Toshiba is trying to solve some of the worst problems with its ultra-lame HD-A1 and HD-XA1 HD DVD players, where the company will soon release a firmware update that reportedly speeds up the minute-long boot time of both of the units. The update is also supposed to improve stability and black levels in the first-to-market players.
Toshiba will distribute that update via the Internet, to be downloaded into the machines via their Ethernet ports. For those unfortunate few who bought one of these not-ready-for-prime-time players and are not Internet-connected, a CD with a firmware will also be available.
The slow boot time of the Linux-based HD DVD box wasn't the worst problem we noticed when we tested the HD-A1. We're wondering if this firmware update will fix the problem of repeated crashing, an unfortunate and ultimately deal-breaking characteristic, especially for a consumer electronics device.