VCD, SVCD, and DVD, what they are and how to burn them.

There are a four basic video media formats out there that one will encounter when downloading and burning to disc. The types and coding of the video behind them will not be discussed here, but will be included in a separate codecs(COmpression/DECompression) and video types guide to follow.

 

To simplify the discussion here, there are two main species of media you will be using. They are DVD and CD, of course, with the subtypes of R and RW for each. The RW in both cases refers to ReWriteable, meaning that one can burn data onto the disc then later erase and ReWrite data onto it again and again. RW’s are much costlier than the regular R’s, so one has to determine where, when, and how the media will be used to determine which is most cost effective. RW’s can be quite useful if one regularly burns video files for home theater use.

VCD (Video CD)

 

Standard digital format for storing video on a Compact Disc. View CDs, as VCDs are sometimes referred to, are playable in dedicated players, personal computers, and many DVD players.

 

VCD display resolution is 352×240 pixels (NTSC) or 352×288 pixels (PAL), approximately one quarter of full TV resolution (720×480 for NTSC, 720×576 for PAL). VCD video is in MPEG-1 format; audio is encoded as MPEG Layer 2 (MP2); video is stored at 1150 kilobits per second, audio at 224 kbit/s. Overall picture quality is intended to be comparable to VHS video, though visual artifacts may be noticeable in some cases. Poorly compressed video in VCD tends to be blockier than VHS video.

 

Since the overall bit rate of VCD is approximately equal to the bit rate of an ordinary audio CD, the length of video that can be stored is similar to that of a CD: a standard 74 minute CD can hold about 74 minutes of VCD-format video.

 

Form and How to Burn

They usually come in the "bin/cue" format, though occasionally in ISO, a defintion guide of which can be found here. In order to burn the BIN files, or even ISO, I reccomend using the program DVD Decrypter, a guide to using which can also be found here at ZP.

SVCD (Super Video CD)

 

A format used for storing video on standard compact discs. SVCD falls between Video CD and DVD in terms of technical capability and picture quality.

SVCD has two-thirds the resolution of DVD, and more than twice the resolution of VCD. Video is stored at 480×480 pixels for NTSC, and 480×576 pixels for PAL and SECAM. One CD-R disc can hold 35 to 60 minutes of SVCD-format video, at a picture quality roughly comparable to Laserdisc.

 

Form and How to Burn

These too usually come in the "bin/cue" format, a defintion guide of which can be found here. In order to burn the BIN files I reccomend using the program DVD Decrypter, a guide to using which can also be found here at ZP.

DVD

 

Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc, is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. DVDs resemble compact discs as their physical dimensions are the same (12 cm or occasionally 8 cm in diameter) but they are encoded in a different format and at a much higher density. Unlike Cd’s they come in two size formats, 4.7GB and 9GB(the size of a regular video store style DVD).

 

Form and How to Burn

They usually come in one format when downloading and that’s as an ISO, a definition of which can be found here. With this too, and I know everybody has their favorite, is DVD Decrypter, a guide to using which can also be found here at ZP.

 

As an added help in authoring the DVD files you’ve downloaded, what follows is a brief description of the different types of DVD media out there and hopefully help in determining which is the best for you to use.

 

DVD+R and DVD+RW

Has some better features than DVD-R/W such as lossless linking and both CAV and CLV writing.

DVD+R is a non-rewritable format and it is compatible with about 89% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.

DVD+RW is a rewritable format and is compatible with about 79% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.

 

DVD-R and DVD-RW

DVD-R was the first DVD recording format released that was compatible with standalone DVD Players.

DVD-R is a non-rewriteable format and it is compatible with about 93% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.

DVD-RW is a rewriteable format and it is compatible with about 80% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.

In short, a great deal and of time and effort can be wasted in trying to discern what the heck DVD, VCD, or SVCD is, and what exaclty you are supposed to do with it once you’ve downloaded it. Hopefully this makes things just a little clearer for you. Next week I intend to release a more in depth guide that deals with the specific TYPES of media, i.e. XVID, DIVX, MPEG, .AVI, etc, including how to convert and burn them. In the meantime, I welcome your feedback on this guide and whether or not it proves helpful to you.