Happy 9th Anniversary, DVD!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Scott Temple, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. Scott Temple

    Scott Temple Supporting Actor

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    March 1997 March 2006

    Nine years ago this month DVD was launched in North America and changed the way people watch movies.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I didn't buy into DVD until March 1999, exactly two years after its US premiere. I remember how excited I was though. My first disc was 1997's "I Know What You Did Last Summer" starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar. I was blown away at how good it looked. Not just because it was presented in its OAR of 2.35:1 (although that was a huge part of it) but because of how sharp, colorful, and well defined it was. I remember that my first DVD player cost $300. Today you can get an el cheapo for around $50 or less. The early days of DVD did have its drawbacks. Many films were released only in open matte or pan and scan formats. Other films were released as flippers with half of the movie on one side of the disc and the other half of the movie on the other side of the disc. Many films released in their widescreen OARs were 4x3 letterbox transfers (usually taken from a previous LaserDisc) formatted for 4x3 televisions when they should have been 16x9 enhanced for 16x9 televisions. In other instances a film (2000's Jaws 25th Anniversary Edition) was given a souped up Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack with altered effects while the original mono track was left off of the disc. Thankfully, a lot of those past mistakes have since been corrected. Seven years later (from when I bought in to the format) I'm still optomistic about what DVD has to offer and I hope it sticks around for many more years to come.
     
  2. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    That's funny, I Know What You Did Last Summer was one of the first DVDs I bought right after I got my first DVD player in December of 1998. My first player was a Panasonic DVD-A110 and it cost me $399 at the local Good Guys store. The only DVD I brought home with the player that day was Metallica's Cunning Stunts. I had already purchased the Criterion DVD of This is Spinal Tap to test out my dad's new DVD player a few months earlier so those discs got a real work out for a few days. A few days later, right after Christmas, I picked up Scream, Wild Things, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Starship Troopers, all at $25 to $30 a pop.

    I was thoroughly amazed at how good the picture looked compared to both my old Laserdisc player and the VCR even on the 12 year old Mitsubishi RPTV TV that I had at the time. The following year I stepped up the plate and purchased a 5.1 channel surround receiver (an Onkyo TX-DS777) to replace the 80's vintage Dolby Surround electronics that I was using back then and was even more impressed with what these little 5" discs could do.

    Thanks to DVD, I have seen more films than I can even remember off the top of my head that I would probably never have seen otherwise if I had just stayed with VHS and Laserdisc. Wow... has it really been 9 years?
     
  3. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    I didn't jump on board until August of '99. My first player was a Pioneer DVL-919 combo DVD/LD player. My wife had bought me an LD player back in '95, so she wasn't too anxious to see me jump right into DVD two years later! I finally joined the fray when LDs were becoming increasingly harder to find.

    My first DVDs were "What Dreams May Come' and "Ronin". Now the collection is over 800 strong, including many LD replacememnts... but I still have my Star Wars OT faces LDs!

    Anyway, I too hope that DVD is around for many years to come. I think it will be an even longer delay for me getting into the naxt format. I want to see how the whole HD-DVD/Blu-ray thing plays out (i'm one of the guys that bought Beta!). Plus my HD set that is just over 3 years old does not have an HDMI input. I'm sure the wife is planning for that set to last another seven years at least!
     
  4. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

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    My license tag said N2DVD before I even had my first machine, back in 97!
     
  5. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the RCA Selectavision videodisc system.
     
  6. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I bought my first machine in March 1997. I knew this format would take off and change the way we watched movies, leaving LD and tape in the dust.
     
  7. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    I started with that one too! It was the first dvd player to have DTS output on it. Ya had to pay $2-300 more for component video and a jog dial back then. Geez. I got it the day it came out @ my particular Best(er... Worst) Buy.
     
  8. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    I got my first player as a birthday gift in December of 1998. Although that was a full year after initial launch it still was not cheap. It was a Toshiba player was no DTS and no component outputs. My guess is that it probably cost at least $300.

    Happy Birthday, DVD. You've come a long way, Baby. :)
     
  9. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I paid about $400 for my first player in September of 1997 - but I never watched it. [​IMG] The format was still so new that it was hard to get accurate information, especially from retailers - who seemed to be way behind the curve compared to internet resources like the Compuserve Consumer Electronics Fourm (who remembers that? [​IMG]) and the Home Theater Forum. I knew that Toshiba was going to release their 2nd generation players at some point, and had held off buying an earlier model, but nobody could tell me when the new ones were coming. Finally one store told me it would be at least six months, and I decided not to wait and bought an early player. (I think it was the SD2006, but don't hold me to that.) I also bought my first two DVD movies that day, Fargo and The Usual Suspects. (In the old Polygram "guillotine" cases. I'd exchange both several times before I finally realized the damned box was scratching the disks. One reason I never complained as much as most DVD fans about Warner's "snappers". At least they didn't eat my damned discs! [​IMG])

    Anyway, the day I got the thing home I got a call from another store saying the 2nd generation players were coming in the following week. I left the Toshiba in the box and returned it to store "A" the next day on my lunch hour. The following week I bought the newer player at store "B" for around $500. In the meantime I sat for a week with two DVDs that I couldn't play and had to content myself with my laserdiscs. [​IMG] (One of which, The Fugitive was anamorphic - it had been included with my Toshiba widescreen RPTV as a promo - so I had a pretty good idea of how much better DVD could potentially be than LD, based on this one feature alone.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  10. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    "Just anything as long as it was on DVD" didn't quite do it for me - it took Disney animation and more classics for me to buy into DVD - which was about three years later. By then it was also hard to find new laserdiscs.
     
  11. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Didn't do it for me, either. There were plenty of worthwile titles available on DVD from day one, and production ramped up very quickly as players started selling. New releases from some studios were routinely coming out on the same day as their VHS counterparts within a few months. But then, I didn't feel the need to wait for "classics", and I've always thought Disney animation was mostly overrated. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  12. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    People have different definitions of "anything", of course. [​IMG] I was very much aware of DVD right from the start. But it seems that titles that "move" probably at least 80-90% of the market do not "move" me.

    As for Disney animation (slightly off topic here), I could agree that most of it is overrated. I don't buy just because it has the Disney name on it.
     

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