Uncorked my new S390 last night, this is a head scratcher. I bought 3 BD titles off Amazon UK, and they arrived same day:
Twilight Zone 1st Season (All Regions)
Life (w/ David Attenborough, the BBC BD release, Region Free)
Planet Earth Special Edition (w/ David Attenborough, the BBC BD release, Region Free)
Before uncorking the Sony BD player, I emailed Amazon UK because I was concerned that the Twilight Zone set wouldn't play on the Sony. Looking over the package (shrinkwrap intact), I couldn't see anything to give me confirmation. They replied that I should try it and if it didn't work they'd either send me a replacement or refund me, I could keep what I have because returning it would be "prohibitively expensive." OK, I think, and I pop it in the Sony last night, played fine, amazing clarity considering it was 1959ish, I guess they filmed in 32mm.
Well, I pop in the Life disk one because I wanted to see something 16x9 and color and with high probability of being real 1080p quality. It starts up with a warning, which gives way to a 15-20 second slow motion sequence of a few animals (hippos, a flying frog, a mother/offspring baboon), I get a flat blue thing that looks like it's generated by the Sony and it drops to a menu with "Life" selected (the BD disk), and options to go to all manner of online streaming content. If I press the center OK button (with the Life BD selected, which is defaulted) on the remote I get the same opening sequence and it drops to the same menu. I've tried everything including resetting the Sony to factory defaults completely. Same behavior.
Now, this S390 has shaken my confidence in Sony. At first it failed on two counts to accept my wired ethernet connection to my wireless router. I therefore set it up wirelessly, which worked (far less intuitive than the Panasonic 220 I had for a few days a few weeks ago, which I had to return for lack of a subtitle button on the remote). After resetting to factory defaults and in the midst of one of these attempts to fire up the Life disk I was informed that there was a new version of the firmware available. WTF, I hadn't set any internet connection. I poke around and the player updates firmware. It sits for 5 minutes saying don't turn off power whatever you do and it says 1/9 complete. After 5 minutes it finally says 2/9. A minute later the machine turns off, period, no messages, no warning, nothing, it had not indicated that it ever got beyond 2/9! I turn it on, try to see if it's updated and it says "already updated." What version, I'm thinking, and I poke around and indeed the present version is 359, the one it was attempting. I poke around some more and find that the machine is connected by ethernet to my router, which was obvious from having updated the firmware, but I checked anyway (why did it fail to connect when I went to set up the internet connection initially?).
Still no luck with the Life disk. I pop in Planet Earth Special Edition disk one and I get even less. For 2 seconds I see "2 Entertain" and that disappears and I get a blank screen, even after 10 minutes.
Did Amazon UK send me the wrong sets of Life and Planet Earth Special Edition? Is the Sony incapable of playing "Region Free" BDs? Comments, help, suggestions much appreciated.