So I called up the tech support number, and arranged a return for a refurb.
And a week or so ago, my "new" refurbed unit arrived, and I plugged it in and set it up.
It keeps "stuttering" on playback, and lots of MPEG artifacts. Plus the responsiveness to the remote has dropped from "instant" to "lags about half a second".
Have they screwed up in the latest software, filling it with bugs? Or do I have another bum unit?
If it had been doing this back when I first bought my first unit new, I would have returned it.