March 1997 March 2006 Nine years ago this month DVD was launched in North America and changed the way people watch movies. 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.