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Pioneer 10X DVD-104S IDE Drive

Now in their 5th generation status, computer based DVD-ROM drives have not only progressed to dizzying speeds, prices have plummeted to new lowsómost in the under $100 category. The retail Pioneer 10X drive is just slightly over that magic $100 spenderís breaking point; use a little online buying savvy and you can locate pricing just under triple digits for the fastest available DVD in the market.

Selling in two flavors, slot and tray load, Advanced Design of Kentucky provided us with the DVD-104S slot load model. Iíve used cartridge and tray loading CD type devices before but never a slot load that was not in a car.

The DVD Region Fiasco

The powers that regulate DVD copyrights have imposed the above ridiculous money making scheme. Imagine if you move from one region to another more than five times. All DVDís sold after January 1, 2000 must comply with a maximum of 5 region "switches." After the fifth switch, itís permanently stuck in the last region, only capable of playing those regionís DVDís. If this upsets you as it does me, too bad. You simply must purchase yet another unit.

This crap would never apply to CD-ROMís. Can you imagine the implications? A Windows 98 CD from the U.S. wouldnít install in a machine sold in the U.K. and vice-versa. Whatís worse about this scenario is that without installing and running either a DVD region checking program or attempting to play a DVD, you canít even check to see what region your player is currently locked to. So, if youíre daring enough, flash the BIOS for "region free" play by clicking here. I assume no responsibility or tech support for inoperable drives.

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