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IN THE BEGINNING (DVD Historical Timeline) (1 Viewer)

Eric Huffstutler

Oct 2, 1999
Richmond, VA
Real Name
Eric Huffstutler
Thinking about the DVDFiles website and how it has been around since basically the beginning of DVDs, I was an early contributor and put together in 1998 a Timeline of the evolution of DVD up to that point. It was removed in 2007 so you won't see it anywhere except here for those interested in how things were. :)

©1998 Czar Designs (Steven "Czar" Page) a/k/a Eric S. Huffstutler


September 15, 1995 -

For the first time in the history of the electronics industry, members of the audio, video, computer and multimedia markets have come together to create a new format. The SD Alliance, a consortium of 17 hardware and software companies led by Toshiba and Warner, and Philips/Sony, each of which had been fiercely pushing its own set of standards, agreed on the basic specifications for a high- density disc on which digital video, audio and data can be recorded known as DVD.

January 29, 1996 -

The format war between Sony/Philips (with their Multi Media CD) and Toshiba/Time Warner (with their Super Density disc) was settled when the two merged their two formats into one that will either be called Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc. First DVD Prototypes were shown at the WCES

July 11, 1996 -

Panasonic takes the first step to be the first company announcing its plans to manufacture DVD players.

August 23, 1996 -

A panel set up by Toshiba previews DVD for the first time in Carlsbad, CA. watching clips from Grumpier Old Men, Batman Forever and Outbreak.

September 20, 1996 -

Tsunami Media, Inc. of Oakhurst, CA announces the first-ever DVD-ROM application, Silent Steel. Together with LaserPacific Media Corporation and Optical Disc Corporation, Tsunami enhanced their award-winning Intelligent Motion Picture (IMP) title, Silent Steel, by creating a Direct Cut featuring MPEG 2 video and AC-3 stereo audio.

September 26, 1996 -

Toshiba announces first home DVD player SD-3000 ($674).

November 1, 1996 -

Toshiba and Panasonic release the first DVD players for the home audience in Japan. Toshiba SD-3000 and Panasonic A-100. Only 10 Japanese disc titles are available, mostly music videos.

January 11, 1997 -

The first player models arrived in the United States Toshiba SD-2006 ($600), Samsung DVD-705 ($750), RCA RC-5200P ($600). Pioneer DVL-700 ($1000), Sony DVP-S7000 ($1000), Panasonic DVD-A100 ($600), Faroudja DV-1000 ($5495 w/ DTS), but all sit in stockrooms while the battle over copyright protection continues.

February 1, 1997 -

Matsushita has announced that it will begin selling DVD players in Germany, first sales outside Japan.

February 18, 1997 -

After nearly a year wait, the first generation of DVD-ROM drives finally emerge starting with Panasonic's plug-and-play package DVD-ROM LK-MV8581BP, which costs about $1,000. A kit from Creative Labs called the Encore with a Matshushita drive became available March 24th, for around $499. Diamond Multimedia Systems has teamed up with Toshiba to develop a DVD-ROM kit that was expected to ship by March and cost from $600 to $1,000.

February 24, 1997 -

Toshiba demonstrates high-definition DVD with a 15GB capacity - 1.6 times greater than previous DVD's.

March 1, 1997 -

Matsushita (Panasonic) begins selling DVD players in the U.S. Toshiba will follow later in March. Delayed launch dates many times over due to copyright concerns by movie studios.

March 19, 1997 -

Lumivision becomes the first company to release DVD-Video titles in the United States, beating Warner Home Video's rollout by a week. DVD versions of Africa the Serengeti, Antarctica, Tropical Rainforest, and Animation Greats ($24.95 each) were officially released by Denver-based Lumivision. Some stores report having received the titles a day earlier. Three of the four offerings are IMAX films.

March 24, 1997 -

US launch of first mass release of DVD movie titles through Warner Home Video. Seven cities were part of a test market (Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC.) with 32 titles ranging $19.95-$24.99 from the Time Warner Group (MGM/UA, HBO, New Line, and Warner Bros).

April 21, 1997 -

DVD Forum Sets DVD Standards, Hitachi, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Phillips, Pioneer, Sony, Thomson, Time Warner, Toshiba, JVC. Toshiba holds rights to DVD logo and heads forum. The 10 member forum is called the DVD Video Group.

June 12, 1997 -

First Music Only DVD, a classical compulation announced by Delos International and Dolby DVD Spetacular priced $24.98 includes music, test signals and still pictures. Released 9/17/97 Street Date 3/17/98 (originally slated for July 22, 1997). N2K counters this claim with their title Dave Grusin Presents: West Side Story with street date 9/23/97.

July 8, 1997 -

Software distributor Vivid Entertainment ships the first user-selectable multiple camera angle DVD's which happens to be also x-rated. Bobby Sox and Where the Boys Aren't No. 9 carry a $29.95 suggested retail price.

August 26, 1997 -

Warner Home Video (WHV) goes nationwide with 61 titles.

September 8, 1997 -

DIVX gets green light

September 15, 1997 -

Panasonic introduces the first DVD notebook DF-63 with built in DVD ROM - retails $5,999.

September 29, 1997 -

Toshiba launches first compact dvd-video player SD-P410 and SD-2100, will be released November 16th in Japan at 75,000 yen each..

October 20, 1997 -

The digital video disc (DVD) format has sold more units in its first half-year of existence than either the videocassette recorder (1975) or the compact disc player (1983) had done at the same point in their histories, according to numbers released by the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA).

November 1, 1997 -

Terminator 2: Judgment Day by Live Entertainment was released and the first title to use the double layer (RSDL) format.

November 17, 1997 -

Pioneer New Media Technologies announced the first available DVD recordable (DVD-R) drive and media, the DVR-S101 and DVS-V3950S. The drive offers 3.95GB capacity DVR-S101 U.S. list price of $16,995.

December 19, 1997 -

Culture Convenience Club Co., Inc of Japan and Toshiba and Matshushita join forces to industry's first DVD rental business.

January 8, 1998 -

Matsushita (Panasonic) "PalmTheater" DVD-L10 worlds first portable DVD theater system announced to reach stores on Feb.10th in Japan at a cost of $1,400 MSRP. Spring Arival.

April 8, 1998 -

Glendale, California based VM1 launches the first "free" monthly interactive DVD magazine that pulls it's strength from promotion. "VersaDisc" combines full length movies, previews, games, music videos, children's edu-tainment, Internet access, and dynamic retail advertising. First discs to ship in November.

April 14, 1998 -

NetFlix Inc., based in Scotts Valley, Calif., openes first US Internet store offering DVD rentals. Magic Disc, Entertainment of Portland, Oregon makes the same claim being first on Feb 13th but was out of test marketing later than Netflix. This one is a toss-up.

May 18, 1998 -

Creative Technology Ltd announces the first complete DVD-RAM at $499.

June 8, 1998 -

The first DIVX player, Zenith Inteq DVX2100 ($499), hits Richmond, VA and San Francisco, CA test market stores.

September 11, 1998 -

The DVD-Audio Working Group of the DVD Forum, under the chairmanship of Victor Company of Japan, Limited (JVC), agreed the contents of the DVD-Audio Format specifications, which will be version 1.0. The working group has studied the requirements of the music industry and interested parties in the US, Europe and Japan, and has reached solutions required for the next-generation digital audio format.

September 23, 1998 -

DreamWorks SKG studio, home to some of those great Spielberg titles and a last minute last hold-out with "wait and see" overtones, now enters the DVD market tying the knot with all the other major studios. Amblin to follow.

September 25, 1998 -

DIVX goes national - approximately 700 retailers.

September 26, 1998 -

President Clinton's Grand Jury Testimony DVD by Media Galleries is an example of how DVD can make a lengthy and complex media event easily accessible to the public in ways not possible with videotape or even the Internet. Heralded as the most significant title to date citing title content and the marketing of the disc for .02 cents.
1st to record a historical event on DVD; 1st attempt to create a commerical title in a day; 1st to use over 4 hours of video on a singleside, single layer; 1st to be sold exclusively on-line via Netflix.

October 6, 1998 -

Lost In Space (New Line Cinema) released as the first A-list titles to incorporate substantial DVD-ROM features, sell over 100,000 copies (to consumers) and even outsell its VHS counterpart in some retail outlets.

October 19, 1998 -

Universal Studios announces release of Amblin titles. Last studio hold-out and second part of the Steven Spielberg catalog.

October 30, 1998 -

CEMA reports figures for the week of October 24-30 indicates that DVD player sales have exceeded the 1 million mark.

November 3, 1998 -

First DTS DVD Legend of Mulan released, from Digital Versatile Disc, Inc.


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