It's time for another HTF member milestone thread.:b It's amazing what has happened during my 3 year visit to the HTF. DVD was in its infancy, and I was one of the early adopters, spending over $700 (cost!) on a first generation DVD player and making Visa very happy for months on end. When I first came here it was at the encouragement of Steve Tannehill during the winding down of his DVD Resource webpage (which I followed for months) - many of you who were there remember Steve's highly personal, no apologies style, especially when it came to the subjects of Titanic on DVD, and "when is Disney coming to DVD??". When he retired the site, he was welcomed here, and in spite ofsome furious exchanges with other admins and even Ron & Parker, Steve became a full-fledged moderator. It's amazing and scary what has happen to DVD in the short time since its inception. The next-step in enhanced high end home theater became the holy grail to those of us who were die-hard laserphiles, and cried foul at the low quality and slow output of the initial catalogue titles by a handful of studios. As studios came on board, we saw more great catalogue titles and new releases in OAR and 16x9 compatibilty, as the format grew in popularity. Then something went wrong. DVD beacme popular. Not just with Home Theater enthusiasts, but with the general public - J6P (Joe Six-Pack). The influx of DVD into such bottom feeders as Blockbuster Video and WalMart made the general public aware of a high quality home theater product that was becoming more and more financially within their grasp. DVD was no longer a a blessing to the HT enthusiast, it was "jumping the shark" and becoming popular, and we cheered as hardware sales shot through the roof. And what has happened as a result of it? The general public has grown to despise the core of the DVD - the widescreen picture, designed for the future widescreen TV and HDTV. Those who knew of the purpose of videos being presented in their original aspect ratio (OAR) were suddenly being berated by those who were confused and downright pissed off at those back bars robbing them of their television screens, even though it was something they were exposed to everyday in many television commercials. As Roger Meyers, chairman of Itchy & Scratchy, said, "The screwballs have spoken!". The studios who created films in widescreen to meet the future of television have been browbeaten into living in its past by those who don't like the black bars, in spite of attempts by the internet community and HT enthuiasts at large (who DVD was originally designed for) to educate them. It makes me harken for the days of laserdisc, when there was a certain feeling of pride in owning a film in a visual presentaion that enthusiasts understood and demanded, and which studios went out of their way to provide, even creating mammoth collector's editions for those who wanted every piece of behind the scenes material that could be included, at considerable expense (and mass) to the laserdisc title in question. It was amazing to see laserdisc special editions with expanded content which sold for up to a couple hundred dollars suddenly be made available for $30 dollars or less (a welcome relief to my wallet), and it saddens me that J6P likes this idea (and probably don't even know what a laserdisc is/was), but can't get over the dislike of the shape of a movie because it doesn't match the shape of their television. We defeated the Pay-per-view DVD model, DIVX, because we targeted one corporation. However, since then, our numbers have been dwarfed by J6P and their resulting opinions that lead to "market research" decisions that threaten the very future of DVD as we know it. It is a fight we may not win. This post was not designed to compete with Ron's excellent article on the future of DVD (which is why I started it in the After Hours area), but hopefully compliment it. I have enjoyed my time to date here at the HTF, and while I cannot post all the time, and build up numbers as quickly as some of you, I am proud to continue to be a member of a forum that recognises the importance of DVD and defends its passion for the future of the format. To Ron, Parker, the mods, and the countless horde who enhabit this forum, thank you for making this such an intellligent place to visit and take part in. Here's to another 3 years and another 1000 posts.