I mispoke. They don't have to connect; though such a connection could be involved in their upconversion capability in the future; though admittedly this is mere speculation. Clearly Toshiba wants to include internet connectivity with the future capability of DVD players. See: http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/38204/97/
The great irony in this whole thing is that Toshiba's plans for super upconversion depend upon the use of the cell processor-based "Spurs Engine" -- the same type that is currently used in the Sony PS3, which was directly responsible for the demise of HD-DVD! If you want to see an example of what it can do, check out these before and after images:
Honestly, I don't understand why people get upset with Toshiba for wanting to try a new technology. The more new technologies companies invest research in the better for the consumer. They are not "sore losers", they have made a calculated business decision which may or may not pay off. Either way consumers will benefit in the long run. This is called "free market" economics.