Processing and Control for Professional AV Installations

Knowledge Base

Firmware Upgrade

Keeping your Symmetrics equipment firmware up to date can be an effective and relatively passive step in troubleshooting or preventing problems before they may arise, not to mention taking advantage of any current performance fixes and features.

Before performing any firmware upgrades, it is critical to keep these few points in mind.

  1. Always save a backup copy of the programming before pushing a firmware upgrade if at all possible, in the case that a failure occurs.

  2. It is recommended to only upgrade firmware with a wired connection to the network, ideally as directly as possible to the unit or units, and not over wireless connection.

  3. Firewalls like Windows Defender and others can have a tendency to flag the FTP traffic used during firmware upgrades, and even programming pushes, which can result in corruptions or failures that can range from benign to critical. Symetrix suggests turning off all firewalls, antivirus, and other like software while working with our equipment, particularly when performing important communication activities.

  4. Depending on which version the DSP is currently on, we have a recommended upgrade path to get up to current firmware. This avoids large jumps in firmware that can result in failures. This upgrade path can be found on the Symmetrics website under Software > Site Design > Composer > Downloads, then expanding a yellow banner at the top of the versions list.

  5. Now, in Composer with the DSP located, right-click on the unit and select Unit Properties. Depending on the version, you should see the reported firmware version noted. Some older versions don’t have this note here and will need to be viewed by clicking the Upgrade Firmware button. Clicking Upgrade Firmware in later Composer versions brings up the Upgrade Firmware Hardware Settings. We can see the reported versions of firmware on the unit.

  6. It is not recommended to select the Auto Upgrade All Design Units path, though it is an option. In the event that there are multiple units being upgraded and any one of them fails, Composer will not notify which unit has failed and how. Additionally, upgrading individually is also advised for troubleshooting as it completely re-images the firmware while Auto Upgrade will only update the files that it needs to.

  7. Clicking Upgrade from the Composer Firmware File area opens the Windows File Explorer window for the current version of Composer that is open. This file should be present, but note that it may have a different revision number than that of Composer itself.

  8. Selecting this file will then offer one more prompt that the firmware upgrade may take some time.

  9. Clicking OK will initiate the firmware upgrade process. During this time, it is important to allow the PC and the DSP to communicate. Do not remove power or any cabling or adjust any network settings during the firmware push. Composer will offer a progress meter and the front of the unit should also display some progress information.

Once completed, Composer will notify that the new firmware is running. The Composer Firmware File sections should have updated, as well as the reported firmware in the Unit Properties dialogue. While not required, as the unit should reboot itself automatically, it is good practice to manually power cycle the unit after a firmware upgrade to offer it a solid, fresh boot from power down.

The process for upgrading a Symmetrics Dante expander is similar.

  1. Right click on the unit and select Unit Properties, we can see the reported firmware on the unit. This will only include the User and Dante firmware versions as Dante expanders are not control units.

  2. Click Upgrade Firmware. We can see a couple buttons for Change Version. These are the two options to upgrade; user and/or Dante. Composer will notify here if a version is already current with it by noting, “will not be upgraded.”

  3. Select the firmware files and click Upgrade Firmware. Similarly to upgrading DSPs and other control units, this process will take a minute and Composer offers a progress meter. Do not interrupt this process.

  4. Once completed, Composer will notify that new firmware is running. As with other control units, it is good practice to manually power cycle a Dante expander, though not required.