Some Amazon Fire TV or Firestick users may experience a problem where the device starts to boot, but never loads the Home screen. The Fire TV logo appears, and everything seems to be starting fine, but it just never displays Home and sits there at a black screen. This guide will help troubleshoot this issue.
First make sure that your Fire TV remains powered on. If the device is shutting off at the Home screen or restarting on its own, there may be an issue with the power block you are using.
If you are sure your Fire TV is still powered on, never loading the Home screen, and sits at a black screen, the problem is likely HDCP.
HDCP stands for “High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection“. It is an anti-piracy feature used in most modern video equipment to prevent users from copying content to a device. But this feature can cause problems sometimes when legit users are just trying to use their video player to watch something.
Quick Fixes for HDCP Problems (Black Screen)
When you receive this error, the Fire TV device is not able to detect that it is connected to an HDCP supported device. Follow these steps to troubleshoot this issue.
- Ensure the device you are connecting your Fire TV/Firestick to is an HDCP supported device. Some older televisions may not support HDCP.
- Ensure the HDMI cable is directly connected from the Fire TV/Firestick to the TV. If you’re using any type of adapters or devices in between the HDMI connection, try removing them from the equation.
- Re-seat the HDMI cable. Unplug the cable from both the TV and the Fire TV. Have a look at the cable and make sure the connectors are free of debris and that there are no burn marks. Once you have inspected the cable, reconnect it.
- Try a different HDMI cable. The one you are using may not be allowing the HDCP signals to communicate between devices.
Set HDCP Settings on TV HDMI Ports
Ensure all devices are compatible with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2. Try to find and change settings related to the HDMI ports on your TV.
Here are some common locations for this setting on popular TV brands:
- Hisense: With the input switched to the one Fire TV is using, go to “Menu” > “Picture” > “HDMI Format” > “Enhanced Format“.
- Insignia/Toshiba: Press and hold the Home button on the remote to bring up the quick menu then select “Picture” > “Advanced Settings” > “HDMI Input Mode” > “Mode 2 (2.0)“.
- LG: Go to “Home” > “HDMI” > “Settings” > “Advanced” > “Picture” > “HDMI Ultra Deep Color” > “On” > “Restart“.
- Philips and Roku TV: Go to “Preferences” > “HDMI mode” > choose Fire TV input > “HDMI Mode” > “Standard“.
- Samsung: Go to “Menu” > “Picture” > “Picture Options” > “HDMI UHD Color” > “On” > “Restart“.
- Sony: Go to “Home” > “Settings” > “External inputs” > “HDMI signal format” > “HDMI” > choose Fire TV input > “Enhanced mode“.
- Vizio: Go to “Menu” > “Input Settings” > choose Fire TV input > “Full HD Color” > “On“.
Also check to see if you can use another HDMI port. Some TVs have one enhanced HDMI port while the others are not.
Bypass HDCP Fix
If you regularly have problems with your Fire TV not loading the Home screen and you absolutely must get things working, your next best option is to try to bypass or strip out HDCP. There are many devices on the market that will do this, but they are quite pricey.
I managed to find this HDMI splitter that seems to strip out the HDCP signal and allow you to connect the Fire TV to any device you like. Just connect the HDMI splitter between the Fire TV and your television, and it should solve the issue.
Factory Reset Fire TV / Firestick
If you have tried all of the above steps and still have problems with the Fire TV showing a black screen at startup, try a factory reset. A factory reset will clear all settings and data from the Fire TV. Your apps should automatically reload once you set it up again.
- Let the Fire TV load to the black screen.
- Press and hold “Right” ◑ on the directional pad and “Back” together for 15 seconds. After about 25 seconds, the Fire TV should start to factory reset automatically.
I hope this guide has helped you solve the issue with your Fire TV or Firestick starting to a black screen. Please feel free to share your experience with this issue in the comments section below.