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Recently, many readers have been asking about their Android TV Boxes. How do you get the best streaming and quality of output?
Besides having a good quality product from a reputable manufacturer, one other aspect can significantly influence the performance of your Android TV box – the firmware.
In this how-to guide, we will tell you more about firmware. What is firmware, why you should update it, where to get the latest version, and how to update it?
Firmware: What is it?
When you mention the word firmware today, people do not turn around and stare at you with a strange look. Because it is the tech age, and we expect that the majority (out of the 5,400) English words created every year will be tech-based. But that is beside the point.
The term firmware is pretty much like software. Only that now it applies to Android TV boxes.
An Android TV Box operates pretty much like your tablet or smartphone. It has the hardware, the operating system (of course it is Android duh!), and the firmware.
Firmware is what speaks to the hardware and makes it do what it should do. It connects the Wi-Fi, SD card, or Bluetooth with the hardware and instructs it on what to do.
Each Android TV manufacturer develops its firmware to optimize its product. It is usually stored in the Read-Only Memory (ROM) of the TV box. So the info will not disappear when you switch off the device.
Why Should You Update the Firmware on Your Android TV Box?
Firmware is specific to hardware manufacturers, and it is meant to make the device function optimally. Unless you have the most up-to-date firmware for your Android TV box, it may not do all the things that the manufacturer has developed.
For example, the manufacturer may have come up with a way to enhance the performance of your device. They may have improved streaming or image quality. You will need to update the firmware on your TV box to benefit from the improvements.
Updating firmware also safeguards your device from security vulnerabilities that had not been identified in the previous versions.
At this point, we also advise you to protect the device with appropriate antivirus software.
How Do You Update the Firmware on Your Android TV box?
Before we give you the steps, there are a few things to clarify.
- Reputable TV box manufacturers will always have instructions on how to update firmware on their websites. They will also have a page where you can download the latest firmware.
- Firmware connects the hardware to the operating system. It is not software. Therefore you can only get it from the device manufacturer, not Android.
- Firmware is also model-specific. Make sure you have the correct details of the model before downloading. Installing incorrect firmware could damage your Android TV box.
- If you have a reputable brand, you can register your device with the manufacturer and receive automatic firmware updates on your device.
In case it is not possible to perform auto-updates, follow these steps:
- Visit the manufacturer’s website and download the correct firmware onto a USB or SD card.
- While the device is off, fix the memory device on the TV box.
- Switch on the TV box in recovery mode. To do this, turn on the power while holding the reset button for about 8-10 seconds. The box should open in recovery mode with several options. In case you cannot locate the reset button, consult the TV manufacturer’s manual.
- Select the option to reboot the system in recovery mode. You will get a request to apply updates from the memory device you had inserted in your box.
- Choose the firmware file, and let it run. When it is through, restart the system.
This is a general guide and should work for most Android TV boxes. But we appreciate that manufacturers like to differentiate their products or how consumers do their thing. So, we suggest that you check out the manufacturer’s TV box manual and procedure for specific instructions. They should be available on the manufacturer’s website.
Also, you may go through the above process but discover that the firmware is not compatible with the device. In that case, double-check if the model details correspond with the firmware you downloaded. Chances are you may have downloaded the wrong firmware. Be careful since installing the wrong firmware could brick your Android TV box. It could also be that the manufacturer no longer supports the hardware (that particular model). If this is true, consider investing in a new Android TV box.
To conclude, updating the firmware on your Android TV box will help you to enjoy better performance. It is easy to update. Make sure you consult the manufacturer’s website for the specific procedure and download the correct firmware. Installing the wrong firmware could brick your Android TV Box and render it unusable.