Feb 232009

Blu-Ray firmware updates are a regular part of life with a Blu-Ray player. Unlike DVD players, where firmware updates were a very rare occurrence, Blu-Ray players require constant updating in order to play the latest movies and the Java based extras they hold. Firmware also updates the audio and video capabilities of the player.

For some of us, the process is as simple as plugging a CAT 5 cable into the back of the player and letting the unit update itself. Others may have to turn their player on, prolonging the already long wait to see the movie menu start. The last way to update the firmware requires the user to either wait for the update in the mail or download it and burn it to a CD. Prior to setting u0p my wireless Ethernet bridge, I was the burn and update kind of guy.

Failure to update the firmware can cause movies to be unplayable or cause all kinds of unforeseen problems. Manufacturers commonly add features which keep the players somewhat future proof. It also allows them to bring a bug filled wreck of a product to market and fix it as they go along. I have not heard of any players that were bug free and just to make you scratch your head, the firmware updates often introduce additional bugs that have to fixed by later upgrades.

The firmware upgrade system isn’t clean or even easy in many cases but it does allow Blu-Ray to continue to grow towards being a mature technology. Updates are a fact of life if you have a player and should be done on a regular basis to ensure your player continues to work properly. I don’t see an end to the update cycle but hopefully, they will become far less frequent in the future.

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