USB slot: Manual/offline installation of software updates

NickNick Posts: 594Member
edited 12 August 2017, 11:42AM in Discussion
Can YouView seriously consider allowing users to download updates on their PC to a USB dongle so that they could then apply said update at their own convenience. This seemed to work well with the previous Humax unit, and other PVR's that allowed update installation via USB. Currently customers must have a broadband connection to get the latest software updates and other users (like my dad for example) will have to make do with the factory-settings box as they have no intention of getting broadband.

YouView boxes download new software in the background, verify that they got it correctly, and stores it in a spare software "bank" so you can't damage a box by turning it off during the process. This is not working perfectly for some Humax customers (YV is already on the case) but this is one of the big issues with using the internet for software updates etc. It is not the most robust method that many think it is and by providing the ability to manually update via a USB drive/dongle akin to updating Humax boxes in the past would be a great addition.

Possible solution:
Rather than just providing the software update via phased rollout could YouView also provide a download link to the software update package file(s) via the following announcement broadcast messages.

Community forum:
http://community.youview.com/youview/...

Youview.com FAQ support page:
http://www.youview.com/support/kb/aut...

The download files should be compatible for ALL machine manufacturers rather than just the Humax and Huawei boxes so would be centrally controlled by the Youview support wizards (the more companies/manufacturers involved the worse it would be as well as confusing to customers).

Previously reported (6 months ago):
http://community.youview.com/youview/...

Comments

  • sam1sam1 Posts: 1,182Member
    edited 25 September 2013, 9:47AM
    I vote for being able to download updates and install them via USB, whether it's made available by Humax or Youview.
  • TechnogranTechnogran Posts: 152Member
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    I also vote for this method to be implemented by YouView.
  • VisionmanVisionman Posts: 8,513Member ✭✭✭
    edited 21 December 2016, 11:05PM

    I also vote for this method to be implemented by YouView.

    Good to see you back and posting again, Technogran.
  • RoyRoy Posts: 13,344Member ✭✭✭
    edited 9 March 2017, 11:54PM
    The sine qua non is that you should be able to interrupt the update (not just download) process, or have it interrupted by a power cut, perhaps, and for the box to be able to recover from this.

    Unless it has that, it's of little or no account as to how the update is delivered.

    But I can likewise see advantages in being able to store the update on a USB stick, no matter if that is received on a PC, or via the box itself.

    Nick, as your Dad has no Internet, presumably you, or somebody like you, would have to toddle round there with a prepared USB stick and do it for him (or at least give/lend him the stick so he can do it himself)

    But I'm puzzled why anyone with no broadband would choose a YouView box? Other PVRs are available much cheaper, and it seems to me that the premium you pay for YouView is purely to buy you features that all require the Internet?
    ‘Does television exist for us to watch, or do we exist to watch television?’ - Noah Hawley
  • gomezgomez Posts: 2,073Member
    edited 27 April 2013, 4:35PM
    TBH in this connected world updating by USB memory stick is yesterday's clunky technology.
  • sam1sam1 Posts: 1,182Member
    edited 12 August 2017, 11:42AM
    It's being requested as an option, not instead of.
  • sam1sam1 Posts: 1,182Member
    edited 25 September 2013, 9:47AM
    "The sine qua non is that you should be able to interrupt the update (not just download) process, or have it interrupted by a power cut, perhaps, and for the box to be able to recover from this.

    Unless it has that, it's of little or no account as to how the update is delivered. "
    =========================================================

    Once it DOES have the ability to recover safely from an interruption, THEN it's of little or no account how the update is delivered. Until then, I'd rather minimize the possibilities of interruption by running the update from a USB stick at a time of my choosing and with the box disconnected from the internet.
  • gomezgomez Posts: 2,073Member
    edited 27 April 2013, 6:01PM
    sam1 said:

    It's being requested as an option, not instead of.

    How does that invalidate my opinion?
  • redchizredchiz Posts: 4,395Member ✭✭✭
    edited 28 February 2017, 2:05PM
    Sam, you have obviously never bricked a unit with a combination of flaky download and dodgy USB stick then, not an uncommon scenario unfortunately.
  • drhowellsdrhowells Posts: 633Member
    edited 20 December 2016, 5:21PM
    sam1 said:

    It's being requested as an option, not instead of.

    I agree with Gomez. In my opinion, this would not be a good use of Youviews time to work on something like this. The box is designed to be kept online all the time. It would be better use for them to improve the quality and reliability of the online update, rather than creating an alternate update method. Just my opinion though......
  • RoyRoy Posts: 13,344Member ✭✭✭
    edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM
    I see a fair bit of confusion here about the failure vectors. There are essentially two separate processes - the download and the install.

    If the process is properly conducted, the box can detect a faulty download - from its checksum and other criteria - and refuse to apply it. That's true whether it's from the Internet or off a USB stick.

    Then, having decided that it is in possession of a good update file, it can apply it. It should ensure no recording is running, nor scheduled in the near future, can elect to ignore any external stimuli - the remote, the buttons, anything from the internet - and so the only potential problem is then a power outage during the update.

    And that's the insurmountable issue, unless my sine qua non from above is met, no matter how the update is delivered.

    Conversely, if the box is vulnerable to bricking from a power outage during updating, it doesn't matter where the update is being stored - USB is no safer than Internet delivered.
    ‘Does television exist for us to watch, or do we exist to watch television?’ - Noah Hawley
  • sam1sam1 Posts: 1,182Member
    edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM
    That's a good analysis.

    I'd still like to have the option though but I'm not trying to invalidate anybody's opinion.
  • gomezgomez Posts: 2,073Member
    edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM
    It is always possible to proof the box against being irrevocably bricked by a borked update. The usual way would be to have a minimalist version of the firmware in read-only memory that can be restored and from there allow the latest update to be re-applied.
  • RoyRoy Posts: 13,344Member ✭✭✭
    edited 7 December 2016, 7:38AM
    sam1 said:

    That's a good analysis.

    I'd still like to have the option though but I'm not trying to invalidate anybody's opinion.

    Thanks. Pointing out, as I did above, that a USB update isn't inherently safer than an online one, doesn't mean that I'm against USB updates; I can see they have other merits, like portability for instance.

    However, re Gomez' comment about USB updates being 'yesterday's clunky technology', this news might startle Samsung a bit, where this is an option even on their 2013 models, and is Samsung's only delivery mechanism for updates in advance of general Internet release, as was the case to fix a particular difficulty we encountered with our Smarthub software.
    ‘Does television exist for us to watch, or do we exist to watch television?’ - Noah Hawley
  • alal Posts: 1,257Member ✭✭
    edited 8 December 2016, 11:01AM
    Roy1 said:

    The sine qua non is that you should be able to interrupt the update (not just download) process, or have it interrupted by a power cut, perhaps, and for the box to be able to recover from this.

    Unless it has that, it's of little or no account as to how the update is delivered.

    But I can likewise see advantages in being able to store the update on a USB stick, no matter if that is received on a PC, or via the box itself.

    Nick, as your Dad has no Internet, presumably you, or somebody like you, would have to toddle round there with a prepared USB stick and do it for him (or at least give/lend him the stick so he can do it himself)

    But I'm puzzled why anyone with no broadband would choose a YouView box? Other PVRs are available much cheaper, and it seems to me that the premium you pay for YouView is purely to buy you features that all require the Internet?

    I have to agree. Youview would be my very last option if I didn't have BB. So many other boxes are cheaper, more established, less flaky, smaller etc

    No offence to the YV bods, it mostly fits the bill as it was designed to be used but any deviation from that and it's not a great option.
  • RoyRoy Posts: 13,344Member ✭✭✭
    edited 7 December 2016, 7:38AM
    gomez said:

    It is always possible to proof the box against being irrevocably bricked by a borked update. The usual way would be to have a minimalist version of the firmware in read-only memory that can be restored and from there allow the latest update to be re-applied.

    Indeed, and we might have hoped that the YV box did.

    But given that BFIS was possible before, I'd rather doubt this, unless they did a real root and branch fix for that :-(
    ‘Does television exist for us to watch, or do we exist to watch television?’ - Noah Hawley
  • gomezgomez Posts: 2,073Member
    edited 28 April 2013, 8:28AM
    gomez said:

    It is always possible to proof the box against being irrevocably bricked by a borked update. The usual way would be to have a minimalist version of the firmware in read-only memory that can be restored and from there allow the latest update to be re-applied.

    As I have commented before the developers must have BFIS'd many boxes and will have had a way of resurrecting them on the work bench.
  • NickNick Posts: 594Member
    edited 9 March 2015, 6:43AM
    Roy1 said:

    The sine qua non is that you should be able to interrupt the update (not just download) process, or have it interrupted by a power cut, perhaps, and for the box to be able to recover from this.

    Unless it has that, it's of little or no account as to how the update is delivered.

    But I can likewise see advantages in being able to store the update on a USB stick, no matter if that is received on a PC, or via the box itself.

    Nick, as your Dad has no Internet, presumably you, or somebody like you, would have to toddle round there with a prepared USB stick and do it for him (or at least give/lend him the stick so he can do it himself)

    But I'm puzzled why anyone with no broadband would choose a YouView box? Other PVRs are available much cheaper, and it seems to me that the premium you pay for YouView is purely to buy you features that all require the Internet?

    Granted that the YV box has On Demand and catch-up but it also provides the best Freeview SD/HD handling that I've see in years. I know of a couple of people who have YV boxes without broadband and enjoy using them as even the SD channels are crisper and more vibrant when compared to their old boxes. I know that the perfect customer would be broadband enabled but the box does provides a single, quality viewing experience for many people.

    Providing another avenue for customers to get the latest software update is just common sense IMHO as I've been directly involved in software distribution drops myself for one of the largest UK banks and we always used to go for belt and braces with regards to PC installations.
  • RoyRoy Posts: 13,344Member ✭✭✭
    edited 7 December 2016, 7:38AM
    gomez said:

    It is always possible to proof the box against being irrevocably bricked by a borked update. The usual way would be to have a minimalist version of the firmware in read-only memory that can be restored and from there allow the latest update to be re-applied.

    Which could be anything from short a jumper to pull a board and replace it.

    But when my first box had BFIS, Humax held out no hope that they could resurrect it with my recordings intact, even if I left it with them for a week or so, so I think it not a straightforward task.

    Developers, of course, can crash and burn the boxes without a backward glance; consumers have an investment in the contents of theirs.
    ‘Does television exist for us to watch, or do we exist to watch television?’ - Noah Hawley
  • drhowellsdrhowells Posts: 633Member
    edited 20 December 2016, 5:21PM
    Roy1 said:

    The sine qua non is that you should be able to interrupt the update (not just download) process, or have it interrupted by a power cut, perhaps, and for the box to be able to recover from this.

    Unless it has that, it's of little or no account as to how the update is delivered.

    But I can likewise see advantages in being able to store the update on a USB stick, no matter if that is received on a PC, or via the box itself.

    Nick, as your Dad has no Internet, presumably you, or somebody like you, would have to toddle round there with a prepared USB stick and do it for him (or at least give/lend him the stick so he can do it himself)

    But I'm puzzled why anyone with no broadband would choose a YouView box? Other PVRs are available much cheaper, and it seems to me that the premium you pay for YouView is purely to buy you features that all require the Internet?

    Given that the box is financially backed by the main TV channel providers, I would seriously doubt they would be happy with providing support for a customer to get around their on-line designed box because the on demand content is their way of getting some of their investment back.

    Again, I really don't see the point in an additional USB method of updating. It would be of much more use to improve the online update procedure and process. It might be on the YouView list of things to (it might even be technically possible to do for a YouView engineer or developer), but personally, I hope this is a very low priority update, because there are bigger and better things that can be done that will be useful to the majority of users, rather than a small minority.
  • gomezgomez Posts: 2,073Member
    edited 28 April 2013, 11:10AM
    sam1 said:

    That's a good analysis.

    I'd still like to have the option though but I'm not trying to invalidate anybody's opinion.

    To be fair I think it is reasonable to have it as an option on devices which could well not be connected to the internet such as a TV set (my 2010 Samsung TV is not even if that is only because I have run out of ethernet ports on the local switch) . But the Youview box is intrinsically designed to be used as a connected device.
  • Trial ToneTrial Tone Posts: 1Member
    edited 12 August 2017, 11:42AM
    sam1 said:

    It's being requested as an option, not instead of.

    The USB software update could become a requirement if the software running crashes and has no way to access the internet.
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