HD DVD has secret features in Blu-ray battle

Toshiba's HD DVD players are the dominant force amongst standalone HD disc players in the US

HD DVD is set to make another fight-back in its big battle with Blu-ray . While Blu-ray's trump card has always been its higher capacity discs, the ace in HD DVD's disc tray is its internet connection. This is a feature which is only now starting to be used.

HD DVD players can be plugged into the internet via an Ethernet cable so you can enjoy your favourite films in amazing new ways.

The first internet-enabled HD DVD movie, Freedom, was released last week. It enables you to download different menu skins, multiple language subtitles and an HD trailer for another movie.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. When epic movie 300 is released next month on HD DVD, you'll be able to re-edit the movie, swapping scenes and ordering them however you want. Your own personal cut can then be uploaded to the Warner Bros server so that other movie fans can watch your version.

High definition

There are limitless feature options for future HD DVD discs through the use of an internet connection. And that could serve it well in its fight with Blu-ray to become the number one HD format of choice.

Some Blu-ray players have internet connectivity, but by no means all of them do. And that means that Blu-ray movies will not be as likely to come packed with the extra interactive features.

In the US, standalone HD DVD players are significantly outselling their Blu-ray rivals. But the Blu-ray camp has an additional trump card: the Sony PlayStation 3.

To make use of the HD DVD internet features, you must update the firmware on your player. The update is available from the Toshiba website .

If you have a broadband internet connection you can obtain the update on-line using the Ethernet port in the back of your HD DVD Player. There are instructions for configuring the Ethernet port on page 44-45 of your user manual.

A PDF giving full instructions is available here:


James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.