How to upgrade the DirectStream Operating System

Written by Paul McGowan

One of the beauties of DirectStream and DirectStream Junior DACs are their ability to have their operating systems upgraded. Operating system upgrades bring new levels of performance to your DirectStream, similar to a physical hardware update. Operating system upgrades are typically free. Installing new firmware on DirectStream or DirectStream Junior is a simple procedure. The entire update is stored on an SD memory card (similar to what you might find in a digital camera for memory) in the case of DirectStream, or a USB memory stick for DirectStream Junior. The necessary files are loaded onto the SD card or USB stick, placed in the rear of DirectStream when the AC power is off, then the files are automatically loaded as soon as the AC power is connected. It's really that easy.


Download the files. They are sent in a zipped format. Unzip the files and copy the contents of the folder to a blank SD memory card or USB memory stick (depending on which model DAC you have) using your computer to do so. Ensure that the SD card or USB stick are formatted to FAT 16 or FAT 32. As well make sure that they are no larger than 32 Gb. Ensuring that the power is off, insert the SD card or USB stick into DirectStream or DirectStream Junior and turn the power back on. The front panel logo light will blink indicating the upgrade is taking place and when the unit is ready to play again, simply remove the SD card or USB memory stick and you're done. The contents of your SD card or USB stick should have a group of files that look similar to these: httpv://

Check to see what version you have installed

To check what firmware is currently on DirectStream touch the small tool icon in the upper left corner of the touch screen, or hold the menu button down on DirectStream Junior. The version number and name of the operating system will appear. If you are installing the Huron operating system, you will see the word HURON written on the tool screen or version screen.

Download the files

You can download any update firmware from our download site. Go to Downloads and find the version you wish to use. Older versions are located in the Archive section of the same page. Download the files onto your computer. It's easiest in many cases to place them on the desktop of either your MAC or Windows computer. This just simply helps locate them. If you received the files in a zip folder you must first unzip the files. Do NOT try and add the zip file itself to the SD card. DirectStream cannot read a zip file. You will need a standard SD memory card to load the files onto. You can use a standard SD card up to 32gB in size. Ultra, Ultra II SDHC SD cards work as well in DirectStream. If a USB memory stick, 1Gb is fine, but larger ones are acceptable as well. SD card Place the SD card in an SD card reader, or the USB stick in a USB port connected to either your MAC or Windows computer. SD card readers and low cost and easy to acquire. They typically plug into your computer's USB connection and self-install. Most computer setups already have access to this type of card reader. Some cards have a lock on them that prevents data being removed or added make sure this is unlocked. Once the computer recognizes the SD card in the reader, or the USB memory stick in the USB port, double-click to see the contents. Make sure the SD card or USB stick are empty and formatted. Most are. If there is content on the SD card or USB memory stick, it's best to erase the content and clear the card. With a cleared SD card or USB memory stick, simply drag the unzipped PS Audio update files you downloaded from our servers onto the card. Make sure you see all the files on the SD card or stick. Make sure there is not a zip file or a folder on the SD card. The group of files should look similar to this group. Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 6.17.33 AM

Load the firmware

Turn off your system's power amplifier. This will make sure that when you turn the power off you don't get any unwanted pops and noises. Turn power off on DirectStream or Junior. To do this, reach around the back of the unit and switch off the power. Check to see if there is an SD card or USB stick installed already. If there is an SD card installed, push on the card to get it out. The card will pop out for you. Note that the card is installed upside down. Install the new card with the OS on it or the USB stick. Make sure the card goes in upside down as shown in the picture. Make sure it clicks into place. Turn the rear panel power switch on. If everything is going properly, the front panel logo light will begin to blink, indicating the firmware is being loaded. It will keep blinking until the entire code has been loaded. Once fully loaded, DirectStream or DirectStream Junior will restart and be ready for operation. DirectStream-Rear

Remove the card and you're done

You can now remove the SD card or USB memory stick. You can check the front panel setup screen to verify you have the latest update completed successfully if you wish. If the logo light on the front panel did not start blinking then the firmware was not installed. Call us for help or email our service department. As always, we are here to help you in any way we can. Thanks for the support!
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