FW update 1.2 "bricked" my 5000. I installed the new FW via ethernet two days ago and after it finished and was powered back up, the disc tray wouldn't open. If you hit the open/close button once, "OPEN" would display on the panel display continuously, but nothing would happen. And by continuously, I mean without end. If you hit the button again, it would flash briefly to "CLOSE" then go back to displaying "OPEN". There was not a disc in it (as you likely know, it won't allow an ethernet update until it has a "NO DISC" condition anyway). While I could not open the tray, the menus all worked normally. In fact I was not aware of the tray problem initially, because after restart, I was busy updating my settings, such as 1080P and Bitstream. While doing this, the on screen display said "NO DISC" to the left of the menu as you would expect. Anyway after an hour of unplugging the unit, pressing the right skip button on the panel to reset factory settings, to try and regain control. I decided to try to reload the firmware. Although I know there was no disc in the unit, and it said "NO DISC" on the top menu, the FW update would not work because it said I had to set a "NO DISC" condition before the FW update could be done. "Catch 22" - No disc, it doesn't see a disc, but it won't let me update again until I remove the disc, the Tray won't open. AAaarrrrgggghhh!
Samsung customer service leaves so much to be desired. The initial tech rep didn't even understand the concept of this being a multi-format player. Anyway, after much waiting, and phone tree joy, the tech reps had nothing more than "unplug the unit and wait" or press the right skip/advance button on the face to reset. Old news, done, no change.
The only option would only be to send in the box (I have had my 5000 for 2 1/2 months). I made enough of an issue with him and another service agent, that I should be able to take it back and exchange it at CC, that he escalated me to the top level rep since he could not authorize such an exchange. After speaking with the ECR (I believe "Executive Consumer Rep", but not sure, I was informed that they would get back to me the next day with a decision. TWO days later, Samsung called and said unable to exchange. I would have to send it in. That number for ECR by the way, if anyone should enjoy its use, is 866-357-8781. Please help yourself. Although, without a "ticket" number from a trouble call, you probably wont be able to talk to anyone too long.
I did get lucky, in that a friend of mine, who happens to be a manager at Circuit City, decided that after my tale, he would rather Samsung be screwed. He accepted the player back for an in-store credit. That credit was applied to a Pany BD-30. I must say that it was very exciting seeing "DTS-HD MASTER AUDIO" scroll across my Onkyo 805 for the first time.
Points to be taken:
A "software" driven disc tray can be maddening.
Consider updating FW by disc - I have no Idea why the FW bricked mine and no one else has had the problem (I hope). It seemed to download and run normally - I watched the status on the menu while it all updated (like watching grass grow).
Samsung's customer service can best be described by language not suitable to this forum.
If you are inside your 30 days, I strongly suggest exchanging/returning. I Have about 12 HD-DVD's to trade/sell, but in the long term, and with the couple of hundred dollars I got back from the exchange, it will balance out. I can't express the sickness and frustration I felt as my $800 player (early adopter) couldn't even open its tray. Don't put yourself in the position of dealing with inept Samsung if and when this unit fails. They simply are not investing the effort they should be for the "high-end" customer that is buying this.
To those who choose not to get out, or can't get out. My sincere best wishes for the updates and support you deserve. I was with you, dual format all the way - neutral. But alas, the War is over.