The messages here helped a great deal. I have just replaced the DVD drive with a retail Liteon. It is playing region free and also DVD backup copies no problems. The drive seems to have an inherent fault, under UK law through the sale of goods act the supplier, being a reail outlet not Liteon if the buyer is not a trader and a consumer has a duty to replace the entire unit or refund upto six years after purchase. The net if full of evidence of the fault being common to all these machines.
I am a trader so i cannot take advantage if this, I have found Liteon very unhelpful in after sales and hence I have no sympathy for them when the traders who they have sold to take counter actions to reclaim the refund costs from them. These machines should have been recalled.
For those out there who do not have the ability to use the sale of goods act the machine can be repaired using a standard DVD drive from a PC. The pysical fitting is another matter and is rather tricky. But at least you can get the unit back up and running this way. I would suggest having a longer IDE cable to hadn fro this. You may also need to modify the front inside of the casing as a standard PC DVD is not the same fitting.
I almost bought a new one after a failed first attemp until I read the posts here, setting the region on a pC solded my issues. I would really suggest anyone buying a DVD recorded does some product research I saw a few that have very bad reviews and many inherent faults. Google is realy handy for this.
I would say in my review that it would be wise for traders to stay clear of this machine, it could have come backs.
The firmware is also now online.
Has anyone found a method o converting the machine to Blu Ray drives?