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  1. Banned
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    VHS was "obsolete" (in the way you mean it) the day SVHS came out and yet it still lived and reigned years later.

    Wax drums are obsolete. Old records using weird RPMs and materials are obsolete. Some old reel films are obsolete (the ones using non-standard reels). For those you need to go to museum to find working device supporting their "formats". But for LPs, VHS, Cassette tapes, VCDs, LDs, Beta, MDs, DATs, etc etc you can still easily find devices capable of playing them. Yes, all those are examples of outdated technology, no doubt, but all are far from being obsolete yet.
    Any technology is obsolete when there are no devices to use it, so no - obviously VCD is not obsolete yet, and won't be in many years ahead, specially that any dvd player *can* play VCDs (except for garbage ones and many S*ny junk).
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  2. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    I stick to my original answer: It was always obsolete.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    VCD was always obsolete.
    I agree. It was an attempt at video on a spinner that didn't quite work because the capacity just wasn't there. The low capacity meant that quality wasn't much better (if better at all) than VHS, but unlike VHS you couldn't have an entire movie on a single tape/disk. It was obvious to anyone who played with VCD that you really needed something with maybe ten times the capacity: and when DVD appeared, it was obvious that this was what we'd been waiting for.

    Notice that I'm talking about VCD specifically: MPEG1 is not obsolete, just as CDs are not!
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  4. I used to capture a lot off of TV and all that stuff was outputted to VCD. AT the time it certainly had stuff going for it: good compatibility & cheap to make. Then I bought a (1x lol) DVD burner in 2001 i think. First crack of the VCD format, however I still used it. Then DVD players started to have DivX compatibility, wich was for me the point where VCD became obsolete.
    As others have said, MPEG-4 has the better compression, DVD-Rs have more capacity, and seeing compatibility with standalone players isnt an issue anymore I would definately say it is obsolete, and has been for years
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  5. Member p_l's Avatar
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    VCD is like your high school sweetheart; yes, you've long since moved on, but there'll always be a soft spot in your heart for her.
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  6. Member turk690's Avatar
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    Scarcely anyone has mentioned that the one great flaw of VCD is that it uses half-resolution video. A full 480/576-line frame is composed of two 240/288-line interlaced fields. A normal PAL or NTSC camera or capture device will capture these two UNIQUE fields to compose that frame. But, to encode for MPEG-1 VCD, depending on who or what encoded, either one field is dropped, or both fields are averaged to create another field (different from the two), or treatment depends frame to frame on whether there is much motion or not and what type. All of these result in just one unique 240 or 288-line field (VCD frame?) which the VCD player REPEATS TWICE to get back the normal 480/576-line frame for your TV display. Some people do NOT understand that in this, there is just ONE unique field, where VHS, DVD, & other unbastardized video have TWO. This practice results in horrible jagged edges, especially if the picture has many slanted lines in it. It may not look apparent on a TV 20" or below screensize, but in anything above 25" it's obvious. That the low 1.4mb/s bitrate for CD playback has to be accomodated is one reason for this.
    This is why, in this respect, IMHO VHS is better because the two unique fields are retained (although any visual gains brought by this is probably negated by VHS' lower horizontal resolution). VHS and DVD (uh, and LaserDisc) are designed to and do encapsulate the normal PAL or NTSC standards in their manifestations. VCD simply IS NOT & DID NOT.
    What prompted me to come to this is so many years back, on creating my first VCDs, they appeared more "jagged" compared with the VHS tapes they were created from. When I gleaned all the info and finally came to understand it, I stopped short, tossed the wretched VCDs & just waited for the first reasonable-cost DVD-writer (Sony DRU-500A).
    It's worthwhile to note that the half-resolution issue was laid to rest by the adoption of full-vertical resolution MPEG-2 for SVCD (although DVD has bulldozed it a short while later).
    For the nth time, with the possible exception of certain Intel processors, I don't have/ever owned anything whose name starts with "i".
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    Originally Posted by turk690
    Scarcely anyone has mentioned that the one great flaw of VCD is that it uses half-resolution video.
    That's because it's widely acknowledged that VCD is a low-quality standard. No need to beat a dead horse. VCD makes many concessions in order to squeeze 80 minutes onto a CD. It's the video equivalent of a dog walking on its two hind legs. It doesn't do it well, but you find it remarkable (or at least amusing), nonetheless.
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    Originally Posted by turk690
    ... result in just one unique 240 or 288-line field (VCD frame?) which the VCD
    player REPEATS TWICE to get back the normal 480/576-line frame for your TV display.
    That "line-doubling" trick can be the general rule for the "standard-compliant"
    standalone VCD players, but I allow myself to doubt the rule also applies to the
    most-recent models of DVD players. My 4 year-old LG properly resizes any MPG-video
    encoded in non-standard vertical resolutions, which makes me wonder why it would not behave so
    when it receives a "true" VCD in its tray.

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    Originally Posted by tomlee59

    That's because it's widely acknowledged that VCD is a low-quality standard. No need to beat a dead horse.
    Can someone go back in time and prevent that dumbass wcb4 from replying to this ancient thread almost 7 months (!!!) after the last post? Posts like this really aren't helping matters.

    Look people - all of you that posted after wcb4 have just basically been saying the same stuff that's already been said.
    Is this thread now going to have 100+ posts in it because nobody will stop saying the same stuff over and over again?
    Reply if you will, but for me this thread is closed. Any points that needed to be said were said back in February.
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  10. Member turk690's Avatar
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    to Midzuki & jman98, not to beat a dead horse, but line doubling is NOT a trick where VCD is concerned but is in fact a requirement that the player has to perform. Even the most recent DVD players will do this and has to do it if a VCD is inserted. Normal DVDs have both unique fields present and so the player DOES NOT have to do it, unless there is a progressive display option and that IS chosen. But that's another story.
    to tomlee59, VHS is also a low-quality standard but should NOT (as some people are wont to do and yak away claiming one looks better than the other) be compared with VCD, in the sense that VHS has full vertical resolution (480/576, two fields) where VCD has half (240/288, one field).
    For the nth time, with the possible exception of certain Intel processors, I don't have/ever owned anything whose name starts with "i".
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    Originally Posted by turk690
    line doubling is NOT a trick where VCD is concerned but is in fact a requirement that the player has to perform. Even the most recent DVD players will do this and has to do it if a VCD is inserted.
    Until some actual expert like Mr. Cornucopia gets around and
    confirms or infirms what I said, ...
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    Originally Posted by turk690
    to tomlee59, VHS is also a low-quality standard but should NOT (as some people are wont to do and yak away claiming one looks better than the other) be compared with VCD,
    As I didn't compare VCD to VHS, I'm a little puzzled as to why you bring this up. You can always widen any comparison to find things that are better and worse than (or orthogonal to) the thing you're discussing. Yes, VCD is worse than DVD, but it's better than a sharp stick in the eye. It's a true statement, but it has little to do with the thread topic re: obsolescence.

    I'm with jman98 -- this thread has long outlived any useful purpose (if it ever had one). Perhaps the mods would formally acknowledge that truth by locking this thread?
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  13. Member ntscuser's Avatar
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    I don't even understand this thread? I was one those who had to burn VCD in the early days due to a lack of hardware and software but *if* I needed to burn to CD-R instead of DVDR today I'd simply make an XviD recording instead.
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  14. jman98. if this post does not interest you, please move on, I, for one would be happy not to hear more from someone so rude as to insult someone they know nothing about. I noticed this thread because it pertained to something I was thinking about today, as I was looking at a bunch of MPEG-1 files on my hard drive, trying to decide weather it was time to delete them. They were the original VCD files I mentioned in my post.

    Judging from the number of responses after mine, the thread may have been dormant but was still of interest to some of us, and many after you made thoughtful intelligent contributions to the thread. I would have thought that someone who had been a member as long as you have would have realized by now that you don't HAVE to read the threads that don't interest you. In case that bit of data missed you, you may not consider yourself informed. You can feel free to move on.
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    Originally Posted by turk690
    to tomlee59, VHS is also a low-quality standard but should NOT (as some people are wont to do and yak away claiming one looks better than the other) be compared with VCD
    Comparing VHS with VCD is perfectly legitimate, as they were directly competing technologies for a while. Besides which, when VCD was being promoted it was said by it's promoters to have a quality about the same as VHS. Naturally people have tended to examine that claim ever since.

    In fact I personally believe that VHS was better, at least in a pristine commercial transfer from film (and a new tape). Analog noise (salt and pepper, chroma) was of course absent from the VCD version, but the block artefacts caused by low bitrate MPEG1 were very noticeable, even in professional transfers.
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  16. Originally Posted by mpack
    even in professional transfers.
    I bought dozens of "professionally" created VCDs back in the day, when some of the movies I wanted were not available on DVD (original Star Wars Trilogy, Indiana Jones and Back to the Future Movies for example) and they ranged in quality, but even the best commercially produced VCDs that I bought never quite reached the level of the ones I encoded myself. This could quite possibly be because I was starting from a DVD source and they were not (because if they were, I would have bought the original DVD instead of a VCD) but as I said, several of the VCDs I have made of show for the kids (admittedly, these are generally cartoon) have been mistaken while playing for the DVD. I would pull up the VCD file on the MediaMVP and start is playing and after it played for a while I would generally hear (from the adults) "How did you get your DVDs all on one menu like that?" and I would explain that they were all on my computer in the basement, then I would generally be asked something along the lines of "How do you store that many DVDs on your computer. When I say that its not a DVD, It usually elicits something along the lines of "Sure looks like it"

    I don't make VCDs anymore. I have a DVD burner in the computer and I have a stand-alone DVD recorder withouth Macrovision, and I buy blank DVDs in bulk, but I do still use the format (or a variant thereof) to put a lot of stuff on DVDs. The DVD player in the minivan remembers where you are, so I convert the kids dvds and video tapes into VCD format, I get about 16 hours (yes, 16) on a single dual layer DVD. That is an entire series of Transformers. The kids don't mind, and even if brought into the house so they can continue watching on the TV in the family room (admittedly only 37 inches) I don't find them objectionable.
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  17. Member Mad Genius's Avatar
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    Seeing this thread reminded me of my start with video editing, nine years ago because at that time, I didn't own a DVD-R Drive to produce DVDs with. When I was first introduced to computer-based video editing, with MGI VideoWave III and shortly after, VideoWave 4, [God am I glad I switched to Sony Vegas when I did!] I used to produce my videos to VCD because that was my only option at that time.

    I consider VCDs to be a Poor Man's DVD because of the video quality.
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  18. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Wow,
    First, I can't believe I never posted in this thread, lol!

    Second, what's with the gravedigging old threads?

    Third, To answer the OP:
    Using the Narrow view of obsolescence, VCD became obsolete as soon as DVD came along (but as was mentioned, it's lasted long just like VHS in the face of SVHS, DVHS...)
    Using the Wide view of obsolescence, VCD won't be fully obsolete until it has no players or readers with which to use it on. Players are NOW beginning to recede as DVD and BD players begin to stop supporting it. But readers will still be able to read (and rip + reconvert) the disc for years to come. It has no REAL licensing drawbacks (YES, it actually does expect licensing royalties, but they were in conflict and were never enforced)
    Using my own personal experience, I haven't created a VCD in any official capacity since 2007, but do still have a number of discs in my collection that I'll pop in and enjoy.

    I've said this before...
    IMO, VCD is EQUIVALENT to VHS.
    It's got reduced absolute resolution, but when comparing real-world record-playback chains, VHS's supposedly higher resolution falls apart whereas VCDs gives you what it says it has so they end up giving you a similar experience.
    It's got reduced framerate. YUP. With motion video, that's where it falls down compared to VHS. If it's little or no motion, it doesn't matter, though.
    BUT, even with it's compressed 4:2:0 colorspace, it actually is BETTER than VHS in color fidelity. Remember, it's fully and independently component. VHS is a joke - color under composite+RF.
    VCD also has rock solid timebase, especially when created from a digital source. VHS? Even with a TBC or 2, it's never rock solid.
    I could say similar things about the respective audio merits of VCD vs. VHS...

    Since the OP really mentioned MPEG1, I'll say this. Inefficient compression and lower quality still have their places in today's world when compared with it's speed of encoding/decoding, low CPU complexity requirements (and thus, universality) and licensing availability. It's not my #1 or even #2 choice anymore, but it's certainly still in my toolbox, and will remain so for a long while.

    That's my slightly greater than $0.02.

    Scott
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  19. VCD video is worst than any good VHS tape. The inventor (Philips) was trying to sell them because vendors can enhance the experience by adding other types of content with in, unlike video tapes.

    What put both of them away are the better TVs, which put a light on how poor any video tape systems and low res digital Video are.

    That is why VHS, SVHS, hi-8, VCD went down so quickly. SVCD has a tiny chance, but no one really care.
    Last edited by SingSing; 27th Aug 2010 at 08:08.
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  20. Yes, it's obsolete, and so should be this thread.

    Just to note a useful distinction, however:

    I always understood "obsolescent" to mean a superseded technology, i.e. the successor technology is fully practicable. Obsolescent means on its way out. Obsolete means abandoned, as in no support.

    The military has a similar view of the terms: equipment/ordnance that is "obsolescent" is in the process of being replaced, whereas whatever is "obsolete" is no longer listed and officially abandoned.
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    Mad Genius - thanks for digging up a 2 year old thread just to tell you agreed with it. I'm sure that everyone here was losing sleep until you did that.

    I don't agree with SingSing's post. Look, somebody had to be first in terms of getting video onto compact discs. At the time there was no DVD. VCD was all you had for video on digital media. I work in IT and I'm old enough to have been in the field back in those days. So I remember that (by today's standards) laughably weak CPUs we had at the time for consumer PCs. MPEG-1 video was appropriate to the times in which it was created. And if you have low movement video like animation, VCD is certainly adequate to the task at hand. And today's better HDTVs should have filters that reduce block noise and sharpen the image making it look better on the HDTV than it really is in real life (ie. on a PC). I hear this "VCD sucks on HDTVs" all the time and it is complete bs. Well yes, if you are a complete dumbass and you stretch EVERYTHING on your TV to 16:9, yes, it will look like crap for sure. But if you watch VCD on a good HDTV like Samsung in 4:3, it can look really good. I still sometimes buy VCDs from Hong Kong (bought an out of print one just a few months ago on a recent trip there of an old movie that is out of print on DVD) and I'm OK with the format.

    dictionary.com's first definition of "obsolete" is "No longer in use". I think that fits fine. What the military uses the term to mean is interesting but somewhat irrelevant as, well, they don't write the dictionary or set the rules that people who speak English use.
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    Someone posted here a few months ago wanting to make a VCD. That brought back some flashbacks.
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  23. I've never seen a "commercial vcd" for sell before the dvd came out (before 2000). Nevertheless i've seen my fair share of mpeg1 amateur encodings throughout the last 10 years (from porn to music videos) on the net, they were awful 9 times out of ten.The other "1 time" i would describe it as barely watchable. It's my understanding that vcd's weren't the only option to get decent quality media for movies back in the analog days, i'm thinking of laserdisc specifically.The resolution of such discs matched S-vhs resolution.It wasn't perfect but certainly way better than vcd's.




    No really vcd to me was obsolete from the get-go: doomed to fail.
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  24. Member ntscuser's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by themaster1 View Post
    I've never seen a "commercial vcd" for sell before the dvd came out (before 2000).
    Most of the ones I watched in the early 1990s were branded as "CD-i", whether they contained interactive features or not.
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  25. Not important, But I was curious enough to look up the terms. Short definitions (Merriam Webster):

    Obsolescent: Going out of use, becoming obsolete.
    Obsolete: No longer in use or no longer useful.

    Clearly, the meaning is not the same, although people use them interchangeably. (The military usage was just an example; I don't see how one can construe that as anything else. At any rate their usage is consistent with the definitions.)

    Yeah, I made VCDs and SVCDs back in the vcdhelp.com days. My computer was laughably weak by today's standards, with a 333MHz cpu and 15" monitor. VCD/SVCD was the easiest way to get video from your computer to something you could display on your TV. Most cheap Chinese standalone DVD players, e.g. the Apex, could handle VCD/SVCD. SVCD looked okay on the 25" SD tube TV I had.
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    Late to the thread but....In Video-CD's defense they were an awesome alternative to CRAPPY VHS tapes, back in the day before DVD was out, and or cheap DVD burners/media became wide-spread.

    VHS tapes were such garbage, and dealing with them was a real pain.

    However, yeah VCD is so obsolete now its not even funny.
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    You must be referring to the mechanics of VHS: Most of the VCDs that I've had were the same video quality - many being from VHS sources.
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  28. Sorry to resurrect an old thread but SVCD was a much better format and you could vary the bitrate whereas with VCD you were stuck with it. 100min CDRs were indispensable to cram in an hours worth of TV. But since the advent of MP4 such as DIVX and XVID this format is now obsolete.
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    Not only are you gravedigging, but what you're saying is not quite true or only partially true. Yes the spec for VCD expected a CBR of 1150kbps, but nearly ALL implementations (that I encountered, and that was a LOT) would accept VBR. However, it would have been foolish to go lower, as the quality was already at the floor.

    SVCD allowed better quality at the cost of bitrate (read: filesize, runningtime). I would certainly not say "much better". A well-constructed VCD could give you ~80 minutes (not just 1 hour!). A well constructed SVCD could give you half of that. And compatiblity of playback of SVCDs was ALWAYS much worse than for VCDs.

    If you ventured into the land of 90 & 99 minute CDs (vs. standard 74/80 min), that was foolish, as compatibility went in the toilet at those lengths. Yes, you might be able to squeeze 1 hour's worth of highest bitrate SVCD from them, but it would be a total crapshoot as to whether it could even be played back. Not worth it. You could just as easily lower the bitrate somewhat (losing some quality) and get 1 hour's worth on a standard disc.

    Yes, mpeg4/divx/xvid changed the game, and yes, h.264/avc changed the game even further, but that doesn't make those older technologies obsolete, just moot, particularly for encoding. They'll be obsolete when they're no longer playable (that is beginning to happen now).

    Next time you want to add, do the research first (not just anecdotal) and then START A NEW THREAD.

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    Originally Posted by cornucopia
    They'll be obsolete when they're no longer playable (that is beginning to happen now).
    I know its a matter of popularity as to what is supported but there is no reason that these "legacy" codecs can't be emulated on future platforms is there?

    I know on a computer or tablet they can play virtually everything depending on the software player and horsepower of the unit.
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