Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fun With Home Electronics

We had a pretty serious power hit a couple of nights ago, and in the morning the Insignia Blu-Ray player and Netflix appliance was completely dead. Instead of the power button showing red when off it showed nothing at all.  I tried different outlets; no dice.

So I decided to take it back to Best Buy in hopes that they might know of some cheap fuse replacement, and if worse came to worst, I would buy a replacement.  But once there, they plugged it in and it had power. Apparently it just needed some time off to recover from its traumatic experience.

But it apparently suffered amnesia from the experience: it no longer new about its wireless interface. Then I remembered, that originally there was a firmware upgrade required to get that. So I ran some Ethernet to the house to plug this thing in, and tried to run the upgrade from the menu.  Unlike the last time, it claimed that there was no upgrade available.  My guess is that whatever address the box was looking to get the upgrade from no longer had it.

The next step was to look on the Insignia webpage, find the upgrade for the firmware, and load it onto a flash drive. Now I was able to put it in the USB slot on the back of the Insignia box, power it off, and power it spaceback on. Now the wireless interface was working again. I certainly could not find anything online explaining that I needed to do the firmware upgrade to get the wireless interface operational.


BFR said...

Do you use a UPS?

Our power blips very often, sometimes several times a day.

ザイツェヴ said...

Usually the self-healing fuse is specced for 1 minute. By "usually" I mean the 5V/1A fuses in every USB port on the planet. Kinda hard to imagine a fuse that takes hours to reset.

PhaseMargin said...

I'm lazy. These days I'm using those power line ethernet modules instead of wireless for anything that doesn't need to move around the house. They're faster and it's zero configuration for all those boxes. Life's easier if I don't have to futz with the Blu-ray, the Xbox, the desktops, etc.

Clayton Cramer said...

PhaseMargin: tell me more. Where do I buy them? How expensive?

Clayton Cramer said...

Just found them. They are a little expensive (at least, the ones that I found on Amazon for $39.95), but I can see their virtues.

PhaseMargin said...

They're very convenient, very fast, and if you have a fair bit of wireless congestion like I do (4 smart phones, 2 game consoles, 4 laptops, several desktops, etc) they are a lifesaver. And for my neighbors who aren't tech savvy they're a relief because no configuration is required. My neighbor uses one to route from the house to his workshop in his pole barn (needless to say, wireless doesn't work through metal walls).

Generally you can get a starter pack of 2 on sale at for $50 at some point every month. You need one to go from your router to a power outlet and then one for each machine in your house. The speed and ease of configuration makes them wonderful for people who aren't technically savvy and for those who like to keep things simple.