My replacement A3 arrived from Toshiba today. I really don't think it is a refurbished unit. It looks brand new to me. There were even promo copies of Bourne Identity and 300 in the box.
I tried loading a DVD and an HD DVD. The DVD played fine. The HD DVD wouldn't load at all at first, but a second attempt got it loaded but then the A3 quit playing almost immediately and gave an error code. So, I checked the firmware version. 1.1! That's an oldie!
I debated on trying to just go to 1.3 or 3.0 but, since I was going to do a firmware update anyway, I threw caution to the wind and burned a new 4.0 CD from a fresh download of HD-A3-4000N.zip (AJ4000U_S-USER.iso after unzipping). I like to live dangerously, I guess! It's updating now (on Step 4/4). Fingers crossed!
Edit: Firmware updated to 4.0 just fine. Player functioning normally. Except, it turns out the HD DVD I grabbed to test load above is a bad disk! It still wouldn't load after the firmware update. So, I tried the HD DVD in my XA2 in the home theater room. It loaded and started to play, but then started stuttering and then gave an error code. I tried three other HD DVDs in the replacement A3 and they all played just fine.
What are the freakin' odds that I grab possibly the only bad HD DVD out of my entire collection of 100+ HD DVD discs? Old man Murphy never sleeps!
BTW, The title is Meet The Parents. I got it, and its companion Meet The Fockers from an Amazon reseller a few weeks ago. I hadn't tried either disc yet until just now. But Meet The Fockers is one of the discs that plays just fine in the A3 (as did Bourne Identity and 300). Meet The Parents is DOA in both of my players.
A3 stays, Meet The Parents needs to be replaced. Hopefully, they aren't all bad!