The black flashes depend entirely on your internet speed. Are they annoying? A little. But it's a small price to pay for the best interface (DD5.1, captions, search, categories, etc.). On my 20Mb service, I see them maybe once a month at the very beginning of a movie. When changing resolution/speed other players freeze on the current frame or add some fuzzy in-betweens, but panasonic goes black. This blank usually lasts a fraction of a second. I wish Panasonic would fix it, but it's really not that big of a deal. Very few owners in the Panny thread have returned theirs over it, myself included. In fact, considering the player is practically free, I can't complain. Overall, it beats the heck out of any other player I've ever had (sony, samsung, toshiba, insignia, etc.).