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  1. anyone know the skinny whether there is any visible difference in these formats?
    miniDVD is 720x480 and SVCD is supposed to be 480x480. is this just widescreen capability? isn't the x480 the horizontal resolution and therefore the picture quality "lines of resolution"? if my miniDV camcorder is 680x480 will I be losing any "visible" quality authoring in SVCD 480x480?
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  2. are refering to miniDVD as dfine by this webpage or miniDV of the camcorder...because they are 2 different things.

    miniDVD can be used at 352x480, because it is in the DVD specs, widescreen is not a factor, widescreen can be done in both miniDVD & SVCD.
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  3. miniDVD compatibility with DVD players is abysmal so forget it.
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  4. SVCD is better becuase it compatible with most DVD Players...and i snese a FlameWar Comeing
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  5. "miniDVD compatibility with DVD players is abysmal so forget it."

    Well not really for people in the U.S. at least, Wal-Mart steadily stocks a model that is quite miniDVD capable.
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  6. So one model is as good as how many models that can do SVCD? And which brand is it? Etc. etc. miniDVD support IS horrible.
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  7. actually 2 models, GE 1101P & 1101PA, GE 5803, & Apex 700.
    The points ISNT how many models can/cannot do SVCD..and again, no the support isnt horrible. First it is not TRULY a recognized format, so therefore one should not EXPECT much support to begin with...however, when there is Wal-Mart on every corner, and they readily stock 3 different models that quite capable of playing it..I do not call that weak support by any means for format of video that is not truly recognized.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kdiddy on 2001-12-07 18:46:42 ]</font>
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  8. Do forgive me, this is NOT meant as a flame. I apologize if it sounds so.

    But... Let's say I have a DVD player, you have one and my neighbour has one. What is the chance of all three of us being able to play miniDVD? SVCD? The chance is actually low for SVCD itself, but miniDVD there is almost no chance at all.

    And SVCD is just as good as miniDVD in most cases. Heck, I will not burn complete miniDVDs at the same bitrate as the original DVD. That would be murder of CD-r media.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: salvius on 2001-12-07 19:15:18 ]</font>
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  9. I think that SVCD has the advantage because it can hold more minutes of film on there then MiniDVD. Also it has more widespread compatibility than MiniDVD.
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  10. "I think that SVCD has the advantage because it can hold more minutes of film on there then MiniDVD. Also it has more widespread compatibility than MiniDVD."

    "Heck, I will not burn complete miniDVDs at the same bitrate as the original DVD. That would be murder of CD-r media."

    Well first you are both under the impression that miniDVD have to be done to specs....just like there is XVCD/XSVCD, so too is there XminiDVD, all my XminiDVD movies take up only 2 CDs...basically I have SVCD quality mpeg2 combined with AC3 or DTS sound..

    "But... Let's say I have a DVD player, you have one and my neighbour has one. What is the chance of all three of us being able to play miniDVD? SVCD? The chance is actually low for SVCD itself, but miniDVD there is almost no chance at all."

    Flawed analogy, you cant blame poor support on low buyer interest, the 2 dont corelate....If we all go to Wal-Mart and buy the same player, then the chances are 100%,..you cant say there is poor support because people choose NOT to buy the product. Thats like saying Ferrari has poor customer support for their vehicles, because the chances of everyone in your neighborhood has one is slim. If you want to say there are not many models that are miniDVD capable, fine I will give you that. But you can NOT say the chances of finding one (at least in the States) or support is "abysmal/horrible"
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  11. hmmm. interesting comments. now I finally found the right style of "subject" to use from now on to get replies to my posts!

    however, no one has addressed the real issue here. In "best" bitrate and resolution mode, which looks better to the human eye? miniDVD or SVCD....AND!!....is it really hardly even noticeable? I really need to know. it's eating me up inside! I need to buy authoring software and a new DVD player soon and I cant pull the trigger until I found the answer to this Q: miniDVD worth the work or is SVCD 99% as good?

    Thanks, I've enjoyed your responses.
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  12. I have to disagree with a few things here:
    1. No player has miniDVD support designed in the player as miniDVD is not even a format. The vast majority of DVD players do not support miniDVD. For those DVD players that support CD-R/W reading (which would be required for miniDVD as well), the majority WILL support SVCD.
    2. Quality on a miniDVD comes directly out of playtime. As I've stated in a previous post, if you can actually have HIGHER quality on a SVCD over a miniDVD if you are going to fit a full feature film on 2 discs. The issue here is how the data is physically put on the actual disc. SVCD puts the video data in MODE2 Form2 sectors. Using an 80min CD, you can have close to 800MB of video data on that disc. On a miniDVD, you only have about 700MB. Thus, for the same length video on the same number of discs, the bitrate on a SVCD can be higher.

    If you have a DVD player that can support miniDVD, there are some obvious advantages -- DVD style menus and AC3 or DTS sound, etc. However, arguements over the improvements of video quality should be thought about harder, especially if you plan on putting a movie over 2 or so discs.

    The issue of compatibility is a REAL one. If I make a miniDVD, the likelihood that it will play in a random DVD player is very low. Furthermore, what if my current DVD player breaks down in 5 years time? The future of miniDVD players is completely uncertain and there is a degree of risk. SVCD is a proper recognised standard and just about every DVD player on the market has SVCD support. Usually the issue is CD-R/W support.

    Regards.
    Michael Tam
    w: Morsels of Evidence
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  13. thank you. further:
    I am primarily concerned with capturing miniDV camera to PC then authoring CD-R/W for myself and family (I choose the DVD set-top players). I am less concerned with movie time and more concerned with video visual quality. I want to maximize the video quality to CD-R/W from my miniDV cam (680x480) Pan PVDV401. recommendations? what about using XSVCD too? will this get me the quality I want w/o the miniDVD hastle? (just lose AC3 capability that miniDVD has?)
    miniDVD vs. XSVCD vs. SVCD
    BTW, does typical authoring software that creates SVCD do XSVCD too? Nero5.0? Pinnacle Express? Ulead Movie Factory?
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  14. <TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD><font size=-1>Quote:</font><HR size=1 color=black></TD></TR><TR><TD><FONT SIZE=-1><BLOCKQUOTE>
    "Heck, I will not burn complete miniDVDs at the same bitrate as the original DVD. That would be murder of CD-r media."
    </BLOCKQUOTE></FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD><HR size=1 color=black></TD></TR></TABLE>

    Yes, but I also said: "And SVCD is just as good as miniDVD in most cases." I mean that in terms of bitrate:

    They are both mpeg2. SVCD has greater compliancy. The ONLY reason to use miniDVD is to get those higher bitrates, but more DVD players will play a non-compliant SVCD than a miniDVD. So even, then, why use miniDVD?

    I GUESS, if you wanted surround, that's it's one advantage, but SVCD can _kinda_ do surround too.

    Simply, NOT worth it.

    Oh, forgot to add, yes, miniDVD can have varying resolution, but then again, so can an xSVCD. And again, a lot more players will play xSVCD. And in it's pure form, 480x480 is not so bad either. AND, as virtualis mentioned, it IS a format, while miniDVD is not.

    And jarry, you'll find nothing wrong with SVCD. And if you can find a xSVCD player there is MINIMAL difference between miniDVD and xSVCD and except xSVCD will play in more players. But again, just standard SVCD is great too.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: salvius on 2001-12-07 22:32:13 ]</font>
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  15. "I am primarily concerned with capturing miniDV camera to PC then authoring CD-R/W for myself and family (I choose the DVD set-top players)."

    If this is what you are doing, then Im not sure why you even concern yourself with miniDVD in the first place. No miniDVD has NO advantage in this scenario. The only true advantage on miniDVD is having 5.1 digital surround over that of regular dolby surround. So basically its true useful purpose is DVD rips ONLY. The process to make a miniDVD is no more difficult nor time consuming to make SVCD.

    "No player has miniDVD support designed in the player as miniDVD is not even a format."

    Not sure why you say you disagree, no one ever stated it was a true format.

    "if you can actually have HIGHER quality on a SVCD over a miniDVD if you are going to fit a full feature film on 2 discs."

    Again, higher FIDELITY? yes...higher quality? most often it is the same, but in any case, its an issue that is to be determine the person watching it whether or not, at for example spec SVCD bitrate, he can determine any perceptual quality difference between 2.5 mbps & 2.2 mbps. IMO, a movie with 5.1 digital audio/2.2 mbps video has overall better entertainment quality than a movie with Dolby prologic audio/2.5 mbps video.

    "If I make a miniDVD, the likelihood that it will play in a random DVD player is very low. Furthermore, what if my current DVD player breaks down in 5 years time?"

    Who can read the future (besides Miss Cleo), and you have to live your life in the here & now. Not by what might happen 5 years from now, when you might not even be here 5 years from now. Also, its reasonable to assume that DVD media & burners will be significantly cheaper by then, and thus miniDVD becomes a moot point. But even then, worse case scenario is that you remaster your movie onto a DVD-R.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kdiddy on 2001-12-08 01:28:12 ]</font>
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  16. SVCD is excellent quality and clearly the most compatible format. However, if you are archiving your child's first steps that may not be the primary consideration, and 15 minutes per disk is OK. While I see little difference between approx 2500 bitrate 480x480 and 4000 bitrate 720x480, I do see SOME difference. Make sure you test these in the player you buy, mine was rated to play miniDVD but jerked above 4000 bits. Your camera would fall in XSVCD, I think. If your chosen format becomes unsupported in the distant future, you will have the best quality sample to re-encode from. Also consider that larger, higher-resolution screens will be more common when you are grandparents.
    For movies, etc. SVCD is much more practical, and the shots of my mother-in-law are going on VCD.
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  17. thanks to all. what great replies!
    since my FIST born is on the way for JAN, I need to try to make things as "manageable" as possible so I like the feedback on XSVCD. besides, good point is in couple years or less, PC DVD burners will be <$200. I'm looking at the APEX AD1500 for XSVCD/SVCD comp. Now, the last item on my list is that authoring software. guys? Pinnacle Express? Nero5.0? Ulead Movie Factory? others? needs to burn XSVCD.
    thanks again!!
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  18. uh....oh... that's FIRST born.....
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  19. <TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD><font size=-1>Quote:</font><HR size=1 color=black></TD></TR><TR><TD><FONT SIZE=-1><BLOCKQUOTE>
    On 2001-12-07 23:08:41, Kdiddy wrote:
    The only true advantage on miniDVD is having 5.1 digital surround over that of regular dolby surround.</BLOCKQUOTE></FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD><HR size=1 color=black></TD></TR></TABLE>

    I agree. 5.1 digital surround sound is probably the most compelling reason to create miniDVD over SVCD.

    <TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD><font size=-1>Quote:</font><HR size=1 color=black></TD></TR><TR><TD><FONT SIZE=-1><BLOCKQUOTE>Again, higher FIDELITY? yes...higher quality? most often it is the same, but in any case, its an issue that is to be determine the person watching it whether or not, at for example spec SVCD bitrate, he can determine any perceptual quality difference between 2.5 mbps & 2.2 mbps. IMO, a movie with 5.1 digital audio/2.2 mbps video has overall better entertainment quality than a movie with Dolby prologic audio/2.5 mbps video. </BLOCKQUOTE></FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD><HR size=1 color=black></TD></TR></TABLE>

    That's fair. However, what I was highlighting the discrepancy between the average video bitrate available on a SVCD over a miniDVD. Many people have to assumption that the same bitrate is available to both when this is not the case. Furthermore, with your specific example, this is not representative of many films (40 min per disc x 2 discs = 80 min). What about a difference between 1900 kbit/s and 1600 kbit/s? There will be a perceptable difference.

    However, as I mentioned previously, I agree that 5.1 digital surround sound is a compelling reason to use miniDVD (along with DVD style menus, subtitles, etc.)

    <TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD><font size=-1>Quote:</font><HR size=1 color=black></TD></TR><TR><TD><FONT SIZE=-1><BLOCKQUOTE>Who can read the future (besides Miss Cleo), and you have to live your life in the here & now. Not by what might happen 5 years from now, when you might not even be here 5 years from now. Also, its reasonable to assume that DVD media & burners will be significantly cheaper by then, and thus miniDVD becomes a moot point. But even then, worse case scenario is that you remaster your movie onto a DVD-R.</BLOCKQUOTE></FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD><HR size=1 color=black></TD></TR></TABLE>

    I disagree. That is a very short sighted view. I intend to live for a while yet and it is not unreasonable for me to want (and expect) my currently mastered video discs to play in future equipment, especially considering the effort that is usually involved in making them. SVCDs are almost guaranteed to play in all future incarnations of DVD players. miniDVDs are not.

    Regards.
    Michael Tam
    w: Morsels of Evidence
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  20. The AC3 Dolby Digital sound you get on a MiniDVD is much more likely to be 2 channel stereo rather than full 5.1 channel surround unless you are talking about copying the track from a DVD rip. I don't think your home movies on camcorder will really benefit from AC3 unless you have some sophisticated mixing equipment to convert the audio to 5.1 surround. Also, most of the consumer level DVD authoring programs such as DVDit PE only support 2 channel AC3.
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  21. DVD wise, SpruceUP, Maestro, Scenarist, and several others all support 5.1 channel authoring.
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  22. DVD Wise, Maestro, and Scenarist are not exactly consumer level programs unless you're talking warez. I don't know about SpruceUp, but even if it supports 5.1 authoring does it actually encode 5.1 or just import existing 5.1 material? I am not aware of any cheap and easy way to convert mono or stereo to true 5.1 surround but please let me know if you do.
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  23. Im speaking in only the DVD rip area, not anything else, where you would have an existing 5.1 stream, and would need to import it. All afore mention apps do just that...and yes Im talking warez, why pay for what you can get free?, if so I got some "O2" for sale...SoftEncode can make a 5.1 stream, why anyone truly would want to do this from home video pruposes is beyond my realm of logic.
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  24. Looks like we have a chance to enlighten each other, Kdiddy. I thought that day would never come.

    The DVD specification allows up to eight independent soundtracks, but at least one of those tracks has to be either PCM or AC3. PCM is out of the question for miniDVD because it's huge -- 10Mb/M. AC3 on the other hand is much more compact, roughly 1.8Mb/M for stereo.

    So the reason one would choose AC3 audio is that it frees the maximum number of bits to devote to video, which is absolutely essential for DV sources because the bitrate requirement is far above what [S]VCD can deliver. Also, home videos can generally be edited down to 15 minutes per title so CD capacity is about the right size for these projects, and if you hold on to the elementary streams they can be migrated directly to DVD when the time comes.

    Now, what's beyond my logic is why anybody would choose miniDVD for a DVD rip. [S]VCD is just as good for these sources, and DivX is perhaps better because you can shoehorn a whole movie onto a single disc.
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  25. The original post was interested in converting MiniDV camcorder video to either MiniDVD or SVCD. That's why I was making the point that the AC3 audio of MiniDVD has no real advantage over MPEG audio in SVCD. For this purpose you could make XSVCD and lower the audio bitrate and raise the video bitrate from standard and still have a much better chance of compatibility with a wider range of DVD players than if you authored to MiniDVD. Besides as Virtualis said SVCD already has a bitrate advantage in minutes per CD compared to MiniDVD because of how it writes to the CD.
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  26. And your objection is relevant... how?

    [S]VCD can't handle the kind of bitrate you need to reproduce DV with high quality. You can push the specs, say by encoding a VCD-size picture at SVCD bitrates, but you're going to lose player compatibility and upward mobility in the process.

    MPEG-1 at VCD resolution can only be used with DVD if the net bitrate is 1.8Mb/S or below. This is higher than the VCD format allows, but may still be too low for DV. MPEG-2 at SVCD resolution can't be used at all because a 480x480 frame size is outside the DVD spec. Furthermore, the [S]VCD audio standard, MPEG-1 layer 2 [MPA], can't be used with DVD because the standard requires a 48KHz PCM or AC3 soundtrack.

    All things considered, miniDVD is going to give you better results than [S]VCD, and it's easy to migrate to DVD later. You may be restricted to PC playback until you can afford a DVD burner, but that's preferable to making a lower-quality X[S]VCD that's so far off-spec you're limited to PC playback anyway with no real migration path for the future.
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  27. "Looks like we have a chance to enlighten each other"

    I hate to disappoint you, but you failed miserably. Again, the original poster was talking about a camcorder, when did they start making camcorders that can process 6 channels of discreet audio?? So again, what would be the point of making ac3 audio out of this...

    "Now, what's beyond my logic is why anybody would choose miniDVD for a DVD rip. [S]VCD is just as good for these sources, and DivX is perhaps better because you can shoehorn a whole movie onto a single disc."

    you got completely lost here didnt you??...again, we are talking about playback on a standalone device, so now here comes the sound of the DivX statement being flushed down the toilet...and since you didnt follow the post well enough, I do XminiDVD rips of DVDs because I get to keep the 5.1 digital track and suffer only a 13-15% loss in fidelity of SVCD video...which to me I do not notice the 13-15% loss in perceptual quality.
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  28. No need to get hostile, Kdiddy. We can all learn more from each other if we're friendly about our differences in perspective, don't you agree?

    That being said, while AC3 can handle 5.1 channels of sound, there's no disadvantage to having fewer than that. AC3 handles mono and stereo sources -- what you're likely to get from a camcorder -- just fine.

    In fact, it's the only compressed audio standard supported by the DVD spec. PCM requires 500% more bandwidth, so it's to your advantage to use AC3 wherever possible, particularly for DVD on CD-ROM. You wanted to know the logic behind AC3 for home video, well, this is it.

    Now, as for the logic of ripping a DVD to miniDVD. You do this to preserve a multichannel soundtrack at the expense of a 15% degradation in picture quality? Okay. Whatever floats your boat.
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  29. "No need to get hostile, Kdiddy. We can all learn more from each other if we're friendly about our differences in perspective, don't you agree? "

    No one is getting hostile, just laughing at the assumption of you enlightening me w/o you having read the thread fully.

    "That being said, while AC3 can handle 5.1 channels of sound, there's no disadvantage to having fewer than that. AC3 handles mono and stereo sources -- what you're likely to get from a camcorder -- just fine. You wanted to know the logic behind AC3 for home video, well, this is it. "

    I sorry I fail to see the logic, in converting what is most likey a stereo/mono wave file into an ac3 stream for use in miniDVD playback, that if he doesnt have the right DVD standalone will not work. It would much simply to convert to mpeg audio for use in VCD/SVCD.
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  30. "just laughing at the assumption of you enlightening me w/o you having read the thread fully?"

    Honestly, Kdiddy, that's a strange attitude for someone who apparently can't read or write very well to cop. But since you said "I sorry I fail to see the logic," I'll assume you really is a misunderstanding (as it were) and try to make the idea a little easier to grasp, okay?

    The DVD specification allows you to have up to eight separate soundtracks. With me so far? But the catch is that one of these soundtracks has to be PCM or AC3.

    PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) is uncompressed digital audio, or in other words, a 48KHz WAV. All DVD players can recognize this format, because it's one of the two that are part of the DVD specification. Get it? If a DVD player can handle miniDVD at all, it will recognize PCM as a valid soundtrack format.

    AC3 (Dolby Surround) is compressed digital audio, similar to MPEG-1 Layer 2 (MPA), but with the capacity to support up to five channels of audio plus a low-frequency effects track (LFE, the .1 part of 5.1). Again, if a DVD player can handle miniDVD at all, it will recognize AC3 as a valid soundtrack format.

    So if you make a miniDVD, and you want it to play on one of the few players that will support it, you have to choose between PCM or AC3, especially if you want to migrate to full DVD in the future.

    Still with me?

    One minute of PCM audio requires about 10Mb disk space. One minute of AC3 audio requires about 1.5Mb disk space. If your soundtrack is encoded in AC3 format, you can encode your video at a higher bitrate, or get more play time from the disc at the same bitrate. The choice is yours.

    Now if you, like Jarry, want the best quality for your DV sources, it makes good sense to encode the audio in AC3 format (because it takes less space) and devote the bits you would otherwise have spent on PCM to improve the picture quality instead.

    PCM and AC3 are part of the DVD standard. If a player will handle miniDVD at all, it will handle a PCM or AC3 soundtrack for that miniDVD. I'm sure you're aware of this at least in an intuitive way, because if you weren't, there wouldn't be much point in ripping DVD to miniDVD for the reasons you say you're doing it -- i.e., to support a multichannel soundtrack.

    Is that clear enough? Because I don't mind explaining things in more detail if you're still unclear about them, but frankly, I think you're pretending to be obtuse to pull my leg.


    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: KoalaBear on 2001-12-09 16:39:20 ]</font>
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