I updated the firmware to 1.4 a while back, and it really helped with some DVD-Rs I had recorded over from a dubbing VHS-DVD machine. They simply would not play on the BD-UP5000, freezing about 10 minutes into the disk. That freezing issue is gone with 1.4.
I continue to be slack-jawed at how good a 480i VHS tape dubbed onto a 480i DVD-R looks deinterlaced and upscaled to a 50-inch 1080p Sony SXRD set through the HQV logic. Of course, if the powers at be would publish DVDs of those old VHS titles, I would buy them tomorrow.
I just rented the DVD of "Up in the Air" this week, and will say modern, standard DVDs look better on the BD-UP5000 than older titles released on BD. The source material matters a lot more than the media.
The BD-UP5000 just rocks as a SD DVD player, except for the darn letterbox issue. Of course, if the powers at be would publish anamorphic DVDs of those old letterbox DVD titles, I would buy them tomorrow.
That said, my box will no longer play any HD-DVDs. And I am not sure when this happened. I thought it was after the firmware update, but I am certain it was later, because I would have tested various disks after the firmware update. Thank goodness for the HD-DVD/DVD flip disks. It will still play the DVD side of those.
I have read about the drive problems, so I assume that is what the problem is.
I guess I will move my HD-A2 downstairs and hook it up alongside the BD-UP5000. I like the HQV so much I am thinking of getting a refurb BD-P2500.
Update: Three clicks later the refurb BD-P2500 is on its way via Amazon's marketplace. About $180 with shipping. Looking forward to seeing how HQV handles streaming Netflix. I might never leave my house again.