Blu-ray Problems? Try Updating Your Firmware

By · Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Blu-ray Problems? Try Updating Your FirmwareAlthough Blu-ray movies and discs have been on the market since 2006, the Blu-ray disc format is still evolving. With the introduction of new formats like Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray XL (BD-XL), the specifications for Blu-ray discs have been changed. In some cases, older players and recorders may require a firmware update in order to work properly with newer discs.

What is Firmware?
Firmware  is a set of specific instructions hard-coded into a chip on a citcuit board that tells the device what to do. Firmware is found in everything these days from cars to computer to smart phones, and of course, in Blu-ray disc burners and players.

Blu-ray Player Firmware Updates
Although it is rare, it is not impossible for a Blu-ray player to reject a  Blu-ray disc or movie. This can be a very frustrating experience, especially if it is a brand-new disc you just purchased! Fortunately, the CDROM2GO Blog is here to help.

Those of you with a stand-alone,  set-top Blu-ray player from a major manufacturer such as Pioneer, Sony, Samsung, and others will want to check the company’s website for a firmware update. This information can often found in the “Support” or “Help” section of the site when searching by the Model Number. Make sure to follow any and all directions to ensure that everything goes smoothly during the upgrade process.

A common experience among users who upgrade their Blu-ray players is that they will need to download the files from the Internet and place them on to a USB flash drive, which then connects to a port on the back of the player. Accessing the Setup/Utility menu will allow the user to load the new firmware files to the player. Often times, a reboot is needed to apply the changes.

Blu-ray Burner Firmware Updates
Computer users who have a Blu-ray drive in their desktop or laptop may also find it necessary to update their firmware. This could introduce new features or improve compatibility with different types of blank Blu-ray media.

The process is very similar to updating the firmware for a stand-alone player. Start by checking the manufacturer’s website for any available updates based on your drive’s Model Number. If an update is available, download it to your computer and save it in a safe place.

Read the instructions before applying the update. Often times, updating the firmware on an internal burner requires running a specialized program which “flashes” the drive’s firmware to the latest version. After a quick reboot, you should be good to go!

A Word of Caution
Firmware updates can often solve problems when playing back Blu-ray discs or when a burner drive does not recognize a particular type of blank BD-R disc. However, a firmware update is not the “be-all, end-all” solution to any problem. Definitely take the time to explore all possibilities when things are not working right. If things are working fine, stick with the old adage: “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!” You might end up doing more harm than good.

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