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Firmware Update Instructions for Toshiba HD DVD Players
Last Updated on Monday, February 18th, 2008 3:11 PM
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One of the great features of HD DVD players is their ability to be updated when bugs are solved and/or new features can be added to them. (This is true of most Blu-ray players as well)
When the first generation of HD DVD players were released in April 2006, consumers encountered playback issues with some movies and also issues with particular display devices. Additionally, they were only able to play back Dolby TrueHD lossless audio in 2-channel mode, instead of 5.1 channels.
Through a series of firmware updates, Toshiba was able to address many of the issues that people experienced and they also added 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD support.
Even though Toshiba is releasing third generation units, they continue to support consumers who have purchased the first and second generation players by releasing updates. Recently, some models received the ability to playback 1080p at 24 frames per second, which is desirable for those with displays capable of such an input signal.
With a new format that is seeing so much advancement, the fact that the firmware can be upgraded is a major advantage (we enjoyed no similar support from manufacturers when DVDs were first released). As such, it's important to know when firmware updates are available and how to receive them.
How to Find Your Current Firmware Version
Toshiba's web site has clear step-by-step instructions on how to check your firmware, complete with screenshots. The quick list is:
The current firmware version is displayed in the format of the following example:
The firmware version in the above example is 1.2. The characters after the slash can be ignored.
If you do not wish to update your player's firmware at this time, select No from the dialog shown on the screen and exit the Setup menu by pressing the Setup button on the remote.
How to Check for the Most Recent Firmware Version Available
If you want to have your player update to the most recent firmware no matter what, you could select Yes from the Maintenance dialog shown above. If a new version is available, it will be downloaded and installed. If not, you will receive an error page that indicates that you are currently running the most current firmware.
If you prefer to check things out first, to see what fixes or new features an updated firmware might address (always a good idea), you can visit Toshiba's Firmware Updates page.
Unfortunately, nothing on that page simply comes out and says what the most current firmware version is for each of their players. To the right is a table of the models and the most current firmware versions we're aware of.
Another great resource for finding out what the most current firmware update is for your player, and for HD DVD information in general, is the AV Science Forum, or AVS Forum for short. The HD DVD Players forum there is a great resource filled with a community of newcomers, enthusiasts, and die-hard afficianados. Threads concerning the most recent firmware updates are usually located at the top of the list for easy reference.
How To Update Your Firmware
Before we cover the steps involved in updating your firmware, a cautionary statement must be made. Updating the firmware could cause your player to become non-functional. Will it happen to you, does it happen often? No, but as with any update of software, unforeseen problems may occur. For this reason, we recommend waiting a few days after the release of the firmware version to see if other brave souls have had any problems. Widespread problems would cause Toshiba to pull the update, but you don't want to be an unfortunate victim unless you are prepared to handle it. Checking the AVS Forum mentioned earlier is a great way to stay abreast of such issues.
That said, let's move on to updating your firmware!
Toshiba's Firmware Updates page includes instructions on updating the firmware for your particular player. Print those instructions and have them handy when you perform your update. Please read through them completely before beginning, and be sure to follow every step! In most cases, you should not have a movie disc in your player when you begin the update procedure, so please make sure to remove any movie disc before proceeding.
There are three ways to update the firmware in your HD DVD player:
Update your player with its built-in Ethernet connection
Follow the instructions listed above under the heading of "How to Find Your Current Firmware Version." When you reach the final step that displays the current firmware version, select Yes in the dialog to proceed with updating your firmware from the player.
You will be shown two pages of disclaimers, terms and conditions, and other information that you will need to accept before the download can begin. This is to make you aware of the ramifications of what you are about to do and for Toshiba to be able to wash its hands of any problems you may encounter as a result. Fortunately, Toshiba has proven to be very responsive and not at all evasive when it comes to update-related issues!
Once the download begins, do not interrupt power to the player. Do not perform this update if you believe that your power may go out, like during a lightning storm or if you have overactive power-hungry squirrels outside.
If you experience trouble connecting your player to the Internet
To be a fully functioning member of your network, your player will need to be configured so that it can connect to servers on the Internet. Not only will this be helpful in performing firmware updates, it will make it possible for you to enjoy the online content available on certain movie titles.
Toshiba has a Quick Setup Guide for connecting your HD DVD player to your network for Internet connectivity. The information there should help you with the necessary settings and connections.
Download the firmware update file and create an update disc
You can download the firmware update file from Toshiba's web site and create a disc to insert into the player to perform the firmware update. This requires a PC (a Mac may work) and knowledge of burning CDs with the appropriate software.
Check out the following links for the information you'll need to proceed:
Additionally, the HD DVD Master Firmware Burning Thread on the AVS Forum should help with questions or challenges you may have.
Obtain the firmware update disc from Toshiba
If you're not able to connect your player to the Internet, and you're not willing/able to burn an update disc yourself, you can request a disc from Toshiba by mail. This will take the longest, but it is an option.
In the original box for your player, you should have a post card that you can send to Toshiba to request an update disc whenever a new update is available. It can take several weeks after an update has been issued to receive a disc, however, so if one of the other update methods is available to you, you're better off going that route instead.
If all else fails, you can contact Toshiba Customer Support by E-Mail or by phone using the information on their Contact Toshiba page.
Don't underestimate the helpfulness of the AVS Forum community, though. Most people there are very helpful to those who are having trouble or are new to the hobby and are looking for help after trying to help themselves first.
This document was created through the support of information from AVS Forum members, especially member BuGsArEtAsTy and his thread that started the idea for this document. Kudos to Toshiba for providing the resources they have for making firmware updates possible, even if they need to make some improvements to their web site to make it easier for us to use. We will attempt to keep this document updated as new firmware updates are made available.
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