Four Methods of Firmware Upgrading an Eve Spectrum (Including Linux Method)

Blur Busters Commentary (non-NDA)

I made a mistake trying to firmware update one of my units that temporarily b0rked the unit, but repeating it over HDMI instead of DisplayPort solved my problem, as well as making sure my USB cable was connected BEFORE I launched the upgrader software. But in this mistake I made some accidental discoveries.

Precedent; I have MSTAR ISPs (same ISP as used to upgrade BenQ XL2720Z) and those work well with firmware updating too. The firmware upgrade instructions were publicized by BenQ and BenQ also authorized the Blur Busters instructions. I’ve been using the MSTAR ISP method with almost every desktop monitor panel; this firmware upgrade protocol has been defacto supplier-standardized even if not always released to end users.

But now monitors are more complicated today, and firmware upgrades are needed more often, and now end users get to firmware upgrade more brands more often. Which reveals some of these firmware upgrade standardization.

Eve Spectrum Also Successfully Upgraded Via MSTAR ISP

Now, Eve happened to send me the very exact same MSTAR ISP during the Eve Spectrum DVT prototype (before it supported USB firmware upgrade). These are little hardware dongles that go between the computer and the monitor, so that the firmware upgrade can be injected as I2C signals over DDC on the HDMI connector. Windows OS does not support doing this natively, but Linux OS does, so you can skip the dongle for Linux – so a non-USB Linux upgrader can probably be done as a bash shell script today.

Today, even the MP unit seems to still support upgrade via an MSTAR ISP – but that’s completely optional because Eve Spectrums support firmware upgrade via multiple methods (via USB, and via DDC I2C). Which means DIY firmware upgrade installers can be written by a software developer outside of Eve, because of what has been publicly written in Blur Busters Forums.

Just in case you’re an old owner of a BenQ XL2720Z monitor and still have the MSTAR ISP lying around from 2014 or so – the same ISP worked to firmware update the EVE Spectrum, too.

I bet Linux firmware upgrade is possible through the Linux instructions for BenQ Zowie XL2720Z monitors that are posted in the BenQ area of the forums. They are a bit complex but fortunately the Linux method does not require an MSTAR ISP.

Three Ways (Er, Four) to Upgrade An Eve Spectrum

So I have 3 ways to upgrade the EVE Spectrum, soon to be 4 probably.

  • EVE Firmware Upgrade Method (successful, dongleless) (required HDMI and USB connection)
  • MSTAR ISP Dongle Method (successful, dongle) (only needs PC USB connection to dongle which then connects only via HDMI to monitor)
  • Linux HDMI method (untested, dongleless) (no USB needed at all. Requires lots of manual command line operations, but probably will work)
  • Future Linux USB(?) method (untested, dongleless)

There is no all-in-one bundled Linux utility to upgrade, so you have to manually run through a series of Linux commands to install a .BIN file on an Eve Spectrum.

How To (Probably) Do Linux Upgrade of Eve Spectrum

(VERY MANUAL METHOD)

There’s a big instructions thread for Linux installation of monitor firmwares onto BenQ monitors on Blur Busters Forums which probably can be followed for Linux users to successfully install firmware on Eve Spectrums, but there is also a bricking-risk (you’ve been forewarned).

ISP Tool Version 3.5 (released for BenQ monitor upgrades) only supports MSTAR ISP dongle, requires ISP Tool Version 3.9 to support both USD-method and MSTAR ISP dongle method (I2C DDC).

Firmware upgrade protocol is typically MSTAR standard on most desktop monitors, even when it’s an AUO or Innolux or LG panel. The industry internally standardized on a DDC I2C protocol that now has an MSTAR-standardized USB equivalent. We know this today because (A) the Eve upgrader installs firmware over USB, and (B) the MSTAR ISP upgrade installs firmware over HDMI.

Eve Spectrums support firmware upgrade via both DDC (via HDMI) and via USB, as successfully tested at Blur Busters Lab, so I am 90% sure the Linux instructions for BenQ-ZOWIE monitors will also work on EVE Spectrums, without needing to purchase an MSTAR ISP dongle (required for non-USB firmware upgrades under Windows 10).

An all-in-one Linux utility will be very useful, but today, an advanced Linux users should be able to figure out how to install a .BIN file onto an Eve Spectrum using similiar shell commands used for other monitors (BenQ ZOWIE) since it’s the same DDC I2C firmware upgrade protocol.

DISCLAIMER: (To protect Blur Busters) (and yeah, Eve’s warranty): I’ve given you enough information to brick your monitor; damaged BIN files aren’t error-checked via manual Linux method. Please byte-verify your BIN files (hash) before installing them, and if possible, byte-verify after installing before powercycling your monitor. Do not follow these steps UNLESS you know what you are doing.

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Does the tool tell you, if the spectrum is Connected wrong or if an update is not possible?

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The Eve tool? Yes.

Quit and restart the app every time you readjust the cables, it only seems to autodetect once upon startup. It will then tell you if it is ready.

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