How Things Improve
Not long ago, I was looking for things to add to my media collection, and I stumbled across a boxed set of the surviving first season of The Avengers and the complete second season. Published by Studio Canal, it is an amazing set, so I purchased it.
Alas, I knew it was a Region 2 DVD set, but I knew how to rip those.
In the old days, I bought a second DVD drive, one that could be flashed with a modified firmware file that would remove the region restrictions. That drive lived in a really old Mac Pro from the G4 era. Long gone.
So I began researching what to buy that would be amenable to a similar exercise. Now there is a mode of operation called Libre Drive, and if the firmware is compatible it has the same effect as a custom firmware in the old days. Sounds cool, but I was hunting around for a drive to buy, and most of the recommended ones were end of sale, and I resigned myself to a lengthy search, possibly resorting to eBay for a vendor and version.
Then I found the Pioneer slot loading UHD drive that is Libre Drive compatible out of the box. Mashed the purchase button so hard it about broke.
Two days later it arrived, a Pioneer Electronics BDR-XS07UHD. It is a compact format, slot loading, USB-C interface, 6X speed, that also supports UHD Blu-ray discs.
I expected to need to find a proper firmware and flash it, but alas, out of the box, it worked a treat.
My new Avengers discs read and ripped effortlessly, are uploaded to my Plex server, and I am watching the episodes now.
A great Saturday afternoon!