Friday, 16 November 2012

Your Blu-ray Player is just a PC - Treat it Like One

A few weeks ago I decided to try to fix a problem which had been bugging me for a while. The extra features on the Blu-ray version of Fringe Season 3 didn't play on my LG Blu-ray player. Having not updated the software for over a year, I reckoned that this was almost certainly the problem, and once I'd finished watching the series itself, I hooked the player up to the Internet.

Sure enough, there was a new version of the software available, so I set it off downloading. Some 40 minutes later, it completed, and started installing. At which point the device crashed and required a hard reset using the wall socket. Not really what I was hoping for, but the reboot revealed that the software hadn't updated and the thing was at least still working.

In a classic case of "I've started so I'll finish" I tried the update again, and 40 odd minutes later went through the same process of having to hard reset.

At this point, it was time to treat the player like a PC (well, it is a Linux box after all, underneath all the consumer branding) and I went off for some serious Internet searching. I found a few people were having some problems, but also that the LG web site had a version of the software which was newer than the one I had currently, but older than the one it was trying to upgrade to. Normally the web site should offer the same version, but in this case I was happy to be able to try something else.

I downloaded this (in about 90 seconds, so why the player took so long about it I don't know) and copied to a USB stick, and updated the player using that. This time, the player didn't crash, and rebooted successfully.

Alas the Fringe extras still didn't work.

However, it did mean that I could now attempt the automatic software update over the Internet, yet again, but this time from a different start point in terms of software. Keeping to the pattern, this once again took 40 minutes to download, but this time the process completed with a successful reboot.

Happily the Fringe extra features now played. So, it's always important to remember that lots of consumer devices now are basically PCs inside, so when they give you grief, treat them like PCs!

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