Somewhat embarrassing but I connected it incorrectly. The drive has a special usb Y cable in order to supply power from 2 ports to the DVD. I had left this wrapped in its baggy and just used one of my straight usb connectors. In my defense, the instructions are unreadable (printed on small page in 35 different languages).
I'm still not home though. This drive is to be connected through a USB balun and hub. The drive works when connected directly to the computer, and it works when connected to the hub. However, it stutters when connected via the hub and Intelix balun. I'll try upgrading to cat6 cable to see if that helps. Then I suppose I could try a different balun. I have searched and not found any info on a working DVD via usb balun - either no one is trying to do it, or perhaps they know it can't be done. I'll post results.