About the JVC LT-55n935 firmware update

Edit: I’ve shared the firmware on my Google drive in case Kogan stop sharing it at some point. That might happen since this TV is a few years old now. It’s at the bottom of this post but I’m including it here too. If you know how to flash the TV, that saves you having to read on. Get it here.

A while back I wrote about the issues I had with my TV, a JVC 55 inch TV (which is really a rebranded Kogan TV because JVC do not manufacture these devices). I still have those issues occasionally, and still have to update the firmware periodically. In fact, I have twice now had a new problem, where rather than the TV going into an endless booting and rebooting loop, or displaying multiple cascaded Android errors, I’ve seen the Facebook window overlaid on top of movies and Xbox games after changing the input to use one of the HDMI inputs for either my Blu-Ray player or Xbox. In any case, a firmware update always fixes the issue for me.

However, I needed to download the firmware again on a different computer, and I see they have moved the content on the Kogan site. It’s not difficult to find, because my original link, which is now broken, includes the model of TV in a string “kaled553dsmtza”. A product search on their site leads to this page, and you can find the firmware there.

That page contains the instructions on how to update the firmware, but briefly, it is this:

  1. Put the firmware in the root of a USB memory stick, which is formatted with FAT32.
  2. Put the stick in USB port 1, the bottom one.
  3. Switch off the TV with the power switch, and then press Volume up on the remote and switch it back on while continuing to press Volume up.
  4. It should prompt you and then do the update.
  5. After that you need to set up all your options, TV programs, maybe set the auto-3D option on as I do…

If you look around on their site, they also explain how to do a reset, and how to initiate the firmware update from the UI (It’s here as of this writing), assuming you aren’t stuck in a infinite rebooting loop, of course. I find that it’s best to flash the firmware every now and then before it goes that far. So as soon as I see one or two errors, or the screen displays messed up overlays on top when using HDMI inputs, I flash it right away.

I keep a USB stick that I bought especially for flashing the TV. I literally use it for nothing else and keep it near the TV. In fact it’s still plugged in because I flashed the TV yesterday and forgot to remove it. Actually mine didn’t want to read the USB from the normal boot process, but I followed the instructions I found on their site to initiate the update from the user interface, and that worked.

Just so you don’t have to go there… to flash the TV from the UI was as simple as:

Use the remote to select More Apps…

Open System Settings…

Unlike this image, select Soft Upgrade…

I took those from the instructions for the factory reset page from their site, except that instead of following the last step, I selected to do the software update, which then rebooted the set and updated it from the USB. Note that the home screen, with Facebook and Twitter windows, which I never use, is what was being overlaid on top of my movies and Xbox games. Flashing the TV fixed it.

Since Kogan might one day remove that firmware, I’ve shared my one on my Google drive just in case. Get it here.
Note that the TV start-up logo changes to Kogan, not JVC, after you flash it. It doesn’t matter; everything else is identical and there is no noticeable difference between this and the software that was installed when I bought my JVC TV. I have never found the JVC firmware anyway, and I don’t really care what the start-up text is, as long as the thing actually works.

Don’t ask me any questions about this, please. What I’ve written is all I know.

Never make the mistake of buying a JVC smart TV, model number JVC LT-55n935

Update: Flashing the TV with the Kogan firmware as per the instructions on the linked page worked perfectly. Now when it starts up, the Kogan logo is displayed instead of the JVC logo, but otherwise it is identical (minus the errors).

Of course, if I’d known that this was a rebranded Kogan TV, and not a JVC, I’d never have purchased it in the first place. But at least now it works properly.

About a year and a half ago, I bought my TV through Nuworld, organised by a neighbour who said he could get me a good price. (It was around R9000.) It was a huge mistake. I’ve had endless problems with the TV, that neighbour is long gone, and Nuworld are not helpful. I assume they know this TV has issues, as it isn’t difficult to find others online with identical problems.

It started with the TV freezing occasionally. Then it progressed to Android error messages being displayed modally on top of the screen, with helpful text such as “Unfortunately YouTube has stopped working” or “Unfortunately android.core.process has stopped working”. Hundreds of fucking error messages. But that isn’t even important anymore because now, most of the time the TV stops responding completely and I can’t even dismiss a single error message. Before it got to this point, it would restart all by itself, sometimes in a loop, and sometimes freeze on the startup screen.

It turns out that this is a rebranded Kogan TV. Tomorrow I’ll try flashing the TV with the firmware I found on this page. I need to buy a smaller USB drive first, one that I can format with FAT32, but I’m hoping it will work.

Nuworld “repaired” the TV twice while it was still under guarantee, so I’m assuming that all they did was flash it. This TV is junk. Don’t buy this model under any circumstances. But at least if flashing it works temporarily, I’ll keep the small drive with the TV firmware on it (and I can leave it in USB port 1 since I don’t normally use that port) and reflash the piece of shit every now and then.

I’ll update this post with the result, but I do have a strong feeling this will work. Otherwise I have one hell of a paperweight.