What is firmware does a and its update entail and how do you ensure that your equipment is completely up-to-date?
What is Firmware?
Every device you buy nowadays, from a Blu-ray player to a TV, has software that is programmed in the hardware and controls the device. This software is also called the firmware. The performance and capabilities of the device in question are partly determined by the firmware, so it is important that it is up-to-date. Technological development is also going so fast that the software is outdated after a few months. Fortunately, many manufacturers nowadays offer the possibility to update the firmware of a device, via a physical medium such as a USB stick or via the internet. This update can fix firmware issues and add extra functions to your home theater device.
Why update firmware?
There are many consumers who never check for firmware updates for the various devices in the home theater system, but it is absolutely recommended to do this once in a while. Manufacturers have explained (if all goes well) in the manual how to check if you have the most recent firmware version and where you can possibly find new versions. The big advantage of a firmware update is that you are provided with the most recent software. This software can solve problems discovered by a manufacturer after the launch of a product, can add extra functions such as streaming services, and can improve the performance of your equipment. In addition, the device is ready for the coming period in terms of support and options, so you do not have to go straight to the store for a new product.
What equipment can I update?
As mentioned, many equipment can now be provided with a firmware update, but it is the choice of the manufacturer whether or not to allow or do this. It is often the better-known premium brands that make this possible and also regularly roll out updates to improve performance and add functions. In any case, it is advisable to check your (Smart) TV, your Blu-ray player, your home cinema system, your digital TV decoder and your receiver once in a while for the most recent firmware version.
How can you update equipment?
The answer to this question unfortunately depends on the product in question. Many new Smart TVs, receivers and Blu-ray players can be connected to the internet and a setting in the menu can (automatically) search for new updates. These devices can show you a notification when new software is available, after which the installation is almost automatic. However, there are also TVs, Blu-ray players and other devices that cannot be connected to the internet and USB sticks or CDs can be used for this. Read the manual of the product carefully about how to see which firmware version is currently in use and where to check for updates. On the website of the manufacturer you will often find in simple steps how the update can be performed. There are also exceptions because for some high-end components the manufacturer has to carry out the update itself and the product must therefore be sent to the manufacturer. However, this is not the case with the average TV or Blu-ray player.
If you experience problems with a home cinema component, for example a Blu-ray player that does not play discs or a TV for which the Smart TV platform does not work properly, it is always wise to first check whether a firmware update is available. There is always the chance that your problem will be solved with a new firmware version.