Okay, I tried upgrading the firmware as suggested, but to no avail. After a few other minor attempts including removing and re-installing the drive, and removing and re-loading the provided Cyberlink software, I decided to call LG Tech support, even though I was reminded on the LG website forum that this would be a futile attempt toward success.
I was told by the LG Tech support person that if the drive powered-up that the problem was probably the supplied software would not recognize and play the media material. To this I thought, what an arrogant individual because the Cyberlink MediaSuite 9 Centra software including Power DVD 9 player and Power Director supplied by the manufacturer should work since it was in-fact manufacturer supplied.
I mulled over this exasperating situation until I realized that just possibly the LG Tech person was in-fact helping me out to the best of his allowed ability, and that the software provided was a poor choice for the LG Re-writer....stranger things have happened.
Therefore, I searched the web and downloaded and tried a few different software players and suites with burning software including Nero 12, which worked but required purchasing the Pro-version for ~USD$130 to achieve all of the bells and whistles that should have worked straight out of the box by the manufacturer. This simply added insult to injury, and was unacceptable as a viable option.
Next, I downloaded the DVDFab Media Player and the drive immediately began working as described...complete success was achieved. I removed all of the manufacturer provided Cyberlink software including the Power DVD 9 and Power Director and so-forth and so-on, rebooted the system, cleaned the registry, again rebooted the PC and have had no issues whatsoever with the drive as far as playing or burning media.
Note, I kept the LG Burning Tool software, which actually works; although it constantly wants to be upgraded and naturally at my expense, so I simply ignore and deny the pop-up for this scenario, and all is well. Now as a consolation prize, I decided to use the Cyberlink software for target-practice for no other reason than personal satisfaction.
I must admit that with the answer provided by the LG Tech support and a little comprehensive homework on my part, I changed software and was finally able to play any Region Disc with a change as often as I like using the new DVD Fab player. Beautiful software, truly user-friendly and not overly cost-prohibitive. Mind you, LG should supply software that will actually allow their equipment to function, and properly as well, but by guiding me to think out of the manufacturer's box so-to-speak, I was able to resolve the problem, locate software that I would recommend to anyone without reservation and proceed without the gnashing of teeth generally related with technical issues.
I presume that because most all large companies now state that they are recording their Customer Service calls for "our" satisfaction, the LG Tech support person was limited as to what he could say to guide me in the right direction...what a shame that the world has come to this protocol conundrum. Mind you, he did actually resolve my issue to the best of his ability, as far as LG would allow without their knowledge due to the inherent danger to Cyberlink's questionable at best software existence through a recorded conversation with a perplexed customer.
I've since downloaded and exclusively use the DVDFab All-in-one Software suite for all of my DVD and Blu-ray, burning, copying and etc requirements. Not often, but sometimes if a little works, a lot is divine!