Updated July 2020
Your Android TV Box is managed by its firmware. This is the software that manages your hardware, such as your Wi-Fi and your Bluetooth.
And just like software, firmware sometimes needs to be updated.
But how exactly do you do that? Read on as I answer all your questions.
What is firmware? Why is it important? Why do you need to update it? And how do you go about updating it? I will also answer some of the most frequent questions that I receive about Android TV Box firmware.
Spoiler Alert! Firmware makes your hardware work. So, to download new firmware and find instructions on how to install, you will need to go to your TV box manufacturer’s website.
At the bottom of this page, you will find a list of all the major Android TV box manufacturers, complete with a list of all their models and a link to their latest firmware (and when it was released).
This will help you find the files and information you need in order to update your TV box.
Note: All files are hosted on the manufacturer’s sites or their sites or fileshares.
What Is Firmware?
Firmware is the software that makes hardware do what the manufacturer intended it to do. It is what tells your Wi-Fi, your Bluetooth, your video card, and the other hardware elements that make your software “tick” what to do.
Firmware is different from the operating system. All Android TV boxes use the Android operating system, of which there are a variety of different versions that sometimes need updating.
But the firmware is specific to the hardware.
You could say it is the firmware that allows the hardware to speak to the operating system.
Firmware is stored on the Read Only Memory (ROM) of the device, which holds data permanently, even when the device is switched off.
Why Do You Need To Update Firmware?
In order to operate properly, and do all the latest things that your TV box should be able to do, you need the most up-to-date firmware.
Updating your firmware may allow your TV box to do new things that the manufacturer has developed, without you actually having to update your hardware.
Firmware updates will also usually improve the performance of your device, so you will get faster streaming and better image quality.
It can also help alleviate problems that may have developed with the system as a result of other OS or software updates.
Firmware updates also protect you from security vulnerabilities that may have been identified.
Make sure your Android TV box is fully protected by also installing appropriate antivirus software. If you want to know more about exactly why you need antivirus protection on your Android TV box, read my article about it.
If you aren’t already using antivirus software for your TV box, I recommend:
- It’s affordable with both a free version and a premium version for just $14.99 per year.
- There is an app you can download straight onto your Android TV Box from the Google Play Store without any fuss.
- It comes from a big name antivirus company you can trust.
- It comes with a VPN included as standard for additional protection.
- Another big name antivirus company that offers a free version for Android that you can download from the Google Play Store directly to your Android TV box.
- This lightweight antivirus doesn’t run in the background. so it doesn’t eat up your speeds while you are streaming.
- It is back-compatible as far as Android 4.1, which is important as many TV boxes run older versions of Android.
- Probably the best-known name in antivirus software.
- There is a free, ad-supported version and also a paid pro version if you can’t stand the ads or want additional features.
- As well as scanning apps on download, it regularly scans to see if any of your applications are leaking data.
When Do You Need To Update Your TV Box Firmware?
You might need to update your firmware when you are setting up your Android TV Box if it does not come with the manufacturer’s latest firmware. This happens more often than you would think, especially if you buy through less than reputable dealers.
But you will need to check to see if your existing Android TV Box needs updates too, as firmware can become out of date very quickly. The faster technology evolves, the faster firmware updates are released.
If you buy a reputable brand, you can register your device when you purchase it and the manufacturer will notify you when firmware updates are available.
Otherwise, it is a case of visiting their website periodically to see if there is an update for your model.
How Do You Update Your TV Box Firmware?
How you update your Android TV Box firmware is all about the type of TV box you have, as firmware is about the hardware and not the software. So, this is something you get from your manufacturer, and not from Android.
To get the specific files and instructions that you need to update your TV box, you will need to go to the manufacturer’s website. They will have a page where you can download firmware updates.
But beware! You need to make sure the firmware you are installing is for the exact model of TV box you have. If the update you try to install is for a “similar-but-different” model of TV box by the same manufacturer, you can kill your TV box.
If the newest firmware is not compatible with your device, this is probably because the manufacturer is no longer supporting your hardware.
Some manufacturers are better than others when it comes to supporting older versions of their hardware.
But, if the manufacturer has new firmware and it is not compatible with your older device, it is a sign that you will probably have to invest in a new TV box in the not-too-distant future.
Not sure what TV box to choose? Check out our list of the 25 best TV boxes available in 2020. Spoiler alert, I recommend the:
- It has high-end 4K specs so you can stream 4K content to your snazzy 4K TV if you have one. It is also Widevine certified, which is essential for accessing 4K content on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
- It has lots of storage for all your content and a powerful processing unit, which means load times are lightning-fast and waiting is negligible.
- The interface is slick and intuitive, and even includes Google Voice Search.
- Skystream offers a great support network which, among other things, means that firmware updates will always be available.
How exactly you install the update will again depend on the type of Android TV Box you have, and instructions should be available on the manufacturer’s website.
But, as a general step-by-step guide:
- Locate and download the firmware update.
- Transfer the update to your TV box via SD card, USB, or other means.
- Open your TV box in recovery mode. You may be able to do this through your settings menu or using the pinhole button on the back of your box. Consult your manual.
- When you reboot the system in recovery mode, you will be given an option to apply updates off the storage device you inserted into your box.
- Select the firmware file, allow it to run, and restart the system.
But this is a very general and generic guide. Consult your manual and manufacturer’s website for detailed instructions.
Android TV Box Firmware FAQ
I get a lot of questions related to Android TV box firmware – more than any other subject on this site. So, I thought I’d post the most frequently asked questions here to help you.
For more streaming device frequently asked questions, head on over to my main FAQ page.
I HAVE ________ TV BOX AND IT’S NOT ON THE LIST. DO YOU KNOW WHERE I CAN GET THE FIRMWARE?
This list has most of the major TV box manufacturers on it that have download pages for their products.
Some big companies (I’m looking at you BeeLink) don’t have a firmware page and have yet to return any of my emails asking about new firmware.
Chances are that if the box isn’t on the list below, the company either won’t respond to my questions or doesn’t have any downloads available.
Either way, it’s not a very good sign of how they plan to support you down the road.
MY BOX HAS ANDROID BLAH, BLAH, BLAH… ON IT. CAN IT BE UPGRADED TO THE LATEST VERSION OF ANDROID?
Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
If you have an Android smartphone or tablet, you’ve probably seen that some companies get updates faster than others. That’s one of the huge advantages of the Google Nexus line of smartphones. They get updates first.
You see, it’s up to the manufacturer when they want to roll out an Operating System upgrade – if they want to at all. To be perfectly blunt, most manufacturers would rather spend their money developing new products than upgrading old ones. I can’t say I blame them for that.
But remember, Android is your OS (operating system), and it is different from your firmware, which will need to be updated separately.
I BOUGHT MY BOX ON EBAY, OR CRAIGSLIST, OR FROM SOME GUY THAT WAS SELLING THEM AT THE LOCAL FAIR. DO YOU HAVE AN UPDATE FOR THAT?
No, and he probably doesn’t either.
I hate to break it to you, but buying a TV box from someone you met at a local fair, or worse, a random person on eBay or Craigslist is asking for trouble.
Sure, there are reputable sellers on eBay – absolutely. But they’re few and far between, and you can’t always tell by a large feedback score. Let me give you an example: My eBay account has over 1,300 positive feedback because it’s been active since 1998, mostly from things that I’ve bought over the years.
If I started selling TV boxes (which I have NO plans to do – EVER), then that feedback that I earned as a buyer would carry over to my selling account. Meaning, it has nothing to do with how I treat my buyers.
It’s really easy to scam eBay’s system to get high feedback. Just because someone has high feedback, doesn’t mean they’re a good seller. Check out what I think of buying a TV box on eBay for more info.
I HAVE ____ BOX, CAN YOU TELL ME WHO THE MANUFACTURER IS?
Possibly, but it’s not as easy as it should be.
When the first TV sticks (before TV boxes) came out a few years ago, some of the models became household names, but others died off.
The tricky part is that different tech companies kept using the names that worked, bringing out new versions with different hardware. They may have nothing in common with the original, or they may not even be made by the same company.
For example, you can have several different versions of the G-Box TV box – made popular by Matricom.
Notice I said “made popular by” and not “made by.” If you bought a “G-Box TV box”, you may have a Matricom device or you may not.
This is common with “MX” and “MXQ” boxes, too. The box may have the same components, but there’s a good chance it won’t. The best bet is to contact whomever you bought it from and ask them for an update.
HOW DO I INSTALL FIRMWARE ON AN ANDROID TV BOX?
The answer to this question depends on the type of TV box you have.
This is because unlike the OS, which is universal across Android TV boxes and developed by Android, firmware is specific to the hardware.
To get specific instructions on how to update the firmware on your TV box, you will need to visit the website of your TV box manufacturer.
HOW DO I FACTORY RESET MY ANDROID TV BOX?
Resetting your Android TV box will put it back to its original factory setting, wiping anything that you have installed on the box.
One way is with the reset pinhole button on the back of your device. You will need to unplug your device and ensure all power is switched off. You should then insert a pin into the hole and hold it there for 10 seconds.
When you turn the box back on, it should open in recovery mode, which gives you an option to factory reset, sometimes described as wipe data.
WILL YOUR FIRMWARE WORK ON MY TV BOX?
Uhh…no. Trust me: you don’t want me creating firmware for you. I’m an analyst, not a programmer. 🙂
MY TV BOX LOOKS LIKE ONE OF THE BOXES ON THIS LIST. CAN I JUST USE THEIR FIRMWARE?
Because the Android TV Box market is so big, there are a hundreds, if not thousands, of small sellers that are looking to make a quick sale. There’s nothing really wrong with that, mind you. That’s how every small business gets started.
Since they buy their devices in bulk from manufacturers overseas, a lot of people can sell the same box. To upgrade the firmware, you may not want the manufacturer. You may actually want the seller. Here’s why:
After someone buys a bulk shipment of TV boxes, they (may) add a custom Kodi build or hire a developer to make some custom software for it.
Then they sell it – usually on eBay or Craigslist (see above), but maybe on their own website.
If the software on the box is changed in any way, using a generic firmware upgrade may “brick” the device. “Bricking” is a term to describe when a piece of electronics (TV box, tablet, phone, etc.) won’t turn on or turn on to a black screen.
Essentially, you’ve created a really expensive paperweight, or brick.
To be clear: if you try to put firmware on your device that wasn’t meant for it, you could ‘brick’ your TV box, making it useless.
I BRICKED MY TV BOX. HOW DO I FIX IT?
You may be able to fix it, and you may not. I’ll be perfectly honest, though. That’s not my forte. The best resource I can send you to is Freaktab.com. They have a community of tweakers and firmware developers that may be able to help.
DO YOU HAVE A CUSTOM FIRMWARE FOR MY TV BOX?
Not on this list. Custom firmware is, by its nature, more quirky than a stock firmware. It depends how it was created. Sometimes the firmware is designed to fix bugs and be more stable.
Great! But sometimes, it’s built to test the performance limits of the device. That could cause issues down the road.
As I mentioned above, Freaktab.com is a great resource for custom firmware. If you’ve bought a TV box that is popular enough, it’s a chance that someone developed a custom firmware for it.
I AM THINKING OF SELLING TV BOXES. CAN YOU RECOMMEND CUSTOM FIRMWARE DEVELOPERS FOR ME?
Nope. I have no interest in selling TV boxes, or being involved in that side of the business. You’re on your own for that one. Sorry.
Jump To Manufacturer Firmware:
- RikoMagic (RKM)
- Solid Run
- VidOn Box
Android TV Box Firmware Guide
- Mach 8 Firmware
- Jynxbox M6 Firmware
- Jynxbox M3 Firmware
- CR8 MiniPC Firmware
- CR9/S MiniPC Firmware
- CR10/S TV Box Firmware
- CR11/S TV Box Firmware
- CR13/S Ultra 4K Android TV Box Firmware
- CR16/S Ultra 4K Android TV Box Firmware
- CR-M200 Miracast Wi-Fi dongle Firmware
- CR-M200S Miracast Wi-Fi dongle Firmware
- Utilite2 MiniPC Firmware
- Enybox EM8-M8C Firmware
- Enybox EU2 Firmware
- Enybox U2 Firmware
- EW902 RTD1195 4k Media Player Firmware
- EW802 Firmware
- MK903 Firmware
- MK903IV Firmware
- MK906 Firmware
iConsole Micro Firmware
No firmware updates
G-Box Q Firmware
Firmware Beta 1.2.2
March 5, 2015
G-Box MX2 Firmware
August 1, 2014
Check the latest firmware for Matricom here
Find out how to tell what MINIX firmware version is on your device!
- MINIX NEO X8-H Plus Firmware
- MINIX NEO X8, X8-H and X8 Plus Firmware
- How to install MINIX Neo X8 Firmware
- FOTA Update Available
- MINIX NEO Z64-Android Firmware
- FOTA Update Available
- MINIX NEO Z64-Windows Firmware
- Update through Windows Update
- MINIX NEO X7 (and X7 mini) Firmware
- MINIX NEO X5 (and X5 mini) Firmware
- MyGica ATV1800E
- MyGica ATV582
- MyGica ATV380
- MyGica ATV1220T2
- MyGica ATV1200
- MyGica ATV520E
- MyGica ATV400
- MyGica ATV585
- MyGica ATV1900AC
- MyGica ATV586T2
- MyGica ATV586ATSC
- Nagrace NT-N3 Firmware
- Nagrace NT-V5 Firmware
- Nagrace NT-V6 Firmware
- Nagrace NT-V3 Firmware
- PROBOX2 EX Firmware
No download page
Rippl TV Box
No firmware updates
RikoMagic – RKM
- RKM V5 Firmware
- RKM MK05 Firmware
- RKM MK12 Firmware
- RKM MK80FW Firmware
- RKM MK602 Firmware
- RKM MK802III Firmware
- RKM MK802IV Firmware
- RKM MK902 Firmware
- RKM MK902II Firmware
No download page
- SkyStreamX 2 Firmware
- SkyStreamX 4 Firmware
- SkyStreamX 5 Firmware
Solid Run CuBox-i
- OPENELEC – Kodi
- GeexBox XBMC
- Debian Linux
- Tronfy MX3 Firmware
- Tronfy MXQ Firmware
- Tronfy R89 Firmware
- Tronsmart Draco AW80 Firmware
- Tronsmart Orion R28 Firmware
- Tronsmart Vega S89 Firmware
- How to install Tronsmart Vega S89 firmware
- Tronsmart A928 Firmware
- Tronsmart MK908II Firmware
- Tronsmart CX-919 Firmware
- Tronsmart NX Firmware
- Tronsmart T1000
- Tronsmart T2000
- Tronsmart Mars G01 Drivers
- Ugoos UT3 Firmware
- How to install Ugoos UT3 Firmware
- Ugoos UT3S Firmware
- Ugoos UM3 Firmware
- Ugoos UM2 Firmware
- Ugoos UT2 Firmware
- Ugoos UT1 Firmware
- UG009 Firmware
- M8C AMLS802 Firmware
- VidOn AV100 Firmware
- VidOn AV200 Firmware
- Instructions for updating C60 and C70: Download Here
- DVB-S2 Vigica C60S Firmware
- DVB-T2 Vigica C70T Firmware
- ZIDOO X9S Smart TV Box Firmware
- ZIDOO X9 Smart TV Box Firmware
- ZIDOO D1 Firmware
- ZIDOO X1 Firmware
- ZIDOO X6 Pro Firmware
- ZIDOO X5 Firmware
We often buy technology and expect it to “just work,” and very often it does. But for how long? If you want your devices to work in the long run, you need to keep them up to date and protected.
Firmware is the software that runs your hardware, so it is the base on which everything else sits. Out-of-date firmware can undermine your entire system.
As firmware is about your hardware, you need to go to the manufacturer of your TV box for updates. Check their website when you set up your box and periodically to see if there is a firmware update available for your TV box hardware.
Hopefully, my list of major TV box manufacturers and links to their downloads will help you with this.