Toshiba Releases Firmware Update for First-Gen HD DVD Player

Thanks to the mandatory Ethernet port on every HD DVD player, the first generation products (Toshiba player models HD-XA1, HD-A1 and HD-D1) can now be updated to firmware version 2.1. According to the release notes, the firmware update adds support for "certain anticipated network delivered content" in future HD DVD discs. Also addressed are issues where HDMI output does not work or works intermittently with HDTVs or monitors and improvements in playback to eliminate pixelization, block noise and audio dropouts. Several HD DVD players appear to be due for firmware updates given the recent breakout of compatibility problems. For example, Children of Men is giving HD DVD owners a headache, with reports of freezing or refusal to play, even after trying multiple, retail exchanged copies of the movie.

View: Release Notes
News source: DailyTech

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Why aren't all TV's, Sound Systems, Set top boxes etc all connected to together with a single Cat6 ethernet cable to a hub? It would be far cheaper and less complicated than expensive AV / HDMI cables and the like.
Surely manufacturers can put a NIC into their products for only a few dollars extra.

I stopped reading after "mandatory Ethernet port"... Godalmighty, the content mafia are getting scary. Why the hell are we, as consumers, permitting such intrusive practices to worm their way into the hardware we buy?

I should point out I haven't missed the point of the article (I didn't really stop reading ) -- it is nifty that shortcomings in the firmware can be fixed in such a user-friendly manner, but we all know that's not the real reason the port is there. It's so they can push out the patch for DVD Jon's latest 'workaround'. Being able to easy-fix firmware flaws (actual real usability flaws like the above, I mean, not playing whack-a-mole with the crackers) won't stop these formats being superceded and new hardware/media being needed just as quickly as the last format was. And then we all ride the content/hardware carousel again.

The PC/Networking/Storage Revolution could have put an end to all those nightmares of our treasured media being obsoleted every few years, but instead the content cartels were allowed to call the shots, and here we go again. I hope to god that consumers find their voice before much longer and remind these a-holes that *they* work for *us*.

Uh... back on-topic, this to me has all the hallmarks of a product that was rushed to market before it was nearly ready.

Havin_it said,
I stopped reading after "mandatory Ethernet port"... Godalmighty, the content mafia are getting scary. Why the hell are we, as consumers, permitting such intrusive practices to worm their way into the hardware we buy?

Are you a Blu-Ray supporter or a HD-DVD supporter?
Havin_it said,
it is nifty that shortcomings in the firmware can be fixed in such a user-friendly manner, but we all know that's not the real reason the port is there. It's so they can push out the patch for DVD Jon's latest 'workaround'.

Someone is paranoid...

Honestly I doubt that it has something to do with they spying on us or anything. I agree with them being able to patch flaws but I believe that homebrew firmwares will also appear and allow us to view Xvid and other types of media.

I support neither format; I don't know a huge amount about either of them, but I understand that both are designed to keep the content providers in the driving seat. I don't want to think about how much resources -- which could otherwise have been pumped into ensuring the product didn't hit the shelves with horrendous bugs like these -- were diverted for this sole purpose.

I don't know enough to suggest that there's any 'spying' going on; that's not what I meant by intrusive. What I mean is that this kit comes saddled with a lot of baggage that is only there for the benefit of the content-pushers and their greed. Had this not been the case, I'm certain the result would have been a better product, if only from an efficiency POV.

Yes, I agree that both formats will be 0wn3d time and again, as this is the nature of such things. But this is an illegal activity in many countries, probably including my own, and the real meat of my argument is that the whole climate that makes this so, needs urgent revision. With the recent EMI/Apple announcement there's a faint glimmer of hope that that revision is beginning, but I won't be holding my breath.

Havin_it said,
I support neither format; I don't know a huge amount about either of them, but I understand that both are designed to keep the content providers in the driving seat. I don't want to think about how much resources -- which could otherwise have been pumped into ensuring the product didn't hit the shelves with horrendous bugs like these -- were diverted for this sole purpose.

I don't know enough to suggest that there's any 'spying' going on; that's not what I meant by intrusive. What I mean is that this kit comes saddled with a lot of baggage that is only there for the benefit of the content-pushers and their greed. Had this not been the case, I'm certain the result would have been a better product, if only from an efficiency POV.

Yes, I agree that both formats will be 0wn3d time and again, as this is the nature of such things. But this is an illegal activity in many countries, probably including my own, and the real meat of my argument is that the whole climate that makes this so, needs urgent revision. With the recent EMI/Apple announcement there's a faint glimmer of hope that that revision is beginning, but I won't be holding my breath.


Im sorry but if you do not know about either format you should read about both of them before making statements like that:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_DVD
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-Ray

This is why they insisted on an ether port instead of rendering a player you bought already crippled by changes to the format *cough cogh*blu ray. No different than downloading patches for your OS.