Let me state up front that I really am very sorry. I can see that it's beyond annoying for the device to work and then not work and then work again back and forth until you forget what it can do.
Now since you're a tech guy, I'm going to say some technical things here. The OS is designed to only accept newer versions of firmware. You may have heard restoring factory settings does this. It does not. Once you have updated the firmware, the system will only accept higher versions of its software. So unless you want to really hack on the device, there is no way to go back at all. Of course, I ought to advise you that doing any hacking would void any future warranty allowances Samsung might be inclined to make.
On the other hand, if everything happened as you said it did, I'd like to investigate your problem. Any chance you might have a transaction # from any time you contacted support on this issue? If not, and you're interested in me looking into this still, go to http://www.facebook.com/SamsungSupport and click on the "Support Form" button; fill out the form and for HD Tech from CNET to look at it.
-- HD Tech
Bought a BDP-1500 player back in Jan '09. Used it for about 3 months just fine for blu ray and standard DVD. Around the Summer 2009 we moved into her parents house for a few months. During this time I packed everything up and stored it. The home theater box (receiver, speakers, game consoles and TV) I kept with us in the closet so it wasn't exposed to the heat of a storage unit.
Fast forward to about August, I hook everything up in our new place. We enjoy BR discs no problem. I go out and buy a new movie (I don't remember which one). It doesn't play, I get 'Disc can not be played'. Quick check on the Samsung site I see I need to update my firmware. No big deal, I'm a computer guy I'm used to this. Firmware update completed, and all of a sudden NO discs play.
I call Samsung, they say Reset and update (but I just updated and it bricked my DVD player?!) So I reset and update, lo and behold it still doesn't work. They want $75 to fix it (what happened to the 12 month warranty?)
Anyway I forget about it for about 6 months (I had my Xbox to play movies). On a whim I decide to look for firmware updates. There's a new one (I think 2.1 or 2.2). So I install it, I get blu ray and DVD access back (yay!). Then it just stops working. It doesn't detect any discs (it says 'No Disc' on the display). We figured out if we open/close it half a dozen times it usually starts playing them again.
Once again it's time to move. So we move, I pack it up & forget about it. I just pulled it out today. Sure as fecal matter, I can't watch anything at all. I jump on Samsung's site and see a new Firmware as of 12/22/2011 (is my problem fixed!?!?!!!)
Download and update the BD-P1500 player. Hey! Regular DVD's are playing without a problem! Hooray! (but wait, I have been using my Xbox to watch DVD's....). Anyway I take out the DVD and put in one of my BR discs (I choose Journey to the Center of the Earth because I know it worked before). Sure enough... display says 'No Disc'.
Honestly, I'm really upset about this. I bought it along with a TV for the purpose of enjoying High Def movies. I only was able to watch it for about 4 months total (over the past 3 years?!) Granted I haven't been real pro-active in troubleshooting it, but I troubleshoot tech stuff all day and moving twice during the 12month warranty really didn't help out much.
So my question is......I want to get some old(er) firmware to downgrade my firmware back to something else. What can I do?