I backed the firmware down to 01.01.11 using this post as a basis. It cleared up the ticking problem.
As I was going thru the firmware update, it looked different from the process I remembered from doing the 01.01.15a upgrade. Specifically, during the original 01.01.15a upgrade, after several minutes of “firmware upgrading” message, the machine shutdown. When it came back up, I just started up again. What I did NOT see was a “pick language” prompt, not did I get a “refreshing” message.
So I ran the 01.01.15 upgrade again and this time it’s clean as a whistle. Update took less than a minute, when I rebooted, the prompt for language came up and I got a fast media refresh. Playback is clean even with the backlight off.
Seems pretty clear that the problem was related to a failure on the initial firmware grade that I didn’t recognize because it was the first one I did and there was no real indication that there was any problem with it.
Thanks for all your help, folks.
Now … to reload this sucker …
Message Edited by nlowell on 11-23-2008 11:58 AM