Convinced by a trusted friend, you bought a TV Box Android to match the TV you have in the living room. You immediately started using it but, after a few minutes, you realized that the applications and the operating system on the device were not up to date, presenting obsolete features or versions of apps no longer supported by the developers. To recover your recent investment, you have therefore decided to update the Android TV Box but, having never done something like this before, you just don't know where to start and you are terrified of making some mess.
Don't get caught up in fear and despair! Today I am here to help you! In this guide, in fact, I will show you how to update android tv box to make it perfectly compatible with modern technologies and showing you both the procedures to update the operating system and the procedures to update (or replace) the apps on the device.
Before continuing, however, I want to make you a more than necessary premise: the procedures for updating the operating system of an Android TV Box - especially the manual ones, which involve "manual overwriting" of the system, in jargon flashing of the device - they can be risky: just choosing a wrong file, due to a moment of distraction, to make the device unusable: act only if you are fully aware of what you are about to do and ... don't say I didn't warn you! I do not take any responsibility for any damage that may occur on the TV Box in your possession following the incorrect application of the advice I am about to give you. Clear? Well then let's proceed.
How to Update Android TV Box Via OTA
The fastest and most effective method for update an Android TV Box provides for the use of Over The Air (OTA) updates, i.e. those made available directly by the device manufacturer and that can be installed semi-automatically, using the device's Internet connection.
I must tell you right away that not all manufacturers of medium-low-end TV Boxes (especially the Chinese ones) take the trouble to "officially" update the operating system installed on their devices after launching them on the market, but those that provide this possibilities usually provide a dedicated app for firmware updates (i.e. the set of instructions that brings the operating system and default apps to life).
First, therefore, I recommend that you open the menu App of your TV Box and check if there is an app that has the name Update, Update&Backup, System Update o Firmware Update; if this is available, launch it without hesitation, start the update system by pressing the button Check Update o Online update and follow the instructions provided on the screen to finalize the system progress; in some cases, however, updates are automatically searched immediately after opening the app.
On some high-end TV Boxes and / or on those certified by Google (for example the box NVIDIA Shield), the verification and download of the update takes place completely automatically, exactly as it happens on Android smartphones and tablets: availability is notified by a notification message, selecting which you will be guided step-by-step in finalizing the update.
To manually check for updates, you can always access the section Settings > Device > Information > System update of the TV Box and wait a few seconds for the system to check.
In any case, once the desire to perform the OTA update has been confirmed, the TV Box will automatically restart in Fastboot mode, i.e. the one dedicated to operations that take place directly on the operating system files. Usually, the progress of the update is shown in the form of a scroll bar: to complete everything, it may take up to 15-30 minutes, during which the device may seem frozen. So, make yourself comfortable and wait patiently for the procedure to finish, taking care of do not interrupt it for any reason, in order not to risk material damage to the device in question.
If everything went smoothly, at the end of the update the TV Box will restart again using the updated version of the operating system: even in this case, the first start could take longer than expected, since the system checks that all apps are compatible with update. Don't worry, subsequent starts will be significantly faster!
How to Update Android TV Box Manually
If the TV Box in your possession is not equipped with an update system via OTA or you have never received any updates for the system, perhaps it is necessary to act manually by performing the flashing (i.e. manual rewriting of the operating system, or firmware, of the TV Box). Unfortunately, there is no standard procedure for all devices, but I will still show you the most common steps you can take to update and get the latest operating system.
First of all, get the latest firmware available for your Android TV Box by doing a detailed Google search with the name of your device accompanied by the writings firmware o update firwmare. Read carefully the captions attached to the files that will be proposed to you: as I have already explained to you at the beginning of this guide, an incorrect firmware can lead to the irreparable breakdown of the device.
If Google's results failed to satisfy you, you can attempt to retrieve the latest firmware for your TV Box from entertainmentbox.com, which boasts a comprehensive collection of firmware for all commercially available TV Boxes. Open the mentioned site from any computer browser, then scroll down the page until you find the index (Table of Contents) and start looking for the model you have.
If you can't identify the name of your TV Box immediately, you can use the key combination CTRL + F (o cmd + f, if you use a Mac) to open the browser's internal search field: type in it the name of your TV Box followed by pressing the key Submit and check for relevant results.
Once you find what you are looking for, click on the device name to open the preview page with the data sheet and a photo of the device (so as to immediately understand if it is identical to the one in your possession); finally, go to the bottom of the page and click on the button Download now to download the updated firmware.
At this point, you can use at least two different procedures to update the TV Box: you can install the update via the microSD or through a tool that can be run on the computer. Also in this case, the exact procedure may vary depending on the device in your possession: if you are unable to complete the update using the instructions I have just pointed out to you, I suggest you search the Internet for the exact procedure, by writing the search key on Google [name TV box] flash firmware update.
Please note: if you are not sure of what you are about to do, I suggest you wait for the official release of an OTA update by the manufacturer of the TV box in your possession, or just update the apps, using the instructions I will provide you in the next section : a device with slightly dated functionality is certainly better than one that is irreparably damaged due to a distraction error!
The method away microSD is the simplest to apply: get an empty memory card of at least 4 GB and save the ZIP file downloaded from the Internet, then place the card in the appropriate slot on the TV Box. If you don't have a microSD handy and you want to buy a good quality one, I recommend you read my guide on which micro SD to buy.
Once the microSD is inserted into the TV Box, turn it off and remove the socket, so get a pointed object (like a toothpick or needle) to press the small button of reset (usually found on the bottom or back of the device, inside a small hole); gently press and hold the aforementioned key, enter the power outlet and wait at least 5 seconds before releasing the reset button to start the TV Box in Fastboot mode.
After releasing the button, you should see the Android robot appear that updates (you can check its progress through the lower scroll bar): also in this case, do not interrupt the procedure for any reason and wait patiently for the next Android boot.
Update from PC
If you don't have a microSD on hand but have a computer with Windows, you can update the operating system through some specific tools: the most famous are Amlogic Series Flash Tool, Allwinner Series Flash Tool and Rockchip Series Flash Tool & Driver. Download the version that best suits your case, based on the chip used on your TV Box (which you can retrieve from its technical data sheet, the one shown by the site I explained above is fine too), and install it by following the instructions on the screen.
At this point, unzip the ZIP file of the update you downloaded earlier, which should contain an IMG file: if you don't know how to unpack a ZIP archive, I suggest you read my guide on how to open ZIP files for free.
Once this is done, you need to connect the TV Box to your computer: to do this, you can use a cable USB male-male, which you can find for a few euros both online and in electronics stores.