firmware

How can I repurpose a TIVO?

Roamio

Episode 1567

Kevin from North Carolina

Kevin wants to know how he can update the firmware on his old TIVo Roamio. Is there a way to put a new OS on it, like KODI? Leo says that would be difficult, it was designed to be a streaming media player. TIVOCommunity.com is a good place to go to see if anyone is doing that. Another good source is WeakKnees.com since they resell hardware.

What is firmware?

Episode 1502

Joy from Santa Cruz, CA

Joy wants to know what firmware is? Leo says that firmware is the software that a computer or device uses to operate its system. It's software that is protected because you need it to run the actual device so that the software can translate instructions that the device understands.

Should I replace my router?

eero.com

Episode 1479

Brian from Indio, CA

Brian wants to know why he should replace his router. Leo says that routers wear out, like when they are getting hot. That's an indicator it's working harder to push the traffic where it needs to go. He'll want to look for a router that that updates its firmware. He'll also want a reliable manufacturer who cares about updates. Leo also recommends a MESH router, which are great for homes that have issues with WiFi reception.

Get a mesh system at Eero's website (sponsor of TWiT)

Can I get rid of the RAID feature in my bios?

BIOS

Episode 1476

John from West Palm Beach, FL

John bought an SSD from Intel a few years ago, and it installed a RAID program in the BIOS of his computer. Now he can't get rid of it. What can he do? Leo says he should just ignore it. Most modern BIOS / EFI support RAID, but it doesn't really take up any usable room. It's just a firmware feature, so he can ignore it. He shouldn't mess with his BIOS anyway.

Why can't my Blu-ray player play my DVDs?

UBD-K8500 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player

Episode 1327

Joselyn from Orange County, CA

Joselyn has a Samsung Blu-ray player and it won't play a Blu-ray that she bought. David says that it may need to have its firmware updated. Hollywood is so afraid of piracy that they constantly change the encoding of the copy protection, so consumers have to keep updating the firmware in order to play it. She can just go to Settings > Firmware update.

Why can't I connect to the internet with my new router?

Episode 1309

Terri from Diamond Bar, CA

Terri bought a new NetGear router but she still can't connect to the internet. Her ISP, Frontier, says that she needs a firmware update. Is this true? Leo says it may be. Terri is using DSLExtreme and Frontier together and it may be that there's an older version of the firmware that's causing the hiccup. Updating the firmware is easy to do. She should go to Netgear.com and download it. Follow the instructions, log into the router, and then run the firmware update utility.

Do I need firewalls if I have a router?

Episode 1175

Joe from Canton, OH

Joe just got a router and wants to know if he really needs firewalls anymore. Leo says no. Joe could turn on the Windows firewall, but any third party firewall isn't really needed because the router is essentially a "dumb box" that prevents attacks from incoming traffic.

Routers, though, aren't impervious to attack, so he'll need to keep the firmware up to date, or even use a third party firmware like Tomato or DDWRT.

Does the Pono Player not support gapless playback?

Pono Player

Episode 1143

Bill from Los Angeles, CA

Bill picked up one of Neil Young's new Pono Player and what he thinks is that it sounds amazing, but it has no gapless playback. It just plays straight through. Leo says that's a firmware issue and he's heard that it will be fixed with a future firmware update. In fact, it works just fine with Pono Desktop. So be patient, as it will be fixed down the line.

Why do my Philips Hue bulbs turn blue spontaneously?

Philips Hue

Episode 1112

Brian from Charlestown, IN

Charles has a Philips Hue lighting system that randomly turns blue. Leo says that when the power goes out, the Hues come on at full brightness when it returns. So it could be a bug like that. Leo advises contacting support through the website. Meanwhile, if Charles can just reset it to the normal color, then at least that is good. The chatroom also says to make sure the bulb has the latest firmware, and he should check his alarm settings.

Is the Asus router a good choice for me?

Episod 1093

Tom from Warren, OH

Tom is looking to get an Asus Dual Band Router. He's heard good reviews about it. Leo says that routers these days are a dime a dozen; a commodity. There isn't much difference between them, quite frankly. The dirty secret is that they all run the same chip sets. But Asus has started to use the open source firmware solutions like DDWRT. Going with open source firmware allows updates to happen more frequently that keep it secure.