How to create VCDs using the Philips Video CD 2.0 Toolkit:

 

The Philips Video CD 2.0 Toolkit is a powerful VCD authoring program once used by professionals to create commercial quality VCDs.†† The Video CD 2.0 Toolkit is can be downloaded from the New International CD-i Associationís website:

 

http://www.icdia.org/

 

You can download the Toolkit directly from this link:

 

http://www.icdia.org/sw_pc/vcd2tk.zip

 

Unzip the file and install the software on your Windows PC.

 

Below are links to Philips original sales brochure describing the programís features:

 

http://www.icdia.org/brochures/authoring_sw/vcd2tk_a.jpg

 

http://www.icdia.org/brochures/authoring_sw/vcd2tk_b.jpg

 

http://www.icdia.org/brochures/authoring_sw/vcd2tk_c.jpg

 

http://www.icdia.org/brochures/authoring_sw/vcd2tk_d.jpg

 

The link below is PC Magazineís review of the Video CD 2.0 Toolkit:

 

http://www.zdnet.com/pcmag/issues/1507/pcmg0089.htm

 

The Toolkit was originally written for Windows 3.1, but it runs fine under Windows 2000 and Windows 9x.† The software was never updated for Windows 95, so it doesnít support long filenames, just the old fashioned DOS 8.3 filenames.† Be prepared to rename some of your files or get used to using the dir /x command from the command prompt.† (dir /x lists the 8.3 short names of files with long names for W2K.)

 

Philips no longer sells or supports this software.† The software does have a help file and the sales brochures have some useful info too.† The CD-i Association has also resurrected the former Philips/OptImage/PMpro CD-i Technical Support website.† There is a lot of good information there and also some useful utilities that can be downloaded.† The link to the PMpro archive is:

 

http://www.icdia.org/cdprosupport/index.html

 

Of particular interest to Toolkit users are the Video CD 2.0 (White Book 2.0) Articles:

 

http://www.icdia.org/cdprosupport/vcd/vcd2x/vcd2x.htm

 

One very useful link on the White Book Articles page is the short tutorial for the Toolkit.† The tutorial steps you through the creation of a simple VCD that has menus, an MPEG-1 video clip, and a PowerPoint presentation.† The link to download the tutorial is:

 

http://www.icdia.org/cdprosupport/files/pc/shortst.zip

 

The tutorial is how I got started and is how I recommend anyone else to start.† Unfortunately for me, there were a lot of gotchas which werenít explained anywhere.† Fortunately for you, Iíve figured most of them out, so everyone should be able to focus on completing the tutorial and burning their creation to a CD.

 

There are problems with the tutorial.† The supplied menus are corrupted, and there arenít any MPEG-1 video or audio clips to use.† So youíll have to roll your own.† In Toolkit lingo, MPEG-1 A/V files, digital audio, menus, and still pictures are known as assets.† Creating asset files should be easy, but unfortunately a lot of the popular VCD tools are barely White Book compliant.

 

Philips helped to write the White Book standard, and the Philips VCD 2.0 Toolkit requires any files you use be absolutely complaint with the White Book specs.† A lot of popular freeware or shareware VCD utility programs fudge on White Book compliance, so they produce non-compliant files that VCD2TK wonít accept.

 

Supported Asset Formats

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VCD 2.0 compliant MPEG-1 video @ 352x240 NTSC or 352x288 PAL.

AIFF, WAV, and MPEG-1, Layer 2, digital audio.

TIFF, Targa, JPEG, GIF, Bitmap, and PhotoCD still images

Still pictures for NTSC must be sized as 352x240 or 704x480.

Still pictures for PAL must be sized as 352x288 or 704x576.

 

Toolkit will automatically convert still images to MPEG stills during the image build process.† From what I can tell, it also corrects for aspect ratio.

 

Other less common formats are also supported.† See the help file for more info.

 

 

Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Menus or Slideshows

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Under File->Page Setup, set the slide size to 7.34Ē by 5Ē.† This will create a 704x480 file if you use the TIFF image format.† PowerPoint can automatically create a TIFF file for each slide, i.e. slide1.tif, slide2.tif, slide3.tif, etc.† Other image formats, such as Targa, or JPEG, may also work with these settings.

 

 

Creating Digital Photo Slideshows

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If you have a digital camera that saves its pictures in a supported format, such as JPEG or TIFF, you can use them in your project.† All you have to do is resize and save the images as 704x480 using an image-editing tool like LView Pro.

 

 

Creating VCD 2.0 Compliant Videos

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Most MPEG file and/or VCD captures can be made compliant by re-multiplexing them with VCDMUX.† The VCDMUX program can be found in the folder you installed Toolkit in.† VCDMUX takes separate video and audio files that are VCD compliant and multiplexes them together to create a VCD 2.0 compliant .mmd file.

 

 

See the guides for creating VCD 2.0 compliant files using either TMPGEnc or the ATI AIW Radeon for more information.