Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Technology has made it that presently all digital satellite decoders and some terrestrial decoders have automatic software upgrade functionalities. By this it means that your decoder has the capability to dictate any available newer version of the decoder’s software and upon your command, downloads and installs it as its operating system. It is very important that your decoder system runs on the latest software version for optimal performance and security. Having gone digital, satellite and terrestrial TV service providers thought it wise to engineer decoders that would perform this operation without stress.
However, this advancement in technology has also come with some underlying hutches that could damage your decoder beyond repair. In this post, I shall explain how a careless decoder software upgrade could damage your DSD, what chances you may have to save your device and if it happens, how to go about using your decoder without having to buy another one.

The Decoder Software Upgrading Process

decoder software download interface
SOFTWARE DOWNLOAD INTERFACE
There is always a general warning you see whenever you are upgrading your digital decoder software. “Please do not power off your device”. From the start to the finish of the decoder software upgrading process, your DSD is engineered to remain actively connected to a power source or somethings may go wrong. This is the genesis of the common problems encountered in the decoder software upgrades.
A closer look will show that there are 4 processes involved in the decoder software upgrade. We have;
v  Software Data Download
v  Data Parsing
v  Data Writing
v  Data integration and/or re-initialization
When your satellite or terrestrial TV service provider releases a newer software version for your decoder model example DStv, GOtv, MyTV (Strong), etc, your decoder detects its availability upon switch-on and successful connection to the service. Depending on your decoder’s software interface build, it may prompt you to press a certain key on the remote control to download the detected software.
A single action on your remote control initiates the download and subsequent upgrade process. Generally, your system expects you to ensure that its power supply is not interrupted until its final process and restart. Unfortunately, we live in a world where public electricity power supply is as unstable as an enriched radioactive element.
Although I strongly advise that you strictly comply with the non-power off directive, if your decoder’s power supply goes off during the data download stage, your device may still be safe. This is because, there would still be an existing version still active in your decoder as it tries to collect data and download a newer software version.
If your power is interrupted during your decoder’s softwaredata parsing stage, your device stands a 70% chance of not being damaged. Data parsing is like trying to reorganize the raw data into a format that your decoder can fully interpret before commencing full writing or integration. An older software version still operates as the decoder’s operating system.
However at the data writing stage, any power interruption gives almost no chance of restoring your decoder. This is because at this stage, your decoder is on the verge of giving up its old version to provide space for the incoming software version. Here, old software data deletion and new software writing takes place simultaneously. It is only a miracle that could save your decoder from being damaged if there is a power shut down at this stage of decoder software upgrade. Therefore it is strongly advised not to even commence your digital satellite or terrestrial decoder software upgrade if you do not have a reliable steady power supply.
Once the software data writing is complete, integration or re-initialization commences. This is the stage where the written data is re-converted into a format which is fully understood and assimilated by every hardware or component of your decoder system, for both software and hardware to work as one. It is an important stage which should never see any power outage. If power goes off at this critical stage, your decoder might be completely damaged, the software interface not entirely responsive or a part of the decoder functionality might not work properly.

Is it Possible for your Service Provider to release a Problematic Software Version?

There is no perfect system. It is absolutely possible that after a completely successful software upgrade, your decoder begins to malfunction. This is highly indicative of a problematic software version released for download. Although this is rare, it occurs. Sometimes, a malfunctional decoder after a successful software upgrade could also mean a weak network strength which was forcefully used in downloading the software giving rise to an unwholesome downloaded data. Some other times too, a software version which might not be fully compatible with your decoder model might be forcefully injected into your DSD and it causes it to malfunction.
In any of the above scenarios, you might need to wait upon the release of another compatible software version to run another automatic download or take your decoder to your service provider for a software flush operation.
Generally, the ease with which your decoder detects an available software and its download should indicate the strength of the available network and should not give you any problem after its successful upgrade. I hope you have understood what challenges lie with digital satellite or terrestrial decoder software upgrades and how best to manage it.
Remember to share this post on socials while letting us know your opinion or questions as you comment below.

1 comment:


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