I'm sorry to hear that you're having an issue playing Avatar. The unit is able to play it, but it does require the most recent firmware.
In this case, the firmware update was released in April, so I'm not sure why it's noted that there's not an effective firmware update. A DVD burner isn't required - a regular CD burner and blank disc will also work.
I have been sent 3 firmware update discs by Samsung to update my BD-UP5000. In each case, after loading, I receive a message saying that the disc won't load.
I have heard that Avatar has simply too much data for this player, and that there is no effective firmware update. When I call into the Samsung system, there is an option exclusively for Avatar, but it provides no assistance or acknowledgement of the underlying problem.
I don't know whether I am dealing with arrogance, ignorance,incompetence or simply an unwillingness to admit to a problem without a solution. (By the way, the unit has no USB input port, and my PC has no DVD burner capability. It was like pulling teeth to get the Samsung tech support to send me a DVD, and every one I received appeared to have a lot of scratches on the disc.)
My serial number and three separate service numbers resulting in non-working discs being sent are: SAMSUNG DVD BLU-RAY PLAYER (BD-UP5000) ? S/N 01986VSPD02265N
SAMSUNG SERVICE ORDER NUMBER (FIRMWARE UPDATE FOR AVATAR) - #4006917201 DATED 7-13-10; New Service Order Number (as of 8-1-2010) #4007019077
New Service Order Number (as of 8-9-2010) #4007081414