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Happy 7th Birthday, DVD! Remembering those Early Days


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#41 of 76 OFFLINE   Frank@N

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Posted March 14 2004 - 08:38 AM

Quote:
Since I never went for lasers, it turned out saving me a ton of money in the long run.

Well, I bought into LD in 94' and built a limited greatest hits collection.

By 1998, I basically stopped buying anything and my HT hangover began.

I was still reading WSR and keeping up with new developments (component video, enhanced for 16x9, studio participation, sound wars), but couldn't justify another questionable investment.

In 01', the glut of used titles and clearance titles lured me back in and at a cost where I could justify re-purchasing titles.

My DVD collection now dwarfs the old LD collection.

#42 of 76 OFFLINE   CaptDS9E

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Posted March 14 2004 - 09:09 AM

I never got into Laserdisc. To tell ya the truth i didnt like widescreen back then. I was like the other unwashed and thought it cut off parts of the picture. However one Sunday morning before i went to the mall there was a Magnavox DVD infommercial on tv. I watched it and it explained what dvd was, about widescreen and so on and so forth. A Sam Goody at the mall they had T2 playing on dvd there, and i knew i had to get one. A week later i had my first player. Was a toshiba that was $699. Led me to search the net for places to buy dvd's as there was only two places around here to get them at the time. I ended up Finding HTF, Digitalbits, dvdresource and so on and so forth. Built of a collection with the reel.com / 800.com deals. The rest is history. its kind of funny that back then we were signing petitions to get fox/paramoun/ disney and a few others to release dvd's. Boy how it has all changed.

capt

#43 of 76 OFFLINE   Ric Easton

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Posted March 14 2004 - 09:29 AM

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Hey Ric, do you think that might have been a format called CDi that phillips were hoping would become the next big thing in home video viewing? One of my mates had a player and it was terrible, blocking all over the place and flippers to boot!


Lance, as far as I can remember it was just a cover story about what was to come. I don't recall CDi being mentioned, although we're talking 12 years ago now.

When my wife had bought me that LD player in early '95, I knew the new format would be coming eventually, but who's gonna turn their nose up at a brand new LD player? I soon emassed an LD collection of over 100 discs! I loved my big T2 boxset along with The Abyss and the first two Alien movies. But of course the prize of that collection is still my Star Wars (faces) set!

Ric

#44 of 76 OFFLINE   Lars Vermundsberget

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Posted March 14 2004 - 09:46 AM

I didn't "get in" early, but I knew about DVD pretty much from the start, I think.

I started collecting laserdiscs in 94/95 because I wanted Disney animation on a better format than VHS. For a few years I was a "regular" at pretty much the only good LD store here in Norway. I more or less got to know an "old gang" with an addiction to LDs. Around 97 the store started to offer the few DVDs available at the time. I'm not sure I was very "hostile" towards the new format, but I seem to remember I wasn't very impressed, either, from what I saw playing in the store.

Some new guys started showing up, some of which would buy more or less anything that came on DVD. Seemed weird to me - I wouldn't buy into the new format until interesting material started to appear in a serious way.

By 2000 the LD market was more or less gone and Disney hadn't released much that I wanted on DVD, so I think I bought very few "videodiscs" that year. But I made the decision to keep my LD collection and therefore buy a new LD player before it was too late. I got a Pioneer DVL919E LD/DVD which is my first and only DVD player to date.

I got a few DVDs in 2000, but since 2001 or 2002 my DVD collection has grown steadily.

#45 of 76 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted March 14 2004 - 11:45 AM

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i think a large part of dvds success is attributable to its convergence with the explosion of the internet.
for not just sales, but for information and 'fan clubbing'.
if LD had had this going for it, it may have created a bigger dent than it did.
SO true! I had always seen LD's before, but I never exactly knew what they REALLY were because no one could explain them to me. Being in the business, I heard about DVD's from the beginning, so thankfully there were lots of people to ask questions of. The internet only boosted the interest and knowledge. It seems like the more you learn, the more you want to buy. Posted Image

#46 of 76 OFFLINE   Bob Black

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Posted March 14 2004 - 01:37 PM

As another LD owner with a collection of nearly 600 discs, I was also aggravated by the thought of DVD possibly replacing my beloved laserdiscs. I read with great zeal any article which berated the new format - its digital artifact problems, inferior dolby digital sound, etc.

I bought my first player in early '98 when DTS arrived in the Panasonic A-310. I believe I paid about $550 for the unit at Tweeter (at the time I had never even heard of Best Buy), and I immediately began playing some DVD's which I had bought earlier. I had started with the idea of purchasing ONLY DVD titles that were released OAR on DVD which were not available on LD such as Blazing Saddles, but as I saw the superiority of the format I quickly started selling off my old LD's and replacing them with their DVD counterparts.

I remember the day I had my CRT projector installed in my first home was the same day as the release of "Starship Troopers" and "Cop Land" on DVD. I could not believe how fantastic "Starship Troopers" looked on the 115" screen! Despite my love for LD and their beautiful packaging and gate-fold jackets, that was the end of LD for me! There was just no going back...

Of course, now I've had Hi-Definition in two of my systems for a couple of years now, and I must say that I am not looking forward to replacing my 1400 DVD's with HD-DVD's! Obsoletion sucks!!! Posted Image

#47 of 76 OFFLINE   Brian F

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Posted March 14 2004 - 02:38 PM

I got into DVD in the fall of 1998. I can remember buying The Blues Brothers SE DVD on it's release day, even before having a player. It was my first DVD. I had just recently seen the movie for the first time (!), and I really wanted to see the extended cut. I bought a player a few weeks later. It was the Panasonic A-110 for $399.

I watched the development of DVD since its inception. I read Widescreen Review and web sites like the HTF, Digital Bits, and DVD File starting in 1997. I jumped into DVD at the time I did because:

- I wanted to see the extended cut of Blues Brothers (!)
- Prices of players were somewhat lower.
- Discs were available at places other than just Best Buy (although not many).
- Discs did not have rental windows. It was really fun buying DVDs while people looking for the VHS counterpart were out of luck! It is cool that the rental window still does not exist for DVD.
- Most studios were on board with DVD, with the exception of Dreamworks and I think Paramount (who jumped in soon after).
- Divx seemed to be on its way to death.

I skipped the laserdisc days. The primary reason was cost, but I also have to admit that, at the time, I did not like the "pesky black bars" contained on many of them. After watching a few LDs at a friend's house, I began to understand widescreen and began buying widescreen VHS tapes. This was a time when even stores like Target began to stock widescreen VHS.

I actually went backwards and bought an LD player last year so I could get films that probably will never be released on DVD. Plus, LDs are pretty cheap now!

DVDs definately rule and I am looking forward to the HD format coming soon.

#48 of 76 OFFLINE   Kami

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Posted March 14 2004 - 03:59 PM

This was a cool thread to read.

I came into the DVD format a little later than most of you, but my first DVDs were the Alien Lecacy which I believe came out Summer 1999. That same day I bought a 4.8X Toshiba DVD-ROM drive for my computer, and took the Alien dvds home and watched them on my 17" computer monitor and I was absolutely floored. My second title was The Matrix, after that's a little foggy. Contact might have been third...

Now I have a Toshiba 50h82 (50" ,16:9), 5.1 Paradigm setup, powered by a HTPC (blows away the image quality of any progressive scan DVD player I've used or seen) and a couple hundred DVDs. If I had kept all my DVDs and not sold or traded any I would probably have 350ish but I just like to keep my collection manageable. Posted Image

Good thread, keep it up.


#49 of 76 OFFLINE   John Kilduff

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Posted March 14 2004 - 06:40 PM

I was first introduced to the format through my ex-girlfriend. I was over at her house one day, and I watched "Austin Powers" on DVD. I was amazed by the picture quality and the extras. About a year later, I got a DVD player. "Earth Girls Are Easy" was the first title I owned...I purchased it off eBAY a few months before Christmas, because I had a feeling I would get a player that year. My mom bought me "The Blues Brothers" as a Christmas present as well. I then went to the Virgin Megastore on my 2001 Walt Disney World trip, and picked up several titles, including "The Ultimate Toy Box", "Lethal Weapon: Director's Cut" and "Moonstruck" (That's one of the only 3 MAR titles I own, the others being "Action Jackson" and "Sharky's Machine"). I've steadily collected discs ever since, and as the years go by, my collection will grow, I'm sure.

Here's to DVD...

Sincerely,

John Kilduff...

Until the next thing comes along.
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#50 of 76 OFFLINE   Wes

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Posted March 14 2004 - 07:32 PM

I was also a proud owner of a Panasonic DVDA-300 in "97" (still have it today, built like a tank and beautiful). I had it hooked up to three separate integrated amps to get 5.1 from the built in DD 5.1 decoder, matching volume on all channels was an skill. Think I wore groves in the movie "Contact" space travel scene.Posted Image

Before DVD I would only buy widescreen VHS, Laser Disc was just too much at the time.

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#51 of 76 OFFLINE   dmt

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Posted March 14 2004 - 07:46 PM

seven years later star wars finally comes out in this format lol

#52 of 76 OFFLINE   Tom Oh

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Posted March 14 2004 - 08:10 PM

I was a late in the game as I bought a DVD player in Spring of 1999 with Criterion Armageddon and Tomorrow Never Dies (Silver cover). I have been hooked ever since. I also remember the days when all the .com stores had crazy $10 and $15 off coupons. I really got some bargains back thenPosted Image

#53 of 76 OFFLINE   Neil Joseph

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Posted March 14 2004 - 11:26 PM

People have it good today.

I got my player (a Toshiba 2006) in June 1997 and in Canada, there was only about a dozen titles to choose from at the time and for months all I had was The Arrival. Good titles were so scarce that it scares me to think of the tiles that I almost bought (my standards were very low and I just wanted to have at least 2 DVD's). I remember clearly the DIVX wars and the countless times the format was threatened. We were a very vocal bunch and had to be, to fight for every little scrap we could get for the format.

Much kudos to Warner and Columbia as they seemed to be the only major studios that were onboard. It took months (years( before every major studio was supporting the format.

Then there were the internet days when you could get coupons and buy new titles online for $8. Posted Image Many of those online companies are out of business now.

Another thing, I think dvd is responsible for converting a great many people to oar. There simply was not as many pan&scan titles back in the day so I saw many break down and buy widescreen titles of their favourite movies and, eventually, get used to the "black bars".

Over the years, I had the following dvd players...

- Toshiba 2006
- Toshiba 3006 (exchanged the 2006 for this beefier version)
- Toshiba 3107
- Toshiba 3108
- JVC 500
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#54 of 76 OFFLINE   Dave Miller

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Posted March 14 2004 - 11:37 PM

I was a month behind. Got my first DVD player for my birthday in April of '97. Still, I was the only person I knew who had one. Got the Toshiba SD-3107 and I think it was $700. It is still going strong.

First titles I bought were Apollo 13 & Contact.

Happy Birthday DVD!

Peace,

DM
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#55 of 76 OFFLINE   Marty M

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Posted March 15 2004 - 02:17 AM

I purchased my first DVD player in September 1998. I purchaed the Sony model 300 went the price went below $500. My son is still using this player.

I recall that Best Buy only had one small rack of DVD movies, but you could purchase DVDs on the internet for under $10, consistently. Those were the days.

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#56 of 76 OFFLINE   Jerome Grate

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Posted March 15 2004 - 02:58 AM

For me it was HT sound first, then DVD. I scrambled to get a Hi-Fi Proscan VCR, with my Kenwood receiver (DPL only). I swore then that I would never get a DVD player because I thought it was just a mirror image of the snooty upscale Laserdisc and it's players. Well when I heard what DVD does with the sound it completely changed me over. Lost in Space was the clincher for me when I heard the 5.1 surround and I bought right into it.

There was an article in HT Mag about the Pioneer DV-414 on how it had so many bells and whistles the big $1,000.00 players had for only $400.00 or so bucks. Circuit City had it on sale for $289.00 and with the extra money I picked up Lethal Weapon 4, Lost in Space and another movie that escapes me. But 1998 was the time for me. Now I just need to update the player it's second generation, still works great picture and sound just need something new.
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#57 of 76 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted March 15 2004 - 03:00 AM

I first got interested through Video Watchdog, which was extolling the virtures of laserdisc, and I was fired up for that, until I saw it live complete with flipper changes and decided that the time was not yet ripe.

About 1996 I was in Best Buy and saw they were offering movies on CD--I don't know now whether that was VCD or CDi or something else altogether, but I knew that something big was about to happen--the selection of movies was meager so I thought I'd wait to see where this went. I never saw them there again.

In 1997 I picked up a copy of Widescreen Review since it had Mars Attacks on the cover and I was a big Tim Burton fan. There was a lot of excitement about this new format DVD especially something called "anamorphic enhancement". I did a search (in those pre-Google days, which dates us some) for DVD and came up with Steve Tannehill's DVD Resource page, which (as it did for so many others) quickly became my first Internet visit every day. I soon became insatiable in my quest for learning more about this new format, which I somehow sensed was The One I Was Waiting For.

In December 97 I started buying discs--My first ones were Batman and Blazing Saddles. Best Buy had about 20 titles to choose from. I started saving up for a player, figuring that the Sony S3000 seemed to provide the best price/value ratio. I was watching for sales when the news hit in early February: Sony had decided to discontinue the model, allegedly because it was TOO GOOD a price/value ratio. So I went out and bought my first player, an S3000 for $599.95. It was a great player, though it didn't have DTS, and so it was inherited by my mom two years ago, and it's still going strong six years later. And the DVD library has ballooned 1500-fold..... Posted Image

It was fun learning about Tuesday street dates and I began the still unbroken habit of haunting Best Buy (never to venture into Circus Shitty again due to the Evil of DIVX--I harbor grudges forever) on Tuesdays to see what was new. In those days, one or two discs was about all you could hope for, and invariably I bought them all. Just try that now! Posted Image

What an amazing format, and how far it's come in a few short years. I was watching the Criterion Naked Lunch last night, and the transfer is just stunningly detailed, even on close inspection on a 65" screen. Now Batman, which looked fabulous at the time, is barely watchable.

#58 of 76 OFFLINE   Reagan

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Posted March 15 2004 - 03:36 AM

I never bought a laserdisc player. Not because I didn't want one. I did, I just didn't have the money for it. In fact, three of my high school friends all had laserdisc players and I lived vicariously through them (watching at their house, borrowing their equipment, etc.). Things really got heavy in 1993 when we found places that rented laserdiscs.

I planned to buy a laserdisc player when I finished school (May 97), but a few months before that point, my wife and I happened to see a program where Roger Ebert talked about this new format called DVD. The funny part is when he mentioned (and showed video examples) that DVD would display a better picture both than regular television and laserdisc. My wife commented on how the picture didn't look any better to her - bear in mind we were watching examples of DVD picture quality over broadcast TV. Makes as much sense as watching different examples of color TV on a black and white monitor.

It didn't matter to me. I was sold and would have been happy if DVDs had the same picture quality as lasers only with smaller discs.

My first DVDs were Goodfellas and Reservoir Dogs, which I bought months before I actually got my DVD player. In October of 97, I brought home a Toshiba 2107 for $499.97. I was so naive about things, I didn't even use the s-video connection.

I will be buying my first ever laserdisc very soon. I want to see the complete Jaws documentary (from the $120 box set) and there's just no other way to do it. I just missed a chance to pick up the box set for $5 from Ebay last week. I was able to get a brand new copy of the Jaws DVD for $9.44 from a major retailer, though.

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#59 of 76 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted March 15 2004 - 05:00 AM

Ah, the good old days!

I still have to laugh whenever I remember how I got started. I did the whole thing backwards.

In June of '97, I decided that I wanted a stereo (2-channel). I went over to Camera World (where I had been avoiding the sales people there for years by just saying - No, I'm just looking, thank you!)

But this time I was ready, or so I thought. They just got some new 5.1 sets in, and they put them on sale. It was about a hundred more than I had expected to spend, but I got it anyway. This was just going to be for CD's, right?

Two months after that I brought a 40" WS that they had had there for a few years. Around the set they had a 'cheap' set of 5 speakers for $250, and he threw them in with the TV.

DVD came a few months after that. I had an HTPC set up, and I started to look for a DVD player, but couldn't decide. Anyway, I still needed the DVD's, so I started to buy them. I had 30 DVD's before I even got a DVD player, a Toshiba 2109. Yes, it still works great!

Glenn

#60 of 76 OFFLINE   Jerome Grate

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Posted March 15 2004 - 05:19 AM

Man, after DVD I got hung up on those movies that was on laserdisc and not on DVD. I figure if the DVD sound so good I can imagine what those movies only on laserdisc would sound. I was so close to getting a laserdisc player, Pioneer 504 I think with a demodulator for DTS. When they released Jurassic Park on DVD, it killed the notion for me. Worth the wait, you know why, because Star Wars is coming in September.
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