When the “Firestick format not supported” message appears it generally means that the user is not able to use the device.
The most frequent reason for this error is when the Fire Stick is set to a resolution that the TV does not support.
In other words, not compatible.
When the Firestick format is not supported, users should test plugging the device into a different TV HDMI port and enhancing the connection through the settings. Furthermore, this problem appears on videos with unsupported Video Codecs.
Let’s next learn how users managed to solve this problem in some easy solutions!
Whenever the format is not supported on a Fire Stick, there are few solutions for the users to undertake that will definitely help the situation.
Let’s begin with changing the resolution first.
There is an easy way to switch between the different resolutions on your Fire Stick until you find out that matches your TV.
This process on a Fire Stick will automatically attempt to sync the resolution to match with your TV’s supported formats and in most cases, it helps.
Grab the Fire Stick remote and let’s learn how:
- Press and hold the Rewind button.
- Press and hold the Up button.
- After 10 seconds, the resolution should change.
- Press Select to choose a resolution.
The Fire Stick will start cycling through different resolutions in an attempt to discover one that aligns with your TV.
You’ll need to release the Rewind and the Up button and press Select when you find a suitable resolution for the television.
Note: Some users need to repeat the steps several times to discover the best available resolution.
A great solution that has helped many users solve the “Format Not Supported” error on a Fire Stick is the hard reset or also known as a “power cycle”.
This method works by disconnecting the device from the HDMI port and allowing the Fire Stick to discharge for a few minutes.
- Disconnect the Fire Stick from the television for at least 3 minutes!
When the device has been discharged, plug the Fire Stick back into the TV and test whether the error would appear again. In case it does, proceed with the next solution.
On some TVs, one of the HDMI ports is enhanced and others are not.
In that regard, you would need to test plugging your Fire Stick into a different HDMI port than the one currently in use.
Smart TVs usually have one HDMI port on the side and at least 2 more HDMI ports on the back.
Test plugging your Fire Stick into each of them and then using Solution #1 to adjust the resolution.
Plug your Fire Stick directly into the TV’s HDMI port and avoid using extenders!
In case the problem continues to appear on all HDMI ports of your TV then maybe the HDMI settings are misconfigured and need a little tweaking.
Let’s learn more in the next solution.
Sometimes the reason for the format not supported Firestick error comes from the TV HDMI settings.
The incompatibility comes because the HDMI ports are not set to be HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2.
To make sure that your TV is compatible with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 you’ll need to locate the HDMI settings.
To solve the problem you’ll need to enable a certain feature on the TV.
Here are some of the most popular TV brands and which option has to be enabled:
- For LG – HDMI Ultra setting
- For Vizio – Full HD Color
- For Samsung – HDMI UHD Color
- For Sony HDMI Signal Format
- For Hisense – Enhanced Format
On most TVs, these options are located in Settings > Display/Picture > HDMI options.
By enhancing the HDMI settings on your TV, the Fire Stick format should become supported, hence the device would start working normally.
Even if the Fire Stick is one of the most popular and powerful streaming devices on the market, when you attempt to play an unsupported media type, you’ll see “Format Not Supported”.
The error often appears when we try to play media from unknown sources with not supported video codecs.
Here’s a list of ALL supported Video Codecs for Fire Stick:
- Dolby Vision
- VP8, 9
The streaming stick also supports HDR as well as a variety of input/output color formats.
However, when the media is not supported the error message will appear anyways.
Note: The maximum video resolution on a Fire Stick can be 4K @ 60FPS.
When the Firestick format not supported error is persistent users can manually change the resolution from the settings of the Fire Stick device.
Using the Fire Stick remote, follow the steps below:
- Press the Home button (house icon).
- Go right and select Settings.
- Go across to select Display & Sound.
- Move down to select Display.
- Select Video Resolution.
When you enter the Video Resolution tab, you’ll see several different formats:
- 1080p 60 Hz
- 1080p 50 Hz
- 720p 60 Hz
- 720 50 Hz
Be sure to attempt using Automatic first and in case it does not work, test each different format.
When you select a different resolution from the one currently in use, you’ll need to Confirm the prompt before the time runs out or choose Cancel to revert the changes.
Tip: In the Display tab make sure that Color Format is also Automatic.
In case you’ve attempted everything in the guide so far and you’re still seeing the message “Format Not Supported”, maybe your TV is incompatible with HDCP 2.2.
- Not all 4K Smart TVs support HDCP 2.2
The High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is necessary for the Fire Stick to work and older TVs that do not support the protocol won’t cope with the streaming stick.
There is an easy way to check whether your TV does support HDCP 2.2 by looking on the back.
Most TVs should have stickers somewhere on the back panel which should indicate if the TV is HDCP-compliant. When there is no sticker, users can check for this information on the TV box.
The last possible way to check for HDCP support is by checking the TV model online!
The Fire Stick is only compatible with newer TVs. Although many old TVs do support HDMI inputs, the Fire Stick might not be able to work with the device.
If your TV is older than 10 years, there is a great chance that the television won’t work with Fire Stick, therefore you’ll see the “Format Not Supported” error every time you attempt to stream.
To justify or eliminate this possibility you should check online or contact Amazon customer service and ask.
In most cases, the TVs are supported, but sometimes the device is too old.
Hence, the Fire Stick “Format Not Supported” message will appear whenever the resolution of the TV and the streaming device does not align. Furthermore, this error appears when the HDMI of your TV is not functional or does not support HDCP 2.2.
Read Next: Soundbar Not Working with Firestick?
Now that we know why the Firestick format not supported errors appear and how to deal with this problem, we hope that this fault never bothers you again.
In case the issue is persistent, and the television is compatible with the HDCP protocol, users should contact amazon for further instructions on how to troubleshoot the problem.
For more relevant posts and solutions for your smart devices, make sure to check our blog!
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.