIND to force the FireTV Stick to cycle through resolutions

      • Jose says:

        Moki: If I press UP & REWIND with Fire TV Stick connected to one HDMI port of my Smart TV it forces Fire TV Stick to go to the main screen on Fire TV Stick. Do I have to connect Fire TV Stick to my computer monitor DVI input to make UP & REWIND combination work ? Thanks in advance.

        Jose

      • JOG says:

        THIS IS THE ONE PEOPLE. Thanks. Pressing four buttons at once was kind of not working out for me. :) This worked!

      • Ed says:

        Thanks, this one worked for me.

  7. algorithmae says:

    For Fire TV Stick, the BACK and REVERSE and RIGHT and SELECT command prompts for a factory reset. Is there a different combination for the resolution prompt? I’ve tried everything that I can think of.

  8. Pat says:

    I’m having problems with my FTV that I think may be related to this issue, and I’m hoping someone here may be able to help.

    I have three RCA televisions (all are model #L22HD32D, made in 2008) that each have a single HDMI input port with the following specs:

    HDMI compliant (type A connector)
    HDCP compliant
    E-EDID compliant
    Suggested scan rates: 1080i, 480p, 480i, 720p
    HDMI Audio: 2-channel PCM
    32/44.1/48 kHz sampling frequency
    16/20/24 bits per sample

    I first tried hooking up Roku sticks to these televisions and just got a black screen when I selected the HDMI input. I tried three Roku sticks on each of the three RCA televisions, with the same results. I know that the HDMI ports are functioning on all of the three televisions because they work with my AT&T U-verse boxes and gaming consoles. I got no help from Roku tech support, so I decided to try the FTV. Before buying, however, I took one of the televisions into Best Buy and had their Geek Squad look at it. We hooked a FTV up to the television and got the same result as with the Roku, i.e., just a black screen. They were baffled and of no help.

    I was then told by the guy who sold me three FTV units that the problem was with the 1080i resolution on my televisions, and that the FTV resolution could be set to work with them. So, I bought three FTVs, received them, and I still have the same problem, even though 720p has been selected on them while hooked up to a Sony television.

    I talked to FTV tech support and they are baffled as well, saying that “it should work”. They have their tech team puzzling over it, but I’m not holding my breath. Can any of you tech wizards out there help? Please??

  9. Chris P says:

    Thanks a lot. You douches just made me factory reset my fire TV stick with a perfectly working version of kodi that I had not backed up yet. I hope you all get syphillis. Eat sh1t & die.

  10. Dan says:

    I’m trying to get the Fire stick to work via an older TV through a DVI converter to HDMI. I can’t get it to work – any suggestions please?

    Thanks,

  11. general zod says:

    up up down down left right left right b a start

  12. xnamkcor says:

    This is an awesome feature I wish all Android with video out supported. It’d be nice to choose a lower resolution for a game instead of relying on the developer to throw in a lower resolution rendering mode.

  13. Jonathan Whitehead says:

    How do you execute this on the new 2015 Firetv w/gaming controller? There is no select button mentioned for this generation controller. Thanks.

    • Alberto Hamade says:

      So far, I have not been able to replicate this on the 2015 FireTV with gaming controller, or with a FIRE TV STICK CONTROLLER CONNECTED TO THE 2015 FIRETV.

      • Alberto Hamade says:

        The new combo is Up and Rewind, and it is impossible to achieve with the gaming controller. Also, when I select 1080p24hz, my TV recognizes it as 60hz. My tv correctly recognizes 24 hz with every other hardware I’ve tried, PS3, ps4, xbox one, asus cube, wd tv live streaming, etc.

  14. tj says:

    I’ve pressed every combination of buttons on my fire remote and nothing happens on any TV so changing the resolution is not possible! Now what?

    • Zeke says:

      The article is now out of date, it is :-

      * SELECT & PLAY (Hold For 5-10 Seconds) – Restart
      * UP & REWIND (Hold For 5-10 Seconds) – Resolution Cycle (press SELECT when you’ve found the one you want, will time out and go back to whatever it was before if you don’t)

      As an aside, it’s a shame that the Fire TV stock remote doesn’t use IR codes, so there’s no way to use a universal learning remote to capture the codes for a quick restart/resolution change.

      • RM says:

        I’ve tried the rewind and up combination several times and I cannot get it to go down to 480p. My TV does support 480p as I have connected other things do it at that resolution. For some reason the Fire TV refuses to go below 720p and it ticks me off. I don’t need HD streaming 24/7 nor do I want it.

        What am I missing?

  15. Derek says:

    Will changing the resolution settings to a lower settings reduce internet data usage?

    Thanks!

  16. Please be advised that the resolution is extremely important to the function of the Fire-TV device on rural networks that can only provide limited bandwidth. HD video streams will buffer more the higher the resolution, and I am not sure yet if the resolution is effecting the data-rate itself, or just the out-put to the monitor. Any info is appreciated.

  17. andrew says:

    we’ve got the cpu usage data/graph running at the top of our screen? our 4 year old got it some how and we can’t turn it off, anyone know how?

    • Sean says:

      Sat on remote, this diagnostic menu came up, where I was able to turn on the overlay you speak of. So far your comment is the only mention of it on the web I have been able to find. Restarting the device removed it, but it displayed useful information such as the network signal strength.

      • Joseph Rogowski says:

        Mine is showing the statistical info as well…resolution info, cpu usage, memory, network strength. Don’t know how to get rid of it

    • Melissa says:

      Our 2 year old turned it on as well… unplugging the device from the power source and then reconnecting it solved the problem

  18. Samson39 says:

    Cool, With the latest OS 5.05, there is 3840x2160x30 fps possible.

    And: The GUI may work a bit (it may go dark on every key press on the remote). Unfortunately, UHD movies only plays in HD 1080p.

  19. Larry Haley says:

    I have noticed on the latest version of Amazon Fire TV something interesting. When switching from HDMI 1 (regular TV) and turning on Amazon Fire TV (HDMI 3) after a few clicks on the Amazon Fire Remote the TV picture keeps getting darker and darker. There is no way to try an adjust the video settings. Any similar problems? The TV is also an LG Prime 4K UHD with all the bells and whistles.

  20. Johnny says:

    This was a lifesaver, I was attempting to connect the newer version of the Fire TV box with the latest updates, to an older 32″ Philips LCD tv with multiple HDMI inputs. Your steps of “REVERSE and UP” on the Fire TV remote solved the problem. I can see the Fire TV box now on the older tv and access PS Vue. Thanks a million for this excellent guide. I made a few missteps and reset my Fire TV several times before reading the last part of your guide. Thanks!!!

  21. Phil says:

    Hi I am trying to use fire stick on new Samsung 19 inch hd tv/monitor.It starts then stops with an error message about optimal mode. I am unable to use the hints given as I cant access the firestick in the first place. It then almost reboots with the screen telling me it is optimising system storage and applications!!!

    Help please

  22. caro says:

    hey, i have an old samsung flatscreen tv (640×480) without hdmi. i bought an vga adapter recommanded. my chromecast will only show an issuelable, the firestick showed 3 times a starting picture, then blacked out. one time it worked, but when trying to attach the sound i unfortunatly moved the cable too much and it was all gone. dont know what to do, since 2 hours i am reattaching the cables and sometimes it stays all black, sometimes it flickers… but no picture… the trick didnt really do anything… anybody a clue?

  23. stephen cooper says:

    if i reset back to factory original state can i stop the stick updating itself so i can use firestarter again..thanks in advance
    Steve

  24. Tim says:

    How do i remove the 1080p from displaying at the top of my screen

    • AFTVnews says:

      That’s caused by your TV, not the Fire TV.

      • Danni says:

        But mines come on only right after I sat on my phone remote and I herd clicking. So I figure there must be a way to get it back off. And If there’s A way I will like to know myself.

        • Danni says:

          But mines come on only right after I sat on my phone remote and I heard clicking. So I figure there must be a way to get it back off. And If there’s A way I will like to know myself. Editing because I realized it was easy to fix. Didn’t like to unplug my whole power cord strip but it fixed the problem.

  25. HDMI LG TELE…,.
    FIRETVSTICK/KODI…,.
    ALL THE GOODIES…,.
    SONY DIGITAL AUDIO VIDEO CONTROL CENTER…,.even though it’s a Fire TV stick when I hook up an APk through Es File Explorer,it thinks it’s a Kindle,further more in the EYES my Amazon acct.it reads as Fire TV Box…,. What gives?? GEEVES MY BOY…,.

  26. Gordon Firemark says:

    My Fire Stick keeps needing to have me reset the resolution. Screen appears zoomed in by about 200%, blurry, etc., Restoring to 108p or Auto resolution setting in the menus resolves the problem, but this is occurring daily (or more frequently).

    Any idea why and what I can do to prevent this?

  27. Dcdonoghue says:

    Hi.
    Problem with my fire stick.

    I have a black strip across the top of my screen, my son was messing around with the remote and I can’t take it off now.

    It has the details of:
    720p 60 cpu (then a chart) mem (then memory bar) Net (another bar) 1.1kbps

    I can’t get it off the screen

  28. Victor says:

    How to Fix MPEG-2 Interlace issue? Is there a key combo for this?

  29. Pschypher says:

    to get rid of the top of screen diagnostic window – Hold down Select and Down for 5 sec, release, and then quickly press Menu. There should be an option there to turn it off.

    • Psypher says:

      Way to go rook!
      I been looking for this answer for weeks. Amazing what a toddler can do unknowingly in seconds which takes quite a bit of time and effort for an adult to undo:)

  30. Russel Roneldo says:

    My business partners were requiring MN GAC 11-U some time ago and learned about a business that has lots of form templates . If others require MN GAC 11-U too , here’s https://goo.gl/c8vpkE

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