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Service remotely manages, updates devices

Oct 25, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Entertainment networking software specialist Mediabolic has launched a service aimed at helping device makers manage firmware updates. The Software Update Service can “push” full or partial stacks to deployed devices with or without customer involvement. It works with product families, groups of products, or even single units, the company says.

Mediabolic is positioning its new Update Service as an “end-to-end” firmware update infrastructure aimed at sparing device manufacturers the trouble of managing software updates on their own servers.

The Update Service provides device makers with a web-based administrative console that lets them associate specific devices or device groups with specific firmware patches or full stacks. The console can then be used to configure automatic or user-requested firmware transmissions.

Mediabolic's Software Update Service
(Click to enlarge)

Mediabolic says its Update Service includes a “failsafe” mechanism to revert the devices in case of power outage or Internet access failure during the update process.

Suggested Update Service uses include:

  • Adding new features or functions
  • Adding new media formats and codecs
  • Connecting products to new content sources
  • Remotely provision and manage DRM (digital rights management) keys

Buffalo LinkTheater PC-P4
(Click to enlarge)

Mediabolic says Buffalo, of Nagoya, Japan, will use its Update Service to track deployment rates of its LinkTheater PC-P4 network media player (pictured at right). When a consumer hooks up a LinkTheater for the first time, its standard set-up procedure authenticates the device and checks for the most up-to-date version of its firmware. If a newer version is available, the service automatically updates the device, Mediabolic says.

According to Morikazu Sano, Buffalo's senior VP of global marketing, “Most software update programs require the user to intervene, often resulting in a multi-step procedure involving downloads to a PC. Passively pushing updated software out to our LinkTheater Network Media Players simplifies the process.”

Mediabolic CEO Daniel Putterman said, “Mediabolic believes that giving manufacturers more control over their products, even after they've been purchased and installed at home by consumers, is vital. Technologies are evolving and new deals are being struck all the time, and because of this, there's an increased likelihood that a product will become obsolete before its time.”

“Software Update Services is a key component of our business strategy, providing a mechanism for companies to not only fix problems before the consumer experiences them, but also to do remote diagnostics, update DRM keys, and add new, revenue-generating applications to their installed base,” added Putterman.

Mediabolic is best known for its DLNA-compliant media server stack, which has been licensed by various home network-attached storage (NAS) device vendors, including Seagate and Buffalo. The stack has also been licensed or demonstrated by NAS device reference design vendors such as Freescale, PMC-Sierra, Broadcom, Toshiba, IBM, and possibly others. Mediabolic also offers a Network Media Player design, and acquired additional products through its purchase of Digital 5 earlier this year.


Mediabolic's Software Update Service appears to be available now. Pricing was not specified.

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