It does have to be plugged into a power source as well as the TV. Companies make adapters that have a little transformer in them so you can use the usb port on your TV (if it has one) to power the stick. If you use the cord that came with the stick that doesn't have the transformer it won't consistently power the stick (I know from experience) and you will eventually have issues. The little charger cords only cost like $15 on amazon too. Well worth it.