Finding Power For Streaming Devices in Hotel Rooms

Finding Power For Streaming Devices in Hotel Rooms

May 21, 2020 Family Internet Travel Tech Blog 0

Other than the occasional hotel that still doesn’t make it easy to plug in and use the TVs HDMI ports, finding power for your streaming device may be the next biggest challenge to having all of your favorite entertainment with you everytime you travel.

Below we cover a few tips and tricks for ways to get power to your streaming device when there isn’t an obvious power outlet available.

USB Power

The easiest and yet most overlooked way to easily get power is to use the TV or TV control boxes USB port. Most streaming devices are USB powered, you simply need to unplug the USB port from the power adapter. Then plug it in into a USB port on the TV or TV control unit.

In most cases these USB ports are powered, will have no negative effect on your device and don’t require you to move any furniture of find a power outlet. Plus, they are right next to your TV.

The best part about this approach is that you don’t need to buy anything or bring anything extra. This also works great for mounted TVs where accessing an outlet behind it may be difficult or impossible.

In our experience this works with about 50% of hotels. Hotels with newer TVs, either because the hotel is new or refreshed, are far more likely to have TVs or control boxes with powered USB ports.

Bring A Small Power Splitter

The TV itself needs power so there is often a power outlet right nearby. While in some cases the outlet is hidden behind furniture, the vast majority of the time the outlet is reachable because it is next to or behind the furniture. Sometimes the cabinet under the TV opens and the outlet is accessible via the cabinet.

However, the challenge often is that both outlets are taken. This is usually because the TV and the control box each need a socket, so both are consumed.

The cheap and easy to carry answer is to buy a small power splitter. These are safe and easy to use, and are about the size of a pack of mints.

To use it simply:

  1. Unplug the TV – we recommend the TV over the control box if both are present because the control box takes longer to come back on, usually the TV will turn right back on.
  2. Plug in the power splitter
  3. Plug the TV back in
  4. Plug in your streaming device

Below is an example from Amazon that can be purchased for about $5 shipped for a 3 pack. There are other brands available and you can find it at other retailers. We understand not everyone loves Amazon. We don’t get any commission from Amazon for the purchase of this product. We know how handy these are because several of us here at Go Connect use this exact model.

While the occasional need to get behind furniture or move furniture, is less than ideal, (and potentially not an option for some people at all) other than having USB power this is the next easiest way to get power to your device.

We highly recommend spending the few dollars it will cost to buy a power splitter and keep it with your travel streaming stick.

In our experience, this will work in 60-70% of all hotels. Combined with the option above to use USB power your likely going to be able to easily find power in 80%+ of all hotels with just a few dollars spent and not much extra to carry.

Get An Extra Long USB Cable

Since the vast majority of streaming sticks simply use a micro USB adapter for power you can cheapy and easily by an extra long cable.

Most hotel rooms are 325sq ft (13′ x25′) according to USA Today, so a 10 or 12 foot cord will generally get you to an outlet.

The downside to the approach is that it requires bringing a long cable which can be hassle. Some hotels, like extended stay hotels, often have large enough rooms that even a long cord may not work or may require you to run it across a door way. That can be a safety hazard.

While this is hardly an ideal solution compared to the other two options, if you are a die hard traveler who loves to have their own entertainment, it’s a great choice for the occasions where getting to a power outlet is impossible and you can’t get USB power. This way you can at least run a long cord to a neighboring outlet.

Other Tips and Tricks

A few other suggested TIps and Tricks not related to power for traveling with a streaming stick:

  • Bring an HDMI cable extension – most streaming sticks come with an adapter. While not cheap and bulky, a long HDMI cable can make it easier to reach behind a wall mounted TV where a streaming stick may not fit or is difficult to maneuver.
  • Use a travel router or pick a streaming stick that works well with hotel WiFi portals.