Rack Attack III: Firmware Odyssey

No sooner had the Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD and Pioneer BDP-HD1 Blu-ray players hit my rack than I decided to update them. No point in struggling with buggy firmware when shiny new firmware is available, right? The Toshiba website says Firmware Update Version 2.2 "improves network connectivity for supporting the download of web-enabled network content associated with certain HD DVD discs, and also addresses certain disc playback and HDMI/DVI related issues identified by Toshiba." As a matter of fact, it said the same thing about version 2.1 (I ended up running both). It applies not only to my HD-A2 but also to the HD-XA2, HD-A20, HD-A2W, and HD-D2. Stringing my trusty super-long network cable from the router on my desk to the rack, I plugged it into the Toshiba and navigated to the maintenance menu (top picture). At the manual's request, I turned on DHCP and DNS, and told the machine I was using a cable modem, all of which was quite easy. I clicked through a few screens of end-user license agreement. Then I started the update and went away to make dinner. When I came back, the Toshiba was good to go. Then there was the Pioneer Blu-ray player. Firmware Version 3.40.1 brings Dolby TrueHD compatibility and of course that is a must-have. Though the player has an Ethernet jack, there's no way to simply plug in and run the update. Instead I downloaded a zip file from the Pioneer website to my IBM desktop PC, unzipped it, copied an ISO image file to DVD-R, and fed the disc to the player. The update showed up in one of the video menus (bottom picture). So what audio goodness would I get out of my two freshly updated players? Tune in next week.

Tom Thompson's picture

To what gods have you been offering sacrifices? To have any "update" work, not only the first time but to then not create additional glitches,is unheard of. Then to have it work twice, you must be living under some pretty awesome protection plan!

John's picture

I wonder what percentage of player owners would have a clue about how to do what you did. Do these players have a simple phone jack to do this autiomaticly?

Mark Fleischmann's picture

Neither player has a phone jack, just ethernet, and the process is not automatic in either case.

Michael Moskovitz's picture

Boy what a buzzkill HD DVD and BD players are. Does anyone remember the days of putting in a VHS tape or Laserdisc into a player and just pressing play.