I wonder how many problems can be traced back to bd live--the 550 has bd live, right? You have to put the external memory in and all? It's been long enough since I set mine up I don't recall for sure, but I know I turn bd live off and never put the memory thing in I don't think (I just want to watch the movie, don't need the other stuff) and so far I have never had a problem with the 550's. Build quality and remote quality are light years ahead of any of the cheap players out these days, which seem to just go lower and lower in terms of build quality, though some do ok with actual performance. I purchase players for work every little while, so I get to compare to my 550's, and so far haven't found anything that makes me feel like I need to replace them. Yes, they have faster startup, but in terms of actual performance, I think the older sony's tend to almost do better in picture quality, especially color. Maybe it's just me.