Q. I have an Amazon Fire TV streaming stick, but it keeps getting a blank screen when I turn it on. It will sometimes then show a picture, but then it will go back to a blank screen. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix this? I don’t want to get a new streaming thing. — Karen, Toledo. Ohio. 

Karen, like most streaming devices and services, the Amazon Fire TV (set-top or stick) can run into occasional technical snafus, including displaying a blank screen when you are trying to watch your favorite show! Fortunately, Amazon has some ideas on how to fix the problem the next time you encounter it.

1. Restart your Fire TV device.
Over the years, I’ve learned that a simple re-start can resolve many technical issues, including those for computers and TV-based products. So, take the Fire TV’s HDMI cable out of the TV’s HDMI port, and unplug the device from your wall or surge protector outlet. Then, wait about a minute, and replug and reconnect. If that doesn’t fix the problem, go to #2:

2. Get a new cable.
It’s possible your HDMI cable is frayed or corrupted. Disconnect it from your Fire TV device/stick and try a new one. If that doesn’t help, go to #3:

3. Check the remote. 
Make sure your remote’s source or input button is set to the HDMI port that your Fire TV is plugged into. For example, if your Fire TV is in HDMI 2, you want to be sure your TV is set on HDMI 2. Hit the source or input button until HDMI 2 displays on your screen. If that doesn’t work, go to #4:

4. Check your sound bar.
If you have your Fire TV connected to a sound system, make sure it’s securely connected, and set to the correct TV input (HDMI port.). If you think the sound system (sound bar or A/V receiver) is interfering with the Fire TV’s connection, you can try connecting the Fire TV directly to the TV.

After trying all four suggestions, and failing to resolve the issue, there’s one more thing I would recommend before you get a new streaming device — check your Internet connection. Sometimes you’ll get a blank screen if your connection is slow or faulty.

You can check your service’s speed at speedtest.net; you should be getting at least 10 Mbps on average to get a decent stream.

And I would suggest examining how your other Net-based products are doing to compare against the Fire TV. If they are acting up as well, then it could be your Internet service and not the Fire TV.

Karen, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann