Amazon’s new Fire TV 3 is not going to damage your HDMI port

In the comments of the various articles I’ve written so far about the new Amazon Fire TV 3, I keep reading concerns that the device’s size and hanging form factor is going to damage the TV’s HDMI port. Amazon says it won’t, and I believe them.

I too had concerns that the pendant form factor of the Fire TV 3 would strain the HDMI port, but those concerns were gone once the device arrived. While it might look like Amazon took the old Fire TV set-top box and hung it from its corner, that’s not the case. The Fire TV 3 is much smaller in person than it seems in photos and it is deceptively light.

Image: 3rd Generation Fire TV next to the Google Chromecast Ultra. Image courtesy of CNET.

The Fire TV 3 is as thick as the Fire TV Stick and it’s shorter across than the Fire TV Stick is long. It’s not much bigger than Google’s Chromecast Ultra. More important than the size though is the weight. It’s much lighter than it looks. To give you an idea of how much it weights, if you connect it to an HDMI port coming out of the side of a TV, it’s not heavy enough to overcome the elasticity of its short HDMI cable, so it ends up hanging slightly cocked with its bottom corner not pointing straight down.

If my thoughts aren’t enough to put you at ease, Nilay Patel from The Verge mentions in his review that he too was “worried about the weight pulling against the HDMI port” so he asked Amazon about it and they told him “it was tested on a variety of TVs, and it’s well within the HDMI spec for connector strength.”

Nilay Patel went into more detail about his conversation with Amazon regarding the Fire TV 3 in episode 280 of The Vergecast podcast. He says that Amazon showed him the HDMI port specification and that HDMI ports need to have a wrenching force tolerance of 40 newtons. The new Fire TV only exerts a wrenching force of 1 newton.

If you’re planning to attach multiple external peripherals via a USB OTG cable, you probably shouldn’t let the weight of everything hang from your TV’s HDMI port. However, if you’re just connecting the Fire TV or the Fire TV with an ethernet adapter, like most people will, you shouldn’t be concerned about straining your HDMI port. It will be well within what an HDMI port can handle without being damaged.

  1. clocks says:

    Are we sure a lot of the cheap tvs from TCL, Element, and other Chinese brands are adhering to these specs?

    Anyway, I agree it’s probably fine. But the OCD in me make me concerned. But the form factor alone wasn’t what caused me to sell my FTV3s. I just didn’t like how much of a downgrade they’d be. Even you buddy Lon S. said they were a big step back in his two videos where he talked about it.

    • AR says:

      “cheap TV’s”

      i have an 09 or 10 panasonic plasma that was over $2000
      the front HDMI is on the frits and i probably used it like twice
      and never abused it , also the poer board is failing and has been for along time now

      it is all foxconn crap no matter what brand name they slap on it

  2. I did a review of it as well. And personally it seems to weight about the same as the Firestick (gen 2).

    (I hope it’s cool to post a video here, if not let me know)
    You can see it hanging in this video!!

    • AFTVnews says:

      You’re more than welcome to post your videos as long as they are relevant to the topic, which your review video is here because you talk about its weight and how it hangs. Just keep in mind that I don’t allow discussion of piracy apps/add-ons on the site, which your video touches on, but it’s not the main point of the video, so it’s fine in this case.

      Best of luck with the YouTube channel!

  3. AFTV Fan says:

    Those concerned with the weight could use Velcro tape to offload strain from the HDMI port.

    • Reflex says:

      Yeah that was my thought, if you are worried about it use double sided padded tape. I use that stuff to mount things routinely.

    • Joe says:

      Then I would worry about heat and ventilation. Better to buy a refurb Fire TV 2.

      • clocks says:

        Yeah, unless you need HDR, I would opt for a reburb FTV2. It’s pretty much better is every way.

      • Drake Griffin says:

        Only that it’s slower and more expensive.. other then that I guess it’s better. Also there is no ventilation ducts on the device it uses internal heatsinking most likely so you could stick it to the tv it won’t make much of a difference then dangling it. But dangling is fine just as the post says.

    • Ichijoe says:

      +1 But, if you have to resort to this, than a Gen2 Fire TV might be more in line. Barring that the nVIDIA Shield TV. Which while arguably more expensive than the FireTV, is by far the better Device of the Two.

  4. AR says:

    that design tho

    it is just begging for a kodi logo sticker to be slapped on both sides

  5. Dave Puckup says:

    A couple of blobs of Bluetak will support it adequately ..and allow an air gap.

  6. Tech3475 says:

    One option is to get a hdmi female to female adapter to allow the connection of another hdmi cable or some other kind of extension cable.

  7. derrick says:

    nope it won’t cause i’m not wasting my money on that downgrade

  8. AFTV Fan says:

    Can this be hacked/rooted and turned into a fully functioning computer like Intel’s compute stick? I know it can’t run Windows, but Linux for ARM.

    • Ichijoe says:

      Not even the FTV2 has been hacked in that way. Yeah I guess you could root it just fine. (Or at least you could.) Either way it’s just about as useless in the end. More so when they decide to release an Update that softbricks it. But, AFAIK a proper Bootloader back to unlock it. Has never emerged.

      BTW: IIRC the FTV, had a Qualcomm SoC in it, the FTV2 had a MediaTEK SoC in that. But, what did they decide to put inside the new one?

  9. Ichijoe says:

    So I take it the good folks at Amazon, are all Dog People then? I can’t see how a Cat wouldn’t fork with this thing, and thus messing up the HDMI Port on your TV.

  10. Elease says:

    I’m concerned because as soon as I hooked it to my tv like a few months later I started getting these vertical color green lines in my tv. It started out as 1 now I have three.

  11. Christi says:

    It HAS ruined three of my HDMI ports. I told the kids (11-15) not to touch it because I thought possibly they were putting it in rough. So I took over on plugging it in. We would take it with us camping and then put it back into our main t.v. It would become loose and reset itself. I know you get what you pay for but it extremely frustrating when you have multiple ones and it happens to each one. So yes the weight EVENTUALLY causes a disconnect. Maybe they didn’t test it for a year?..

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