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.....
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!
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.