Toshiba HD DVD Players Gain Web Features

Keeping pressure on the Blu-ray high definition disc camp, Toshiba today announced a firmware update which will enable its HD DVD players to access Web-enabled content on new HD DVD titles via the player’s integrated Ethernet ports. The idea is that once connected to a user’s home broadband network, users will be able to download additional premium content from movie studios’ online services to complement their HD DVD titles—or unlock additional content tucked away on the HD DVD disc.

“Through Web-enabled network connectivity, HD DVD is unlocking the door to an entirely new world of entertainment and once again achieving another milestone in next generation DVD,” said Jodi Sally, Vice President of Marketing for Toshiba’s Digital A/V Group, in a release. “With HD DVD, studios have the ability to develop new and unique content for movie fans, enabling consumers to have an entirely new way to access entertainment and customize their home movie experience that is currently not available with any other format.”

In addition to accessing or downloading additional content, network-enabled HD DVD players can let users upload content and interact with service providers. As an example, Toshiba cites the Warner Home Video title Blood Diamond which lets users participate in interactive polls. Once users have voted, they get to see poll results sent to them via the HD DVD player. The first Web-enabled HD DVD title is Bandai Visual’s anime title Freedom, volume 1—the disc is also the first “twin disc” title with HD DVD on one side and standard DVD on the other.

Users can configure their HD DVD players to download the firmware update automatically by connecting the units via Ethernet to their Internet-enabled home network. Details are available at Toshiba’s HD DVD site; DHCP service is required, and configurations instructions are included with the players.)

Toshiba also announced a firmware update due in September will enable their HD-XA2 and HD-A20 HD DVD players to play back 1080p content at 24 frames per second.

Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Mobile

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Computing

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are tools you can use both online and offline. This step-by-step guide will instruct you on how to use them.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what movies and shows are leaving in April 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for April 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Home Theater

Pandora now lets you mess with the secret sauce for its music playlists

Pandora introduced a new feature called Modes, allowing subscribers to pick between six different algorithms that determine what the popular music streaming service will decide to play.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Movies & TV

Study up for season 8 with the best Game of Thrones theories

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still on the horizon, meaning there's still time to brush up on the best theories about the show. Whether you're one of the last adherents of the Cleganebowl or a King Aerys truther, here are our top theories.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Deals

Building a 4K home theater? Grab a discounted Denon A/V receiver from Amazon

Denon makes some of the best 4K A/V receivers on the market, and a handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon now. If you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost…
Home Theater

Apple’s new AirPods bring only minor updates to the much-loved originals

Apple has announced its new AirPods, the much-anticipated follow-up to Apple's wildly popular AirPods. With optional wireless charging and hands-free Siri, it's a minor update, but a welcome one.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.