lots of info about this on audioasylum.com
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If it is still under the 5 year warranty, Sony will fix at no charge. If not under warranty it will cost about $240 I think. I had the same problem after buy mine from someone on Audiogon. Sony replaces the sled motor and some other things. It has worked perfectly ever since. I don't know why they had these problems, but this is still a fantastic player. I would just get it fixed and would not think about getting rid of it. I love mine!
I had this issue with a Denon DVD5910 and after I had returned it I finnally got a good answer from a Denon service tech. He stated it was s "disc read error" and it would require a re-alignment of the laser. Sounds like you need to send it in. You may try as mrderrick did and maybe blow some canned air at the lens.