This article comes directly from a reader question….Thanks Dan!
If you’re trying to figure out what firmware version you have on your MINIX Android TV box, it turns out that it’s not so easy to tell.
You can go to the Settings screen and it will tell you the date the firmware was released, but MINIX releases firmware by number not date. For example, a firmware might be released on July 8th, 2015 (20150708), but it’s real name is FW006.
Is there a way to figure it out easily without digging through dozens of forum posts?
More importantly, what does that mean when you’re trying to update the firmware?
One note: everything in this article is only for the Android versions of MINIX’s TV box lineup. If you’ve got one of the Windows-based TV boxes, you don’t have to worry about this at all. But…you may want to look at upgrading your TV box to the latest version of Windows while you’re here.
Why worry about it?
So why bother trying to figure out what what your MINIX firmware version is?
Let’s be honest. When you buy something, you never know how long it’s sat in a warehouse somewhere before it gets to you.
And I’m not just talking about Android TV boxes. This holds true for everything we buy.
Luckily, MINIX doesn’t change the hardware much (if at all) for a device from the time it launches until the time they stop making it.
Only the firmware changes, and that’s easy for us to update ourselves.
I thought they had OTA firmware updates?
But that’s not always the case.
If you happen to get a TV box that has sat in somebody’s warehouse, it may have missed some important updates.
If the device is old enough, it may not even have the ability to get new updates wirelessly, Over The Air.
That’s why you may need to do a manual update before you can use the MINIX System Update App.
If that’s the case, don’t worry. I’ve got a walk-through video for how to do a manual firmware update on a MINIX TV box. The video will specifically cover the NEO X8-H, but they steps are the same for all of the MINIX Android TV boxes.
I also have another post showing how to use the Amlogic USB Burning Tool, which goes over the same process, but in a little more detail.
What MINIX TV box do I have?
There are a few ways to tell which MINIX box you have.
I’m going to assume that you don’t still have the box that it came in. If so, this question becomes super easy, and you can just skip on down to the next section.
If you don’t have the box, the device may be listed in one of two places:
This is by far the easiest way to tell what TV box and what firmware version you have.
If you navigate to the Settings screen in the MINIX Metro UI and click on the big, green Other box, the model number will be listed there in the upper left hand corner underneath the Model Number section.
You’ll want to stick around at this screen, because you’ll also be able to tell what firmware version you have right here, as well.
This is the easiest way to find out what the model number is. But what if your MINIX TV box is “bricked” and won’t boot to the home screen?
There is another way to find your TV box model number.
On the bottom of the device, you will see a couple of barcodes. The picture on the left shows the bottom of the MINIX NEO U1 (top) and the MINIX NEO Z64W (bottom). In each case, if you look at the barcode on the right, you’ll find the model number listed there.
In Z64 makes it very easy to figure out. Not only is it listed in the long product code underneath the barcode, but it is written in plain English above it.
The NEO U1 is a little more difficult, but it’s still there.
Looking at the top box, the full model number is “JU1PCBOX15B05697.” If you ignore the “J”, the next characters will be the model number. “U1” for the NEO U1. For the bottom device, the full model number is “JZ64WBOX15100085” which would make the model number “Z64W.”
Easy enough, right?
Find your firmware release date
As I mentioned in the introduction. MINIX doesn’t come right out and tell you what firmware version you have. They just tell you the date that it was released.
From there, you would normally have to search through posts on the Official MINIX Forum to find out which firmware you had, and if any updates are available.
But I like to make things simple when I can. So for now, just find the date the firmware was released, and we’ll cross-reference it in the charts below. You’re going to want to look at the Build Number section.
In the example above, the full Build Number is KOT49H.20140701-test-keys. If you strip out everything else, the release date for this firmware is 2014-07-01.
For my readers in the US, the rest of the world will use a Year-Month-Day format for their dates. This will be July 1st, 2014 in this example.
Match the release date with the MINIX firmware version
Use the chart below to cross reference your device in the first column, with your build date in the second column to find your MINIX firmware version in the third column.
If I wrote a post giving more detail about a particular MINIX TV box or firmware version, then you can click on the blue link to get more information.
One last note: The MINIX NEO X5 and NEO X7 are RockChip based devices, so the AmLogic USB Burning Tool will not work to update their firmware.
|MINIX NEO U1||2015-12-10||FW003|
|MINIX NEO X8-H Plus||2014-11-22||FW001|
|MINIX NEO X8, X8-H, X8 Plus||2014-12-13||FW002|
|MINIX NEO X6||2014-10-24||FW001|
|MINIX NEO X7||2013-08-13||FW003|
|MINIX NEO X7 Mini||2013-09-12||FW006|
|MINIX NEO X5||2013-11-08||FW005|
|MINIX NEO X5 Mini||2013-08-28||FW002|
Now that you know which MINIX firmware version you have, you can also make sure that you have the latest firmware available.
I always recommend updating to the latest firmware. This ensures that you get to take advantage of any bug fixes or new features that MINIX comes out with since you bought your device. After all, things like Adaptive Refresh Rate and the MINIX Remote App are just too cool not to use.
If you need more detailed information on any of the MINIX firmware versions, check out the Official MINIX Forum. They’re a great resource and something that I use all the time.
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