You should install it in a computer first just to make sure the region is set (by playing a region 1 dvd) - or to apply any firmware updates.
You'll have to check if there are any drive firmware patches for the region or limit; I haven't used drives in this series so I don't know, but if there's anything to make the drive region-free that would be ideal. Remember to set the 5005XS to be region-free too.
There's no patch for the FF problem - either the drive works ok or it doesn't. You'll have to try it and see.
And if you ever come across the firmware for the LVW-5005XS to make it macrovision-free, please post! It was once available as "5005XS v098.rar" but I've been unable to locate that file (I have one of these also).
Also, most of the discussion of the recorder is in the "Streaming Media Players and Standalone Players/Recorders" forum rather than here.
Hope this is helpful.