My brother gifted me a Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD Player. I didn’t have any HD movie at home to test and the movie rental stores near my house didn’t have any HD DVD movie for rent. I played the regular DVDs and they worked fine. I then rented couple of HD DVDs from Netflix. The player reported one of the HD DVD was not a playable disk and recognized the other one, but didn’t play it. It didn’t work. I was going to return the player, but then decided to upgrade the firmware and try.
You can update the firmware in 3 different ways.
1. You can update using the Ethernet connection (HD-A2 has Ethernet port), but my router was not close to my living room.
2. You can get it by postal mail which might take couple of weeks.
3. You can download the ISO image to the CD and load the firmware in the player through the CD. This is the only solution that could work for me, so I downloaded the firmware ISO for my HD-A2 from here and burnt it to the CD. I then loaded the CD in the player. The player then prompted with Yes or No to upgrade. Once I pressed Yes, it took few minutes to upgrade the firmware. Once upgraded, it ejected the CD and powered itself off. I removed the CD and put the HD DVDs back and the player played both the HD DVDs fine. I’m not sure how many people returned their HD-A2 player back due to difficulty in playing the HD DVD discs. If you have issues playing the HD DVD using Toshiba HD-A2 and haven’t returned the piece yet, then try upgrading your firmware.