as I have quite a few backups of bluray, I figured it'd be nice to have a cheaper standalone backup to play them...after hearing that perhaps there was a weakness with playing bd+, I'd give it a try. the player was $250 and qualifies for 5 free movies, so a bit of a bargain i briefly tested it straight out of the box, didn't look at the firmware, but it played the original BD+ US version of Castaways without an issue (I didn't watch the whole movie) it stuck on a loading loading loading graphic and had to be rebooted with a region b "sunshine" bd+ disc (backup). it played my backups (non bd+) without an issue. I then upgraded the firmware to latest off sony site. NO WHERE in the book did it mention how to perform a firmware update or how to even get it. Very consumer unfriendly considering Sony LIVES by firmware updates and this player will require CDs to get it done (no ethernet port) It was pretty simple to do though, just stick the disc in and wait about 20 minutes. This time the bd+ region b (which was UNREGIONED by anydvd) now came up with a fox warning that my player's firmware was out of date) you hit continue and then a second screen reports "this disc is encoded for region b" and won't play it. my backup of region A version of "Rescue Dawn" (BD+) again gives the fw warning, then to a proper fox copyright then loads the menu perfectly. All extras on the disc play fine, but of course the main stream is protected by bd+ and shows what looks like the digital macrovision protection (remember VHS tapes?!) as far as reports of it playing bd+ back, I remain a skeptic, but I didn't buy Mr. Brooks, but it seems if there's a way, it would have been substantiated. All in all though a nice little player (and fits in a half-rack space)..a bit slow and the controls are not super responsive (like when you try to open the drawer in the middle of the movie) it doesn't boot very fast, but still blows away my HDDVD XA1 (although that has been improved witht he latest firmware) As a professional in the tech field, I still find it laughable that this is the "best" they could do for the "average" consumer. I could not fathom how someone like my mother could set this up and do a firmware update or even understand the video choices without major help. Part of the issue I guess is they spent so much time making it hard to backup one's purchases that they had to add all these levels of complexity to it. Java seems buggy and rubbery, but with the option of fw updates they can just keep fixing stuff as the consumer discover the bugs...really a joke.. bottomline though, BD and HD movies are worth the trouble, right?? The picture is just plain stunning and once you start, normal dvds look so damn fuzzy!