How to Upgrade VGA Grid systems to 3.14.1

Overview

As of release 3.14.1, Networked VGA Grid only supports VGA Grid HD Encoders as external encoding sources. In the past other sources, including VGA2Ethernet, have been acceptable. However, alternate encoding sources are no longer supported.

Additionally, VGA Grid HD Encoders now only have a single mode of operation. The mode previously known as Encoding mode is deprecated and all VGA Grid HD Encoders should be upgraded to 3.14.1 which will move them to the VGA Grid centralized-control mode.

As a result of these two changes, channel reconfiguration may be necessary after firmware update to 3.14.1.

Step-by-step instructions for upgrading your system

How to Upgrade to 3.14.1 for systems with internet access

Upgrading to 3.14.1 is a two-step process. First, a new firmware, 3.12.0k or higher, is downloaded to verify that you system supports the new features in 3.14.1. If supported, 3.14.1 is available for download and install to your system.

As of firmware 3.14.1, VGA Grid no longer supports VGA2Ethernet as an external source. VGA Grid HD Encoders are the only supported external source. If your system uses VGA2Ethernet devices as remote sources they will no longer be accessible after upgrade. We strongly urge you to purchase VGA Grid HD Encoders to replace any VGA2Ethernet video grabbers prior to updating your VGA Grid to 3.14.1.

  1. Connect to the admin interface using your preferred connection mechanism.
  2. Login as admin.
  3. Select the Firmware Upgrade link in the Configuration menu; the firmware upgrade page opens.
  4. Click the check for updates link next to your current firmware version; the system connects to Epiphan servers to look for updates.
  5. Click download from the red box that appears at the top left of the admin interface; the firmware is downloaded and immediately starts to install and the firmware update box changes to have a cancel button.
    formware update
  6. When the firmware update is complete, a message lets you know it is going to reboot.
  7. Wait for the system to restart.
  8. Login as admin.
  9. Select the Firmware Upgrade link in the Configuration menu; the firmware upgrade page opens.
  10. Click the check for updates link next to your current firmware version; the system connects to Epiphan servers to look for updates.
  11. If your system support 3.14.1, a red box appears at the top left of the admin interface specifying an update is available.
  12. Click download on firmware available box; the firmware is downloaded and immediately starts to install and the firmware update box changes to have a cancel button, as before.
  13. When the firmware update is complete, a message lets you know it is going to reboot.
  14. Wait for the system to restart.
  15. Connect to the admin interface using your preferred connection mechanism.
  16. Login as admin.
  17. Select the Info link in the Configuration menu; the Info page opens.
  18. Verify that the firmware version is 3.14.1
    VGA Grid firmware update

For Networked VGA Grid systems and HD Encoders, continue with the special instructions below.

How to Upgrade to 3.14.1 for offline systems (no external internet access)

If your system cannot connect to the internet to download the update, you may request it from Epiphan support. Not all hardware is supported with release 3.14.1, so the upgrade process is different than normal. Please follow these steps carefully.

As of firmware 3.14.1, VGA Grid no longer supports VGA2Ethernet as an external source. VGA Grid HD Encoders are the only supported external source. If your system uses VGA2Ethernet devices as remote sources they will no longer be accessible after upgrade. We strongly urge you to purchase VGA Grid HD Encoders to replace any VGA2Ethernet video grabbers prior to updating your VGA Grid to 3.14.1.

  1. Obtain the serial numbers of the devices you want to upgrade. Serial numbers are found on a sticker on the back of the system, or found on the Info page of the admin interface.
  2. Contact Epiphan support and request firmware 3.12.0k (or higher) for your system(s). Provide the serial numbers of the system(s) you are upgrading.
    Firmware version 3.12.0k is a intermediary release that evaluates your system hardware and checks for compatibility with release 3.14.1.
  3. Connect to the admin interface using your preferred connection mechanism.
  4. Login as admin.
  5. Select the Firmware Upgrade link in the Configuration menu; the firmware upgrade page opens.
  6. Note the current firmware version listed.
  7. Click the Choose File button next to Select firmware upgrade file; a file selection box opens.
  8. Select the firmware upgrade file from your local computer.
  9. Click Apply; the file is uploaded. The system unpacks and verifies the file. If the file is valid, the upgrade begins.
    Do not interrupt power to the system during the firmware upgrade.
  10. Wait for the system to restart.
  11. Connect to the admin interface using your preferred connection mechanism.
  12. Login as admin.
  13. Select the Info link in the Configuration menu; the Info page opens.
  14. Verify that the firmware version is the expected new version.
  15. Note the CPU board value listed in the Hardware section.
    VGA Grid firmware update
  16. Provide this value to Epiphan Support who can tell you if your system supports 3.14.1.
  17. If your system supports 3.14.1, repeat steps 2-13 with the 3.14.1 firmware file.

Note: Release 3.14.1 has not been extensively tested on systems with older hardware that do not support the new features introduced in 3.14.1. If, by accident, 3.14.1 is loaded on a system that does not support the new features, the inactive features should be hidden in the user interface, but this is not guaranteed. Follow the instructions above for each system you own to verify if it supports 3.14.1.

For Networked VGA Grid systems and HD Encoders, continue with the special instructions below.

Special upgrade instructions for Networked VGA Grid

As of firmware 3.14.1, VGA Grid no longer supports VGA2Ethernet as an external source. VGA Grid HD Encoders are the only supported external source.

Your Networked VGA Grid with firmware 3.14.1 will not work with HD Encoders using older firmware. They must also be upgraded.

Encoding mode is no longer supported for VGA Grid HD Encoders. During upgrade, VGA Grid HD Encoders automatically convert to a centralized management mode. If you have VGA Grid HD Encoders in Encoding mode, there are extra steps necessary after the upgrade to re-configure the VGA Grid HD Encoder with your Networked VGA Grid. Follow all the steps in this guide.

If you’re unsure about the mode used by your VGA Grid HD Encoder, you can log into it and check. A banner at the top of the web admin interface indicates the current mode in green. The VGA Grid HD Encoder shown below is currently in encoding mode.

VGA Grid firmware update

Step 1: Backup configuration for encoding mode VGA Grid HD Encoders

For VGA Grid HD Encoders in encoding mode, it is strongly suggested you take note of the current configuration of your encoder and any channels using it on your Networked VGA Grid.

To backup your VGA Grid HD Encoder settings:

  1. Connect to the VGA Grid HD Encoder’s admin interface using your preferred connection mechanism.
  2. Login as admin.
  3. Go to each of the Stream Setup, Frame Grabber, and Audio configuration pages and copy down all configuration entries.

To backup use of your VGA Grid HD Encoder on your Networked VGA Grid:

  1. Connect to the admin interface using your preferred connection mechanism.
  2. Login as admin.
  3. For each channel, go to the Sources link and take note of which VGA Grid HD Encoders are used for the channel.
  4. For multi-source layouts, also note the size and positions for each source.

Step 2: Upgrade your system, starting with the VGA Grid Concentrator

To upgrade your Networked VGA Grid system complete the following steps:

  1. If not already done, validate that your system supports 3.14.1 using the steps outlined above.
  2. If not already done, and your system supports release 3.14.1, install it on your Networked VGA Grid Concentrator as described above.

For each VGA Grid HD Encoder in your system:

  1. Connect to the VGA Grid HD Encoder’s admin interface using your preferred connection mechanism.
  2. Login as admin.
  3. Select the Firmware Upgrade link in the Configuration menu; the firmware upgrade page opens.

If your VGA Grid HD Encoder has internet access:

  1. Click the check for updates link next to your current firmware version; the system connects to Epiphan servers to look for updates.
  2. Click download from the red box that appears at the top left of the admin interface; the firmware is downloaded and immediately starts to install and the firmware update box changes to have a cancel button.
  3. When the firmware update is complete, a message lets you know it is going to reboot.

If your VGA Grid HD Encoder is not able to connect to the internet for updates:

  1. Request the 3.14.1 firmware update for VGA Grid HD Encoders from Epiphan support.
  2. Select the Firmware Upgrade link in the Confirmation menu/ the firmware upgrade page opens.
  3. Click the Choose File button next to Select firmware upgrade file; a file selection box opens.
  4. Select the firmware upgrade file from your local computer.
  5. Click Apply; the file is uploaded. The system unpacks and verifies the file. If the file is valid, the upgrade begins.
  1. Wait for the system to restart
  2. Connect to the admin interface using your preferred connection mechanism.
  3. Login as admin.
  4. Select the Info link in the Configuration menu; the Info page opens.
  5. Verify that the firmware version is the expected new version

Step 3: Add VGA Grid HD Encoders to the Networked VGA Grid

If your VGA Grid HD Encoders were in slave mode prior to the upgrade, your upgrade is complete.

If your VGA Grid HD Encoders were in encoding mode prior to the upgrade, you’ll need to re-add them to the Networked VGA Grid, verify configuration settings, and re-create any multi-source layouts that included them. Follow the steps below for each encoder you want to add to the Networked VGA Grid.

To add an encoder as a channel complete these steps in the VGA Grid’s web interface:

  1. Connect to the admin interface using your preferred connection mechanism.
  2. Login as admin.
  3. From the web interface, scroll to the Channels menu option. A list of existing channels, if any is displayed.
  4. Click the Add channel link located at the bottom of the list; the Sources page opens.
    VGA Grid firmware update
  5. Click the Use video source drop-down menu; a list of available sources appears.
  6. Choose External encoder from the list; the external encoder configuration options appear below the drop-down menu.
    VGA Grid firmware update
  7. Find the serial number of your VGA Grid HD Encoder in the list of Available encoders. If your encoder is not listed, check network connections and reload the page.
  8. Click use it or copy the IP Address or serial number of your encoder from the list and paste it in the Device URL field.
    If the IP address of the VGA Grid HD Encoder changes, the VGA Grid will no longer be able to receive signal from the encoder. For this reason, we strongly recommend using a static IP address for the encoder. 
  9. If your encoder has an admin password, enter the password in the Device admin password field. The value entered is masked with dots.
  10. Click Apply; the changes are applied but the page doesn’t change.
  11. Click the already highlighted Sources link from the channel menu; the page is refreshed with the channel name, reflecting the IP address of the VGA Grid HD Encoder.
  12. Click the Encoding link for the channel; the encoding configuration page opens.
  13. Check and set the values using the list made from before the VGA Grid HD Encoder firmware update.
  14. Click Apply.

Step 4: Recreate multi-source layouts

Before adding a VGA Grid HD Encoder as a source in any multi-source layouts, you must perform additional steps.

When using content coming to the Networked VGA Grid from a VGA Grid HD Encoder in a multi-source layout, the VGA Grid needs to decode the stream from the encoder, combine it with other streams, then re-encode. To accomplish this, all encoders used in a multi-source layout need to be added as local sources.

You only need to do this once per VGA Grid HD Encoder. The same local source can be used in multiple channels.

  1. Connect to the admin interface using your preferred connection mechanism.
  2. Login as admin.
  3. Review the Sources list to ensure it does not already include the current encoder.
  4. Click Add Source; the add sources page opens.
    VGA Grid firmware update
  5. Click the checkbox next to the selected encoder.
  6. Click Add selected devices; the encoder is added as a source and the source configuration page is opened.
  7. You may now optionally configure a rotation on the image by selecting an option the Rotation drop-down box and clicking Apply.

The encoder is successfully added as a local channel source. You can now add it to all applicable multi-source layouts. Remember to use the previously noted size and position for the source.