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.

The Avengers Season 1 & 2
The Avengers Season 1 & 2

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!

About the author


Product Manager in Tech. Guitar player. Bicycle Rider. Dog rescuer. Techie.

By gander

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February 2023

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