Vodafone TV Firmware Update - Problem with USB

An update for Vodafone TV appeared on my home screen this evening. I thought nothing of it and went ahead.
First of all, it's annoying that I now can't remove Live Channels and Netflix from the home screen after the update.

However, the box now won't recognise my USB thumbdrive and WD Elements Hard drive when plugged in. It keeps saying they are corrupt and automatically ejects them! They were working fine literally just before the update!

Is there any way to fix this issue / roll back to the last update, or do I have to settle for a full hard reset? :(

Comments

  •  

    Sorry, I can't provide a solution but it might be worth checking out the dedicated thread on Whirlpool

    2018 Vodafone TV Thread

    A lot of discussion regarding the software update and potential issues and fixes.

    Someone has posted that you can disable the live channels app from the homescreen via the app settings

    •  

      Thanks, I'll check it out.

      Unfortunately without the USB port working, it's rendered my VTV useless as I watch all my downloads via USB :(

      I did a hard reset of the box but it did not revert to the original firmware. It still has the same new interface.

      •  

        Mine has been unplugged for the last couple of days so doesn't have the update as yet.

        I'm happy with how it currently works so am going to see if I can avoid upgrading.

        The only thing I want for this box is an official play store version of Amazon Video / Prime Video app.

  •  

    Glad I looked this up. Not gonna update if that's the case. If the onboard storage wasn't such trash I wouldn't have to rely on USB so much, but it is so I do.

    Hope you get a fix soon!

  •  

    Good luck without updating. If you are connected to the net it looks like it will auto update whether you want to or not.

    Got 2 boxes, when I notice the first box update I tried to research how turn off updates….found nothing and the other box updated.

    both boxes are rubbish now!

    I guess have to wait for a fix.

  •  

    Same problem here. After the update a couple days ago it now says any external hdd plugged in is corrupt. I've tested the drives on other devices and they are perfectly fine.

    According to whirlpool forums the update has disabled support for NTFS. FAT32 drives will still work fine, which is ridiculous due to the file size limit.

    Apparently there's an app on the play store called "JS USB OTG" that will let you access all the files on an NTFS drive but it's not free. I don't feel I should be paying for an app just to open files on my external drives.

  •  

    Ethernet gets disconnected now if you use a VPN now too.

  •  

    My one got auto updated last night. External HDD shows corrupt after the update. Really pissed off about it.

  •  

    I have been away this whole week to come home to my new paper weight?

    Update must of bricked it.

    •  

      Did you manage to get it fixed, how to get a replacement of the same ? I have lost the receipt.

      •  

        I was Unable to fix it, I also lost my receipt, so I went the to Springfield store, I managed to get a receipt from the store, but they gave me two options send it away for repair (2weeks) or go to the upper mount Gravatt store and get it swapped over.

        They pulled my details out of their system using the serial number and my last name, and printed of a copy of the receipt. :)

      •  

        Update; they replaced it on the spot, no need to send away for testing.

        •  

          So you bought it originally from Springfield store ?

          •  

            @regenade: Sorry, Yes, I originally got it from the Springfield store, and then went to a different store that had the stock to do the swap in this case it was upper mount Gravatt.

  • +1 vote

    If you can somehow avoid the latest update then do so, otherwise it has limited capabilities, not only accessing ntfs drives, they have incorporated many security issues, this unit is useless now without a fix.

  • +3 votes

    I have contacted Vodafone on Facebook via messenger. Will advise what happens.

    •  

      I've tried this already. My issue is that the device will no longer play media from a networked NAS (ext4 file format)

      Their response:

      Some file formats aren't supported on Android 9 but we've got a way you can still enjoy all your media. Move it off of your hard drive for temporary safe keeping and then update your drives format to FAT32. Once this is done, you can move everything back over and enjoy the files through the Vodafone TV again just like before :-)

      I'll return the box before I go back to FAT.

  •  

    Similar story:

    Updates are causing crashing and freezing. It requires the box to be hard-reset. Very annoying.

  •  

    Everyone start sending emails to [email protected] to get this on their radar and fixed ASAP. Let's broden that email! :-)

  •  

    Ok I rang Vodafone support and they have done this on purpose, the update has broken certain things. Maybe not broken but made less useful, anyway their excuse was because of "licensing issues". Well every other android tv device don't have the same "licensing issues". Advised them they probably should have told people this would happen. So the reason for this update issues is that they actually want to stop people using hard drives due to perceived piracy. What people who just run out of storage and want expand the storage. Or the people who have put their old DVD collection on hard drive. Going to call consumer affairs and see if I could get a refund as the device has fundamentally does not do the things that we purchased the box for. I want to litigate!!!!

    •  

      So the reason for this update issues is that they actually want to stop people using hard drives due to perceived piracy.

      Nah, they don't want to pay Microsoft to license ExFAT and NTFS file systems.

    •  

      You can get a refund and buy an alternative such as the Mi Box.
      https://whrl.pl/Rf0P2A

      Or an alternative is the use the JS USB OTG app. Having it used it myself, I can say that having to use an app to read your USB devices is nowhere as good as having native NTFS support. But it does work and it only costs $3.79. Also consider that if you buy it and don't like it, you can get a refund.

      For me the lack of NTFS support is annoying, but considering the price of the box, I'm not too upset about it.

  •  

    I performed a hard reset today. Restoring everything and deleting all apps/data. My original hope was that it would default to factory firmware and then I would block the update service at router level.

    It did not restore to old firmware but Android 9.

    That said, it does seem a little bit better now. I think it may have been Kodi causing the crashes. As I only use Kodi for Optus Sport, I'll survive without it for now.

    •  

      Was yours crashing then will just display Vodafone screen over and over again?

      •  

        No it was freezing on whatever was open, typically Plex.

        However, since I restored them and removed Kodi no issues.

  • +3 votes

    I emailed [email protected] about the EXFAT/NTFS issues and this was the reply.

    Hi Cam,

    Thanks for taking them time to get in-touch.

    NTFS is not longer supported on Android P due to licencing and this is not something we can change.

    We have checked in with our team and we don't have another workaround outside of using FAT32. We also do not have any plans to allow the roll back of the software.

    What we can offer to do is refund you $79 for the device.

    To do this, we'll need to grab your original order number/confirmation details. We'll need to a contact number to give you a call and get your BSB and account number to process the refund.

    Thanks,
    Grant.
    Vodafone Support.

    Pretty disgusted by this to be honest.

    •  

      That's pretty good seeing as the devices only cost $72.

      •  

        I feel like offering a refund is the bare minimum here. They broke functionality, knew it was going to happen, didn't alert users, and forced the update. They've effectively sabotaged the unit with no recourse to undo it. The unit will no longer perform as it did when I paid for it, not because there's anything wrong with the hardware but because they couldn't be bothered to notify users. I would have been quite happy staying on the old version and retaining NTFS/EXFAT support, unfortunately they made sure that was not an option.

        I'm considering asking for a partial refund under consumer gurantees:

        If the business fails to give you a free repair within a reasonable time or cannot fix your problem, you can:

        • get it done elsewhere and pass on the costs to the business
        • ask for a replacement
        • ask for a refund
        • recover compensation for the drop in value below the price paid.

        Emphasis mine. If they'll refund an amount equivalent to the price of an app to access the file systems, that might be an option. I know it's not expensive, but it's the principle of it. It just feels like dirty business practices to me.

        •  

          I think you missed that you're apparently being offered a refund of $7 more than what you originally paid.

          Regardless, the unit isn't advertised as being able to play directly from external media. The fact that it did work at one point was a bonus rather than part of its core functions. Even with a FAT32 drive connected you can't play anything without using third-party apps.

          •  

            @ssquid:

            I think you missed that you're apparently being offered a refund of $7 more than what you originally paid.

            I think he's offering that based on it selling for $79 at one point, I haven't shown a receipt where I paid $72 as yet. I don't expect to get back more than I paid.

            Regardless, the unit isn't advertised as being able to play directly from external media. The fact that it did work at one point was a bonus rather than part of its core functions.

            True, but the definition of a major fault is not what was advertised, but if there is a broken functionality that is not easily repaired and would have prevented you from making the original purchase had you known. It's an Android TV unit with a USB port. It's kinda like buying a BluRay player only for them to remove DVD or CD support in a forced update. Not an advertised feature, but something that would generally be expected.

            Even with a FAT32 drive connected you can't play anything without using third-party apps.

            I'm not at home to verify at the moment, but I could have sworn there was an AOSP gallery/media player app preloaded. I could be wrong. Even if not, there are dozens of free and open source options there.

      • +1 vote

        "Good" is not remotely destroying devices that work for no valid reason. The licensing explanation is garbage as many Android P devices support NTFS.

        A $7 payment for the hassle of finding and ordering another device to do exactly the same thing as what I had and was working is not worth it to me.

        I'd much rather be able to revert to the old version and they can keep their $7.

        So this whole thing is bad, and far from good.

  •  

    Anyone tried using 'JS USB OTG' as suggested on Whirlpool?

    •  

      Yes and it works. It's not an ideal solution and you can only read NTFS drives from within the app. But it's very cheap and does work.

      I suggest you buy it and try it. If you don't like it, you can get a refund from the Play Store.

      •  

        Does that mean JS USB OTG is also capable of playing files larger than 4GB?

        •  

          I haven't tried it, but I don't see why it wouldn't, when it can see all the files on a NTFS drive.

          • +1 vote

            @rogerm22: So looks like JS USB OTG works. Not the most elegant solution, and it takes up to 15-30 seconds to open a video file. Not ideal but hey at least I can now play stuff off my NTFS hard drives again. And I also got my full refund on the VTV.

            • +1 vote

              @axistentz: Wait they did the full refund and you kept it?

  •  

    Still crashing. It's very annoying having to power cycle.

    What alternatives are there if I get a refund?

    I only use for Plex, and would like sorry for hevc/h265.

  •  

    Great. It forced an update and it broke passthrough. That and the lack of FAT32 support means this is now useless. I am so annoyed. Been forever waiting on a decent Nvidia Shield deal, sure wish I'd found one before this happened.

    And my mum has one too. If that does the same she's gonna freak out because technology baffles her. Oh dear. I sense a headache in the near future.

    •  

      the lack of FAT32 support

      FAT32 is the only filesystem still supported.

      •  

        Ha, okay. Totally read that wrong, thanks.

        Well, if it could have pass-through it'd still have a use. In the meantime I'm making do without 4K and using the ol' Xiaomi box.

  •  

    Anyone know an easy way to close apps now? They have taken that away too.

    •  

      Why do you want to close apps? There's no need to close apps, unless they crash or freeze.

      •  

        We have emby, plex and netflix shared. So if we go to another room and it hasn't been closed, it won't work in the next room. It was easy before but now you have to go into settings and force close.

        •  

          Hold down the Hone button to bring up the apps list. Then hold down OK on the app you want to close, then select Info and then Force stop.

    •  

      Don't have one but try a hold press on the app on the home screen, select Info, then Force Stop.

  •  

    Since the update - my vodafone tv box could not stream 4k youtube consistently due to brief wifi disconnection intermittently. Probably it is not noticeable in 1080p video. Hope someone can confirm about this. I am using 5GHz Wifi on asus RT-AC58U. I will try a different router later.

    •  

      Tried a Netgear router and the problem went away. Strange that only this vodafone TV had wifi dropped problem.

  •  

    I've solved the freezing/crashing issues.

    So, with the update apps such as Plex no longer have permission to access storage. This causes the box to get stuck/freeze and require a reboot. This was happening from every few minutes to hours.

    Once given access to storage no more stability issues.

    •  

      Once given access to storage no more stability issues.

      How so you do that?

      • +1 vote

        Within the app permissions.

        Settings/apps/Plex/permissions

        That said, mines still crashing albeit not as frequently.

  • +2 votes

    Wish I saw this post earlier.

    I spent hours last night copying data to a new USB disk thinking it was corrupt, only to see the same error appear on the new disk.
    Couldn't find anything on google, so did a complete restore and it didn't fix the problem…
    Then I came across this thread.

    So pissed off at Vodafone for wasting my time on this !!!!!!!!!!!!

  •  

    I also got an update for the remote control. Any idea what that did?

    •  

      my update failed to install.

    •  

      It ended support for FAT fingers.

  •  

    Local Vodafone store have agreed a refund for my three. What to replace them with??

  •  

    Got my refund as well. Kept the unit as well. Any recommendation for an ntfs replacement?

    • +1 vote

      Grab a cheap router off ebay that supports USB storage.

      •  

        yep, mine does this so it’s an easy solution, then all the smart tvs can access the same data anyway.

        •  

          I actually have an android tv. Problem is when I have my HD connected to it and running kodi. When I turn off the tv the hdd keeps spinning

          •  

            @dweebz: He was talking about a router with a hdd.
            The tv then accesses it wirelessly.

            Then one drive with videos will be available for all tvs and computers and tablets etc.

  •  

    I have ended up replacing it with Apple TV 4k. Whilst three times the price, it is excellent on all fronts. I really only use it for Plex, so wanted something stable and wife-friendly.

    I'm still waiting for the refund from Vodafone which they've promised for the 4 boxes I have purchased over the last 14 months.

    •  

      Who did you contact for refund?

      •  

        [email protected]

        Thank you for your reply and apologies for the delay.

        We're certainly happy to look at a refund for you - we just need a proof of purchase to be able to do that.

        Are you able to please send us through the statements showing payment for each of the devices? Feel free to block out any details you're not comfortable sending through. We'd just need to confirm your name and the purchases on the statements.

        Once we have these, we can give you a call to organise a refund for you, so please just let us know which state you're in and your best contact number.

        I told them the removal of USB storage support is unacceptable. They've been pretty good so far, if a little slow.

        •  

          Thanks,
          wasted my time testing my multiple portable hard disks.

          •  

            @ribenaboy: Vodafone just called me. They're giving me a $280 refund plus I get to keep the boxes.

            •  

              @o53djz7qTPY4der: I received this reply:
              Thank you for the email.

              Are you in a position to take it back to Vodafone store with proof of purchase for a refund ?

              Kind regards,
              Vodafone Support

              •  

                @ribenaboy: Hahaha…. I guess it depends on who you get on support?

                •  

                  @o53djz7qTPY4der: by the way, I bought my vodafone TV for $72. What was your $280 for?

                  •  

                    @ribenaboy: I have 4 boxes.

                    •  

                      @o53djz7qTPY4der: that's great you get to keep all 4 boxes!.
                      I went to the store and they were not satisfied with my confirmation of my order as proof of purchase. Now emailing support to ask for next step..

                      •  

                        @ribenaboy: I just provided my credit card statements. I couldn't find the receipt. They were fine.

                        • +1 vote

                          @o53djz7qTPY4der: After a day of running around and spending hours over the phone with vodafone…
                          Finally received an email about getting the refund:

                          "Thank you for the email.
                          just send me through your BSB and account number and I will handle it from here.
                          Sorry about going into store and wasting your time.
                          Kind regards"

                          • +1 vote

                            @ribenaboy: So after waiting a week, the money is still not in my bank account and they decided to close the case….

                            very frustrating.

  • -1 vote

    Can someone recommend an alternative to the vodafone tv box with no issues watching USB portable Hard disk?

  • +4 votes

    Guys, a lot of us are (justifiably) unhappy with the Android Pie update, maybe we should be contacting Vodafone directly and en masse to voice our dissatisfaction? Surely, the more of us contact them, the more likely it is that they will take notice? I have just sent the following email to them at:

    [email protected]


    Hello,

    I previously bought a “Vodafone TV” box from one of your stores, the box runs the Android TV platform, and up until the most recent Android Pie update issued, worked almost flawlessly.

    However, the most recent update, issued in early February 2020, has caused a lot of problems, most notably the inability for the box to recognise any hard drive that isn’t formatted as FAT32.

    There are forum posts on both OzBargain and Whirlpool that outline many of the issues the update has caused:

    Whirlpool (forum page 212 onwards): /thread/3kwv7jj3?p=212

    OzBargain: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/518095

    It appears (as per the above forums) that you have been offering some customers refunds, however some of us just want the functionality restored that we had in the (apparently inferior) previous software version (which, for me at least, worked perfectly fine). Are there any plans to issue another update to fix all the issues the early February update caused? Or are you just washing your hands of this and saying “not our problem”?

    Please let me know ASAP. Thanks.

    Kind regards,


    If we all send them emails similar to the above, surely someone might listen and do something? Just my 2 cents worth, something to consider. More power in numbers, and all that. Worst that can happen is they say "too bad, so sad"…

    •  

      Did you receive any reply to this?

      •  

        Sorry for the late reply… I did, they actually refunded me the $72 I paid AND let me keep the box itself (which I can't use with a USB anymore, but which I find is fine for streaming etc)

  •  

    Same issue, have contacted vodafone requesting a fix or refund. Ridiculous to just remove a critical feature like that to save some filesystem licensing fees.

  •  

    with this having occurred, would you recommend a Vodafone TV or a Mi Box s?

    I want to have both USB support and a TV tuner, so I'm up for other suggestions too

    •  

      I have both and I would say the Mi Box is a safer bet, as it is better supported with updates. However the VTV does have some benefits like a LAN input and TV tuner built in. You can still use USB drives with the VTV but they have to be formatted to FAT32 format, which then means your files ahve to be less than 4GB in size, which could be an issue for large 4K files or longer home videos recorded on your phone/camera.
      Also there is a paid app on the Android PLay Store called "JS USB OTG" that will let you access all the files on an NTFS .

      •  

        Thanks for the response. I'm fairly keen on the TV Tuner aspect so I might go with the Vodafone TV. I have plenty of credit so I should be able to get JS USB OTG to handle that.

        Cheers

  •  

    I should read this forum before ordering. Tomorrow item will be delivered. Any chance I can stop auto upgrade?

    • +1 vote

      Nope. It'll do it when you set it up

      •  

        Ok thanks for the reply. Hope I get a refund

        • +2 votes

          You can. Someone on Whirlpool talked about it. You can stop the auto update and pause it, but you have to be careful though or it update. Here is the link https://whrl.pl/Rf2865

  •  

    Hi all, I have set up about a dozen of these boxes with a subscription tv service for customers. All have connected instantly to my wifi and then updated to Android P. However the last two boxes have lost wifi after the update. The toggle for wifi turns off. If you turn it on, it switches back off by itself after 10 seconds. This basically makes the box a paperweight unless there is a nearby modem. Has anyone else come across this?

    •  

      Hey mate, I just bought one of these and had the exact same problem with wifi as soon as it updated itself. It no longer detects any wifi networks and the wifi switch untoggles after 10 seconds. Were you able to resolve this?

  •  

    is it still worth buying the vodafone tv in 2020? will there be a new one coming out soon?

    •  

      Second, how's the update situation now.

      •  

        There's been no further updates, so it still have no native NTFS support.

        If you buy a new one, there are instructions in the Whirlpool threat on how to stop it from automatically updating from Android TV 7 to 9, so you don't lose NTFS support.

    • +1 vote

      Quite possibly there won't be a new one, considering that Vodafone had to reduce the price significantly on the current one to get it to sell.

      If you don't need NTFS support, it's still worth buying. If you do, then Xiaomi's Mi Box or Emtic's Jetstream 4K are good options, but neither have a TV tuner.

      You can buy the Jetstream box from US sellers on eBay. I paid just under $120 for mine. While like the others it has 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, it has two USB ports and a Micro SD card slot for expanding the limited internal storage. You can expand the storage on the VTV and Mi Box with a flash drive. But, unless you use a USB hub, you are permanently occupying the only USB port.

      • +1 vote

        Xiaomi Mi Box S for $79.54 at Toby Deals by using "cart3" code:
        https://www.tobydealsau.com/en_AU/product/xiaomi-mi-box-s-an...

        I have both the Mi Box & VTV and the MiBox is a bit smoother overall. I have no need for the TV Tuner so I prefer the Mi Box. Mi Box also supports the native Optus Sport App from Play Store, whereas you can only watch Optus Sport on VTV via a Kodi add-on.

  •  

    the Chromecast option isn't popping up for my Vodafone TV. Anybody else having the problem or know how to resolve? thanks