I have attached my raspberry pi to a tv and it is powered via the tv's usb port. The problem is that the raspberry pi shuts off a few minutes after it starts up. I am fairly certain that this is a power issue because I have tried powering the pi via an outlet power connection and there are no problems. I was wondering if there are any settings I can change on the pi so that there are none of these power problems when I am getting power from the tv's usb port.

3 Answers 3


There's really no settings on the pi that would change how well that works. My guess is the TV port puts out the bare minimum power it needs to interface with whatever the specified receive is. Often times, USB ports on TV's aren't for anything more than a diagnostic tool or flash drive with some pictures on it.

My recommendation would be to plug the Pi into an outlet.

  • Thanks. Does this mean that pis cannot be powered by usb on tv's in general, or are there some tvs that allow this? Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 19:56
  • @user1893354: My assumption is that no, there are no TV's that will allow you to do this without any modifications on your part. There might be one or two out there that output enough power ( maybe one that's compatible with external hard drives ), but it's really not what those ports are designed for.
    – Jacobm001
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 16:12
  • My Sony TV works just fine with my Pi model B and a Wifi Dongle! You might want to try different OSes, I personally experienced best results when using openelec. (Which is also somehow immune to data loss due to read-only booting)
    – Gotschi
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 11:33

You can find out more about RPi power requirements here.

The important thing to note is that the RPi rev. A needs at least 500mA, and the rev. B 700mA, whereas many power adapters and USB ports provide 500mA max. Depending on your usage, you may use as much as 1500mA with a rev. B.

Thus, you should seek a power adapter that can provide at least 1000mA, and preferably more.


raspberry pi needs 700 mA

USB on the host device (TV) can supply 500 mA (max)

however when you use your raspberry pi to task which don't require much power TV is enough but don't be surprised when raspberry pi reboots when you hotplug wifi dongle

and yes, my TV supplies enough power for raspberry pi to work reliable (without any additional power-demanding HW attached)

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