What Amount Of Energy Do Your Streaming Media Players Consume?

Streaming TV devices, such as a Roku or a Chromecast, are always ready to go because they are plugged in and connected. When your television is turned off, it consumes less power; but, what about the gadgets used for streaming? What is their average daily energy consumption?

There is a wide variety of streaming hardware available in a variety of forms and dimensions. Some are more substantial “set-top boxes,” whereas others are more compact “streaming sticks.” The amount of electricity that a device consumes varies. Let’s find out which ones make the most use of it.

The Numbers

The world of gadgets that stream media is rather large. The majority of manufacturers that sell products in this area offer a wide variety of different choices. We chose some of the most popular streaming gadgets that you could already have in your possession.

One last thing you need to think about is what it is that you are doing with the gadget. Watching a video on Netflix’s 4K HDR streaming service will consume more power than watching a video on YouTube. I tried to get a solid overall measurement, but it would be hard to measure every single item that can be done with a streaming device.

In order to determine the wattage requirements for a Chromecast Ultra, a Chromecast with Google TV, and a Roku Ultra, I used a smart plug. I was successful in locating sources for the material pertaining to the Apple TV as well as the Fire TV. (The character “” represents a value that is close to the exact one.)

DeviceTV OnIdle
Apple TV 4K3.03-5.58w0.30w
Chromecast Ultra1.5-2.0w1.5w
Fire TV 4K~4w~1w
Chromecast with Google TV~1.0-3.0w1.0w
Roku Ultra~3.0-4.5w3.0w

There is some information that is quite fascinating here. Surprisingly, the Chromecast Ultra consumes almost the same amount of power as the Chromecast with Google TV, and even a little bit more when it’s just sitting there doing nothing. In contrast to the Ultra, which is really a dongle, the Google TV comes equipped with a full-fledged operating system.

In terms of being the “largest” of the bunch of devices, the Apple TV 4K and the Roku Ultra are relatively comparable; however, the Apple TV uses very little power while it is not in use. The Amazon Fire TV 4K performed similarly to the larger devices as well.

Just how much does it set you back?

Let’s add some dollar signs to each of these different figures. We’ll use a rate of $0.18 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the electricity, four hours of active use, and twenty hours of idle time. Take into account that these are just estimates, but here is how it breaks down:

  • Apple TV 4K: Approximately $1.44 each month for the first year.
  • Costs approximately $2.41 per year for Chromecast Ultra.
  • Fire TV 4K: An annual cost of approximately $2.36
  • Costs around $1.83 per year for Chromecast when bundled with Google TV.
  • The annual cost of Roku Ultra is approximately $4.87.

The Roku Ultra is by far the most expensive of the lot while having a lower active power consumption than the other models. Since it consumes so little power when it’s not being used, the Apple TV 4K is also the most budget-friendly option. The amount of power that a device uses when it is not being used is very significant to consider.

Is it really that big of a concern if it costs you approximately $5 per year to keep your Roku hooked in at all times? Almost certainly not. That works up to less than half a dollar every month. Nevertheless, it is fascinating to observe how much power the things we use every day consume.

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