Samsung TV owners across different models have taken to the company's EU support forums to ask for help with a firmware update that apparently rendered their TVs useless, and the issue only seems to be hitting owners in the UK and Ireland. The update causes some TVs to lock onto one channel and stop accepting input, while others turn off entirely. Some owners are reporting being able to use something besides a remote to control their TV to a limited extent, and others are reporting that HDMI input for things like game consoles still works, but on a limited basis. As of this writing, Samsung has been made aware of the issue, and is working on a fix. Some users are reporting seeing the issue as early as last week.
All of the models involved in the incident seem to be recent smart TVs, and a post from a forum moderator relayed an official statement from Samsung that said that the affected models all fell under the 2017 MU Series of Samsung Smart TVs. Simpler models without the Samsung software built in do not seem to be affected. While many of the less severe cases will likely be able to download Samsung's fix update whenever it's published, Samsung is reportedly sending out technicians to do a complete system firmware reflash on some affected TVs. Samsung did not state whether the newly flashed firmware would contain a fix that will go out to other users over the air later, or if users who get their TVs reflashed will simply be advised not to take any firmware updates until further notice.
Customers are obviously not happy about the ordeal. Firmware updates causing hardware to malfunction or become unusable is a familiar pain point throughout the tech world, and especially familiar to Samsung, since it has hands in many different sectors, including smartphones, TVs, computers, and all sorts of industrial equipment. Customers who opted to have Samsung technicians come out and help with the issue are reporting the kinds of hours-long appointment windows that house calls such as computer repairs and cable installations, causing many users undue inconvenience.