Post updated with new information from Amazon.
Users of Amazon’s Fire TV should stay away from the set-top box’s mosaic screensaver feature if they don’t want to inadvertently download tons of data.
Freelance writer Tyler Hayes was testing a Fire TV last month, when his internet service provider sent a notice to inform him that he had gone over his monthly data cap of 250 GB worth of downloads.
According to an Amazon spokesperson, Hayes encountered a “edge case bug” with one of the box’s built-in screensavers that caused it to download all of the images it showed every time it chose to display them.
“There is a small possibility if a customer uses the ‘mosaic’ feature (not the default setting) on the screensaver, images will not be cached,” the spokesperson said in an email to GeekWire. “We’re working on a software update that will fix the bug, and in the meantime customers can turn off the mosaic view for the screensaver to avoid the issue.”
Hayes eventually pulled down more than 800 GB of data in the month of May, more than three times his cap. In his post discussing the problem, he blamed the Fire TV’s Advanced Streaming and Prediction (ASAP) feature, which downloads content in the background that Amazon thinks users would like. But Amazon says that it has confirmed the overages didn’t stem from ASAP.
Furthermore, Amazon said it hasn’t received reports about this bug from other customers. Fire TV owners concerned about the bug can avoid the mosaic screensaver setting until Amazon pushes a software update.