Originally Posted by Dare
If you still have any original vintage DVDs, the quality was really bad, even by the standards of the day. Not just because of the existing transfers done for VHS, but edge enhancement and compression artifacts made some of them look abyssmal. It was better than VHS in some ways, but worse in others, and generally a wash. And then a lot of original DVD players didn't even have s-video output. That was a special feature to look for.
But people took to DVD anyway, because it was a superior product. Picture quality just kind of came on its own, as the technology grew into its potential.
I don't have too many older DVD releases, however I believe it was a different case in the UK to the US. The only DVDs I have from pre 2000 all have a great PQ Starship Troopers looks fantastic (and pretty much all our DVDs were Widescreen releases instead of pan and scan you suffered).