It's been a while since I posted in this thread. Nice to see some new folk join the UP5000 club. I remain basically satisfied with my two purchases of this machine. The first was a sale price of CAD $399, and the second at CAD $299 (CAD was about on par with USD at the time). I made amazing deals on most of my HD DVD collection, which is why I got this machine in the first place. As long as I get several good years of service out of my HD DVD collection, I will be very happy. My BD collection is growing, but slowly.
I am also extremely pleased with the upconversion of this player for SD DVDs. When I hooked this up to my Panasonic TH-42PZ77U 42" plasma, I compared three players for SD DVDs: my Sony DVD from a few years back, a current Philips upconverting DVD, and the 5000. The Philips upconverter was an amazing step up from the older Sony, and the 5000 blew away my Philips (which I still use and enjoy) with its superior upconversion.
In other respects, I am not happy. The firmware updates have brought as many glitches as they have solved. I will not update to 1.4 firmware until it is over the internet, but even then I hear so many negative comments that I am sticking with 1.3 for now.
I had (and still have) audio dropouts about every twenty minutes no matter what I play. I have come to the conclusion, with the help of some exemplary Panasonic people, that they are due to an HDMI incompatibility between the 5000 and the Panasonic PZ77U. I have no audio dropouts when going through my Yamaha Sound Projector, only when it is direct to the TV. Panasonic was amazing; they send on site repair support THREE times to my home to replace HDMI connections, the speakers, and something else I can't remember. The changes made no difference, but at least Panasonic tried. Friendly, helpful, supportive, and it wasn't even their problem!
However, Samsung Customer Service (Canada) has been rude, dismissive, unhelpful to me on each occasion I have called. On one occasion, I was verbally abused by some guy named Kevin, whose name I cannot forget. So, although I am still enjoying the universality of my player, I will revert to my old customer loyalty to Pioneer in the next few years. Once they get the kinks out of the BD format, I'll save up for a nice Pioneer Elite series in 4 or 5 years. I tend to stick with companies that treat me well, but this is my first, and I think my last, time with Samsung.