Today's fun and games is doing a firmware update on my TV (a Panasonic TX-32LMD70A) of all things.
For quite some time now my TV has been struggling to power on - it'll sit there for a few seconds, then just flash a red LED at me instead of actually switching on. Turning it off and on usually solves this within a few goes.
I'd done some searching before and this appears to be a known problem that's fixed in later firmware... except Panasonic as best as I can tell never made the firmware available for OTA updates and certainly don't admit to it on their website. This is not helped by the internet being full of dead links and sites that claim to have a service manual or firmware but really lure you in to a maze of links that try to foist malware on you (their latest trick: a PDF titled "Service manual" containing a single link). Today, however, I somehow managed to hit the magic combination of keywords for Google and ended up on a 2015 thread on AVForums that not only contained firmware, but didn't require registration to download it. Yay!
For reference, this is Panasonic technical information note QST0010DG040110REV9 affecting 2007 models and the problem is described as:
The set starts to power up, but eventually shuts down in protection mode with one red LED blink. After a prolonged period of use, the distribution of the mercury (Hg) in the LCD backlight is uneven. This makes the lamp difficult to start.
I'm not entirely sure I've found the precise firmware for my model (I think the file I found is for the TX-32LMD70 without an A), but given that the TV is flaky anyway I'm willing to sacrifice it in the name of SCIENCE.
So, the all-important question: will it blend update?