A new breath of life for my A3 HD-DVD player

I appreciate that even though Toshiba threw in the towel on the HD-DVD front over a year ago, their software team is still working on fixing issues with equipment out there.  My wife got me an A3 before the war was lost, which doesn’t really get much of a work out as a HD player, but is one of the best DVD upscales I’ve ever seen (Babylon 5 is the best upscale test I’ve seen, the interlacing on that dvd gives many upscalers aweful fits, but on the A3 it looks pretty respectable).

The problem is that it started crashing a lot on startup.  It had gotten to the point where 1 in 2 startups didn’t work (1 in 3 shutdowns crashed as well).  This might have been related to the lightning that took out the ethernet card, it’s hard to tell.  Regardless, it got to the point where I was about to replace it with just an upscaling dvd player.

However, I found that toshiba pushed out a version 4 firmware last fall.  I did the upgrade yesterday, which appeared to fix a whole host of problems, including cutting at least 30% (if not 50%) off the boot time (which is now at 15 seconds to get to the logo, still long, but on par with all the HD devices).  6 power cycles later, and I haven’t seen a crash *yet*.  We’ll see if that holds up.  If so, the A3 gets to stay for a while longer.

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