Download VCD Sample
Technical Info
VCD File/Folder structure
Video file comparison
More info

VCD stands for 'Video Compact Disc' and basically it is a CD that contains moving pictures and sound. If you're familiar with regular audio/music CDs, then you will know what a VCD looks like. A VCD has the capacity to hold up to 74/80 minutes on 650MB/700MB CDs respectively of full-motion video along with quality stereo sound. VCDs use a compression standard called MPEG to store the video and audio. A VCD can be played on almost all standalone DVD Players and of course on all computers with a DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drive with the help of a software based decoder / player. It is also possible to use menus and chapters, similiar to DVDs, on a VCD and also simple photo album/slide shows with background audio. The quality of a very good VCD is about the same as a VHS tape based movie but VCD is usually a bit more blurry. If you want better quality checkout SVCD,CVD or DVD.

A VCD can be played on

- Standalone VCD Players(very common in ASiA), check here for a compatibility list.
- Almost all standalone DVD Players, check here for compability list
- Playstations with VCD-addon (Playstation 2 does NOT support VCDs, read our DVD Players list for more info)
- Sega Saturn with VCD-addon
- Dreamcast with VCD-addon
- And of course on all computers with a CD-ROMs/DVD-ROMs with a software VCD/MPG Player.



What is XVCD then?
Read here on the XVCD Page.




VCD Sample

Downloadable VCD and SVCD samples
Download VCD Samples from Lab DV here




Technical Info for VCD

This describes VCD 2.0 that all DVD Players with VCD support should support and most VCD authoring/burning application makes VCD 2.0 today. But what about VCD 1.1? Read below here.

PAL

Video:
1150 kbit/sec MPEG-1
352 x 288 pixels
25 frames/second

Audio:
44100 Hz
224 kbit/sec MPEG-1 Layer2

Extra:
Menus and chapters
Still pictures in 704x576,352x288





(real size sample)

NTSC/NTSC Film

Video:
1150 kbit/sec MPEG-1
352 x 240 pixels
29,97 frames/second
23,976 frames/second NTSC Film

Audio:
44100 Hz
224 kbit/sec MPEG-1 Layer2

Extra:
Menus and chapters
Still pictures in 704x480,352x240


(real size sample)


and even more technical details about VCD 1.1 and VCD 2.0:
 
Video CD 1.1
This is the most basic Video CD specification dating back to 1993 4 , which has the followingcharacteristics:
• One mode 2 mixed form ISO-9660 track containing file pointers to the information areas.
• Up to 98 multiplex-ed mpeg-1 audio/video streams or cd-da audio tracks.
• Up to 500 mpeg sequence entry points used as chapter divisions.
The Video CD specification requires the multiplex-ed mpeg-1 stream to have a cbr of less than 174300 bytes (1394400 bits) per second 5 in order to accommodate single speed cd-rom drives. The specification allows for the following two resolutions 6 :
• 352 x 240 @ 29.97 Hz (ntsc sif).
• 352 x 240 @ 23.976 Hz (film sif).
The cbr mpeg-1, layer II audio stream is fixed at 224 Kbit/s with 1 stereo or 2 mono channels.It is recommended to keep the video bit-rate under 1151929.1 bps 7.

Video CD 2.0
About two years after the Video CD 1.1 specification came out, an improved Video CD 2.0 standard was published in 1995. This one added the following items to the features already available in the Video CD 1.1 specification:
• Support for mpeg segment play items (SPI ), consisting of still pictures, motion pictures and/or audio (only) streams was added. See Section 1.6.2 [Segment Items], page 9.
• Support for interactive playback control (PBC) was added.
• Support for playing related access by providing a scan point index file was added.(‘/EXT/SCANDATA.DAT’)
• Support for closed captions.
• Support for mixing ntsc and pal content.
By adding PAL support to the Video CD 1.1 specification, the following resolutions became
available:
• 352 x 240 @ 29.97 Hz (ntsc sif).
• 352 x 240 @ 23.976 Hz (film sif).
• 352 x 288 @ 25 Hz (pal sif).
For segment play items the following audio encodings became available:
• Joint stereo, stereo or dual channel audio streams at 128, 192, 224 or 384 kbit/sec bit-rate.
• Mono audio streams at 64, 96 or 192 kbit/sec bit-rate.

info from vcdimager manual that you can download here.




VCD File/Folder Structure

Folder Files Explanation
VCD INFO.VCD Album and disc identification
  ENTRIES.VCD Entry point list for up to 500 entries
  PSD.VCD Optional Play Sequence Descriptor
  LOT.VCD Optional List ID Offset file
MPEGAV AVSEQnn.DAT MPEG files, max 99 tracks, the main movie, trailers, extras, menus...
CDDA AUDIOnn.DAT Optional CD Audio files
SEGMENT ITEMnnn.DAT Segment play items, max 999 segments, still pictures or still menus
KARAOKE KARINFO.xxx Optional Karaoke information files
EXT PSD_X.VCD Optional extended version of PSD,VCD
  LOT_X.VCD Optional extended version of LOT.VCD
  SCANDATA.DAT Optional list of I-frame addresses
  CAPTnn.DAT Optional Closed Caption data
CDI (undefined) CD-i program and data files




Video File Comparison

Format
VCD
SVCD
DVD
Blu-ray
MKV HD
MP4 HD
H264 HD
WMV HD
AVI
DivX
XviD
WMV
MOV
QuickTime
FLV
MP4
AVI
DV
Resolution
NTSC/PAL
352x240
352x288
480x480
480x576
720x480²
720x576²
1920x1080
1280x720
1920x1080²
1280x720²
640x480² 640x480² 640x480² 720x480
720x576
Video
Compression
MPEG1
MPEG2
MPEG2, MPEG1
H264
VC1
MPEG2
H264
VC1
DivX, Xvid, MPEG4 ASP, WMV
H264
H264, FLV, VP6, VP7, VP8
DV
Video bitrate
1150Kbit/s
~2000Kbit/s
~7000Kbit/s
~30Mbit/s
~10Mbit/s
~1000Kbit/s
~1000Kbit/s
~700Kbit/s
25Mbit/s
Audio
Compression
MP1
MP1
MP1, MP2, AC3, DTS, PCM DTS-HD, EAC3, TrueHD, AC3, DTS, PCM AAC, AC3, DTS, WMA MP3, WMA, OGG, AAC, AC3 MP3, AAC MP3, AAC DV
Audio bitrate
224Kbit/s
~224Kbit/s
~448Kbit/s
~448Kbit/s
~448Kbit/s
~128Kbit/s
~128Kbit/s
~64Kbit/s
~1500Kbit/s
Size/min
10
MB/min
10-20
MB/min
30-70
MB/min
50-150MB/min 50MB/min 4-10
MB/min
4-20
MB/min
4-10
MB/min
216MB/min
Min/74min CD
74min
35-60min
10-20min 4min-10min 10min 60-180min 60-180min 60-180min 3min
Hours/DVD
N/A
N/A
1-2hrs
30min-1hrs 1hrs 7-18hrs 7-18hrs 7-18hrs 20min
Hours/
DualLayerDVD
N/A
N/A
2-4hrs
60min-2hrs 2hrs 13-30hrs 13-30hrs 13-30hrs 37min
Hours/
Blu-ray 25GB
N/A
N/A
8-16hrs
2-4hours 6hours 40-100hrs 40-100hrs 40-100hrs 110min
DVD Player Compatibility
Great Good Excellent None None Good None None None
Computer CPU Usage
Low Low Low Very high Very high Low Low Low Low
Quality
Bad Good* Great* Superb* Excellent* Great* Great* Great* Good
Kbit/s = thousand bits per second
Mbit/s = million bits per second
² approximately resolution, it can be higher or lower
~ approximately bitrate, it can be higher or lower
* the video quality depends on the bitrate and the video resolution, higher bitrate and higher resolution generally means better video quality but bigger file size





More Info

DVD to VCD guide

How to capture to VCD guides

How to convert AVI/DivX/ASF/MOV/MPG to VCD



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