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Firmware v2.0 now available -- adds TrueHD 5.1, fixes 720p output


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#1 of 126 OFFLINE   Ken_F

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Posted August 23 2006 - 05:08 AM

The final version of firmware 2.0 is now available from Toshiba via the box's firmware update feature.

The new firmware adds support for full 5.1 TrueHD output, significantly improves quality when the 720p mode is selected, improves interactive menu responsiveness, pause is now full-frame, among other improvements.

You can find more information about the firmware update (with instructions) at Toshiba's HD-DVD website. Click on "Support" and then "Firmware Update V2.0."

The differences between Dolby Digital Plus and TrueHD 5.1 vary by the film. On some films, the improvement in quality is significant and very obvious; on other films, the improvement with TrueHD 5.1 is more subtle. For those who want to compare Dolby Digital Plus and TrueHD, I would suggest Constantine and Training Day. I would suggest turning "Dialog Enhancement" OFF on the HD-DVD player when using TrueHD.

To experience TrueHD 5.1 lossless audio, you need a receiver/processor with HDMI 1.1 or a receiver/processor with 5.1 analog inputs. You do not need a receiver with HDMI 1.3. You cannot experience TrueHD lossless audio over traditional spdif/optical connections, because they are limited in implementation to 1.5Mbps, whereas TrueHD delivers audio at [up to] 14Mbps.

There is really no reason to wait for a CD from Toshiba when you can start experiencing TrueHD 5.1 sound today. Firmware 2.0 disks are not being mailed out by Toshiba for another 2-3 weeks. Toshiba recommends that customers update via the built-in firmware update feature; a network connection will also be required to download additional interactive content on some upcoming HD-DVD titles. When updating using the built-in firmware update feature, be sure to remove all disks from the drive before doing so.

If for some reason you can't spend a few bucks on an ethernet cable to run from your internet router (or cable modem) to the HD-DVD player, you can download the firmware as a Nero CD image right here. Burn it to a CD with Nero using the "burn image to disk" (not data disk) option, or if you don't have Nero, you can download the trial version of ISOMagic.

Current titles with TrueHD 5.1
Constantine (recommended by me)
The Perfect Storm
The Phantom of the Opera
Training Day

Upcoming titles with TrueHD 5.1
12 Monkeys
2 Fast 2 Furious
Batman Begins
End of Days
Fast and the Furious
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Harry Potter 4: The Goblet of Fire
The Matrix
Out of Sight
Superman Returns
The Thing
Troy
V for Vendetta

#2 of 126 OFFLINE   Bob_L

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Posted August 23 2006 - 05:51 AM

Again, according to posts on AVS Forum, the BIG part of this pre-release update IMO is that the 720p scaling issue has apparently been addressed. A couple posters who have tried the update say their player's 720p output now looks great.

#3 of 126 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted August 23 2006 - 06:00 AM

Downloading this now...

Quote:
...among other improvements.

So far this has been my only complaint regarding the Toshiba firmware updates, where can you get yourself a comprehensive set of release notes regarding them?
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#4 of 126 OFFLINE   James St

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Posted August 23 2006 - 07:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
So far this has been my only complaint regarding the Toshiba firmware updates, where can you get yourself a comprehensive set of release notes regarding them?

http://www.tacp.com/....vdfirmware.asp

2.0 has not officially been released yet.

#5 of 126 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted August 23 2006 - 07:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by James St
http://www.tacp.com/....vdfirmware.asp

2.0 has not officially been released yet.
Correct. Apparently the firmware that everyone is rushing to install is a leaked Beta.

Careful man, there's a beverage here!


#6 of 126 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted August 23 2006 - 08:04 AM

James St,

Thanks. If that's as good as the release notes gets that'll have to do I guess. Though I would prefer something more specific. Even if it were just a comprehensive listing of all the fixes included.

Regarding this not being the official firmware version 2.0, I think I will wait until there is an official one available.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#7 of 126 OFFLINE   Bob_L

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Posted August 23 2006 - 10:27 AM

Latest post on AVS from Amir--who has taken on the role of Microsoft's HD DVD spokesperson--is that the official release is only a few days away.

#8 of 126 OFFLINE   Kevin. W

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Posted August 23 2006 - 12:39 PM

Downloaded and updated my unit this afternoon. Works like a charm. I jumped on the HD bandwagon when it first came out, why not jump on the beta bandwagon as well.

#9 of 126 OFFLINE   Levesque

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Posted August 23 2006 - 12:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin. W
Downloaded and updated my unit this afternoon. Works like a charm.

Same thing here. Just finished listening to Training Day and POTO in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 over HDMI 1.1 today.

#10 of 126 OFFLINE   Jordan_E

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Posted August 23 2006 - 01:20 PM

Ditto.
Constantine and POTO was sampled this afternoon. Both sounded better. This machine is an amazing piece of equipment! Bring on those new TrueHD releases!
And you believe, at heart, everyone's a killer...

#11 of 126 OFFLINE   Jerome Grate

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Posted August 23 2006 - 02:47 PM

So this means that you can get Dolby TrueHD over HDMI?
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#12 of 126 OFFLINE   BrettisMckinney

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Posted August 23 2006 - 06:14 PM

Well it would work over HDMI 1.1 but it would be re-encoded into a DTS bitstream. You would still need Analog 5.1 to receive proper TrueHD. HDMI 1.3 is needed for digital.

PS. Paul knows more about that subject than me Posted Image

#13 of 126 OFFLINE   Bob_L

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Posted August 23 2006 - 06:34 PM

This beta firmware confirms that TrueHD is going to work on the HD A1, so I put my order in today using the frequent flyer deal. Yahoo.

#14 of 126 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted August 23 2006 - 07:15 PM

A-FRIGGIN-MAZE-N!
The A1 has to be A/V Product of the Year.
Unless a "Trojan Horse" can break in & steal it's thunder! ;-)
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#15 of 126 OFFLINE   pearlyred

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Posted August 23 2006 - 08:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettisMckinney
Well it would work over HDMI 1.1 but it would be re-encoded into a DTS bitstream. You would still need Analog 5.1 to receive proper TrueHD. HDMI 1.3 is needed for digital.

PS. Paul knows more about that subject than me Posted Image

So TrueHD over analog would be better than normal DD/DTS over digital and better than the re-encoded bitstream you mention above in digital?

#16 of 126 OFFLINE   BrettisMckinney

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Posted August 23 2006 - 09:17 PM

Yes. TrueHD over analog is decoded in the A1 and passed through to the receiver in its lossless format. Over digital-Coax,Optical,HDMI 1.1, it is re-encoded in DTS at a certain bit rate, 3mbs, could be wrong. So yes, to take full advantage of TrueHD you need to continue using analog untill HDMI 1.3 is out and your receiver has that built in.

#17 of 126 OFFLINE   James St

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Posted August 24 2006 - 01:16 AM

I don't have HDMI so I can't confirm this but many users are saying that when Dolby TrueHD 5.1 is decoded by the player it can be passed via current HDMI. So for the HD-A1 it should work with the analog outs as well as HDMI so long as the player is handling the decoding.

#18 of 126 OFFLINE   Ken_F

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Posted August 24 2006 - 02:54 AM

Quote:
Well it would work over HDMI 1.1 but it would be re-encoded into a DTS bitstream. You would still need Analog 5.1 to receive proper TrueHD. HDMI 1.3 is needed for digital.
This is incorrect.

The Toshiba HD-DVD players only re-encode the new advanced codecs into DTS for output over legacy outputs like optical / toslink.

With HDMI 1.1, you get the full TrueHD 5.1 audio. Using HDMI gets you the best sound quality possible.

Here's what happens on a HD-DVD with TrueHD 5.1.
    [*] TrueHD 5.1 is decoded by the HD-DVD player's advanced signal processor into 5.1 LPCM at up to 14Mbps.

    [*] The 5.1 LPCM digital stream is output directly over HDMI 1.1.

    The 5.1 LPCM digital stream is run through 24/196 digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and output over 5.1 analog.

    [*] The 5.1 LPCM digital stream is run through a PCM->DTS converter for output as lower-fidelity 1.5Mbps DTS over legacy optical / coax.
Why are you able to experience these advanced formats with HDMI 1.1 instead of HDMI 1.3? Because the Toshiba integrated the signal processor to do the Dolby TrueHD decoding. This is not possible on the Samsung (and most upcoming) Blu-ray players because they decided to cut costs by not including a TrueHD decoder in the box.

#19 of 126 OFFLINE   Roger Mathus

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Posted August 24 2006 - 01:06 PM

I downloaded and burned to DVD-R. What is the procedure to install the update in the Toshiba XA1?

#20 of 126 OFFLINE   Brajesh Upadhyay

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Posted August 24 2006 - 01:17 PM

Use a CD-R. DVD-R won't work.
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