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  1. I realise this is the VCD forum, but I still don't understand why so many people use VCD. In this day of high quality video, where DVD is now the standard format for video, it amazes me that people go to all the trouble of capturing their videos (and worrying about dropping frames!), just to put them into a shitty low-quality mpeg1 VCD format, when they could easily use mpeg2 DVDs which are much better quality.

    There may be some people who don't have a DVD burner, but burners are cheap enough today, and coming down in price all the time, and within a couple of years there won't be anyone who doesn't have one. If you use VCD because you don't have a burner then you could just store all your mpegs on your hard drive until you get one.

    I realise not everyone is a "quality freak" like me, and many people are happy to use a low-quality, highly compressed video format. But this is an age of high quality video, and when you have a computer with a capture card, you have the means to record high quality video - so why not take advantage of it?

    Before long, video tape will be phased out completely, and anything less than DVD quality will look pretty crap. When that time comes, you might regret not having recorded all your TV programmes in a higher quality.

  2. I suppose there is a point to this, besides telling people that you have a DVD burner?
    As Churchill famously predicted when Chamberlain returned from Munich proclaiming peace in his time: "You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war."

  3. How much do you have to pay for a DVD-R/RW disc is the key for your question. In the US the price of a DVD-R is much lower than in other countries. In the Scandinavia it's much cheaper to me to buy the original title than to rip and burn it on a DVD-R.

    CD-R/RW burner is much cheaper than a A03 or other burners. Many of us are using a TV-card to capture. How much does it cost to have a highend turnkey capture and editing/encoding system with a DVD Authoring software? It's all abouth the money we have to pay for our hobby.

    What do you use?

  4. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Vantaa, Finland
    Search PM
    For me it's only because the economics. Blank DVD-R costs here about 10euro's or even more EACH (Finland) and blank CD-R's are 10x times or more, cheaper.

    So quite logically, there's no point to burn DVD-R's with those prices. It would however serve the need to burn some Captured material from the TV. I'm currently waiting for the media prices to go down..

    So, we us poor people, are stick with VCD and SVCD for a quite a while now..LOL


  5. Mirror_Image>> What are you talking about? I never mentioned my own DVD burner. And it's nothing to brag about, almost everyone has one. (I don't know anyone who doesn't have a burner)

  6. So, we us poor people, are stick with VCD and SVCD for a quite a while now..LOL

    I second that motion!!

    And making Vcd/svcd keeps us bussy, it's better then knitting or collecting poststamps.

  7. And it's nothing to brag about, almost everyone has one. (I don't know anyone who doesn't have a burner)
    I haven't got one....

  8. Hey Gameshow Host,

    I don't understand why you consider youself a "quality freak" when you think DVD is the most marvelous thing out there? I sometimes do high resolution digital video editing at work and when compared to uncompressed digital video, DVDs look like crap! And I'm talking about professionally made Hollywood studio released DVDs. Like DVDs are good enough for you to watch and enjoy, VCDs and SVCDs suit the needs of the people here who make them.

    Yes, eventually video tape will be phased out, but that will not be happening for years to come. I hope you realize that there are already digital media formats on the way that will blow away current DVD standards, and all the DVDs you've been making will look like crap. You'll be left in the same predicament where you wish you had encoded your captured TV shows in a higher quality format. Might as well just record uncompressed video and sit on your ass because there will always be higher quality video compression around the corner that will make the current standard obsolete. You're going to be spending a lot of money trying to keep up with the latest technology, since you are a "quality freak".

    For most people, DVD burners are still a little too expensive, and also the writable DVD format is not yet totally standarized, especially with all the interest in the DVD+RW format.

    So what's my point? Well if you've got a DVD burner, make DVDs. But don't dog other people becuase they would rather make VCDs or SVCDs. It's just a matter of what suits your need and wants.

  9. Originally Posted by Gameshow Host
    Mirror_Image>>. And it's nothing to brag about, almost everyone has one. (I don't know anyone who doesn't have a burner)
    Funny, I know of no-one with a DVD burner! Then again there's no such thing as a DVD recorder that actually records "proper" DVD's!! That's what most people are waiting on ... a burner that will write DVD's that will play on any damn DVD player on the market!

  10. Originally Posted by Cosmo Kramer
    For me it's only because the economics. Blank DVD-R costs here about 10euro's or even more EACH (Finland) and blank CD-R's are 10x times or more, cheaper.
    Aiii! Tilaa jenkeistä 2$ kpl niin ei tartte maksaa itseänsä kipeeksi

  11. Well, if it costs more to buy a blank DVD in your country than to just buy the movie, I suppose you may have good reason to put it on a CD, if you don't care about the packaging.

    Where I live, a blank DVD is about £5. A new DVD movie is about £15. So if I wanted a film, it would be cheaper to record it than to buy it. But personally I don't want to copy any films, I'mhappy to buy them. I love DVDs and think they're still fairly cheap considering how brilliant they are.

    Movies aside, I only capture stuff like home movies and TV shows. Things I can't buy. (For example, Seinfeld isn't avilable to buy on DVD). So to be able to store my favourite TV shows on DVD in high quality format, it's well worth £5 for 2 hours. I'd gladly pay that if they sold prerecorded DVDs for that price in the shops with my favourite TV shows on. Plus, where I live, buying a £5 blank DVD is not much more expensive than buying a blank video tape; good quality 3 hour SVHS video tapes are often on sale for more than that.

    Blank DVD prices may be expensive now, compared to CDs - but they will come down. I remember when blank CDs were £10. Now they're about 20p. In 5 years they have come down to about a 50th of their original price. I'm sure when every PC owner has a DVD burner and records everything to DVD they'll be very cheap. And when video tape is phased out and EVERYONE records to DVD, including my granny, then DVDs are boundto be a lot cheaper.

  12. miura182>> I completely disagree. You say that DVDs will soon be obsolete and my DVDs will look like crap compared to the next technology.

    Firstly, VHS video tapes have been around all my life. I remember we got our first one when I was a little boy. I have never liked video tape, and have never bought a prerecorded video tape, because I knew that one day digital video would arrive. When it finally arrived I was overjoyed. Finally there was a video format not only high in quality, but digital so it doesn't degrade when you copy it/play it etc.

    I am very happy with the DVD format and although there may come a day when it is phased out, I have been waiting all my life for a decent video format to come along and now it is here so I'm quite happy to make full use of it.

    Secondly, as I said, VHS has been around all my life. DVD has only been around a few years. I find it most unlikely that DVD will be replaced within the next few years, given how long the last format was around for. Also, given how popular DVD has become, I think people won't want to have to replace all their video collections just because of a new video format that no-one can see the difference in quality in. They made thejump from video tape to DVD video becuase there's a greatnumber of very obvious advantages, and a very noticeable improvementin quality. But no-one will see the difference in any DVD-replacing technology, and no-one will buy it.

    Despite what you may say, I think DVD quality is excellent. For the average person to be able to notice artifacts and quality loss on a DVD, they would need a very large screen (like, wall-size) with a very low dot pitch. Such TVs aren't common these days, andI don't think they will be for some time.

    I think the DVD format will be around for a long time.

    Also, I'm not really talking about movies here that you canjust go out and buy. (When any new technology comes along, we will probably all be able to download the movies from the Internet n that format.) In the context of this discussion, we're talking about digitising TV shows and such. And at present there is no better way of storing them than on DVD. So we don't have any choice!

    My discussion is about why people use a low quality format, when they can just use a high quality format. There may be even higher quality formats on the way, but they arenot an option right now.

  13. If you are puting 2h on a DVD-R than there isn't much biterate to get the "high" quality you are talking abouth.

    But one more time. It's a hobby and it costs.

    I'm working with video/interactive medier and DVD. The setup I'm using is ~$70.000,- . But someone has to pay for this investment and it's the customer. If it was only a hobby than I would used only a CD-R/RW and a Tv-card.

    One more thing , uncompressed video has much more quality than the max 9.8 mbit DVD stream.

  14. Gameshow Host,

    What I was trying to say is that for you DVD is a great format, especially since you are lucky enough to have access to a DVD burner. You enjoy the quality and you have access to a great method of preserving the TV shows and what not that you record.

    People make VCDs and SVCDs for the same reasons. It's a format that they are happy with and they also have access to the tools needed to create them. I'm sure that most people here will happily make DVDs in lieu of VCDs or SVCDs if they had access to a DVD burner, cheap media, and a standarized form of actually recording DVDs that'll play on most DVD players. It just hasn't happened yet.

    Like you are happy with DVD quality, many people are happy with VCD and SVCD quality. It's like me saying how DVD quality is crap when compared to the uncompressed digital video that I work with. Don't get me wrong, DVDs are great (I built up a huge colletion in college and continue to buy them) but I can totally notice artifacts and quality loss on DVDs (of couse some are near perfect, and some are totally horrible). Does it bother me? Sometimes. Do I really care, not really (except for the Sopranos DVDs. Those were depressing. Such a great show...).

    Anyway, my point with that was I could suggest that everyone should just go out and buy professional digital video recording and editing equipment for awesome video quality, but that would be totally rediculous becuase it wouldn't be worth it. Although on a way smaller scale, it's like you being confused as to why people don't just go out and spend 400 dollars on a DVD recorder. It's just not worth the money yet for most people's needs. For you DVD recording may be an option, but for others, it isn't yet.

    As for DVDs becoming soon obsolete, I didn't mean it like that. I was just pointing out that there's always going to be better things coming along that will make what we feel as being fantastic seem obsolete. Like DVD did for VHS (ok, maybe you thought VHS sucked, but it was pretty cool when it came out 'cause how else would you have recorded tv shows in the 80s?). Like cassettes did for vinyl, and CDs in turn for cassettes, and now DVD Audio is doing for CDs. When HD-DVDs and blue laser DVDs and players hit the market (assuming that they will), I'm sure you'll be first in line replacing the DVDs you already own with new better quality ones.

  15. Can you really see DVD compression artifacts on a standard TV screen? To the point of it being distracting? I have never seen any artifacts when watching a DVD on a TV. Then again, I'm willing to admit I'm not the best person at detecting artifacts.

  16. I'll add that I have never made a VCD and had no idea that they were easier to make than a DVD video.

  17. Gameshow Host > I guess it isn't enough to have a DVD burner to get the perfect quallty. The quality is up to the encoding process you are using. I have seen VCD which was much better than most of the homemade DVD-s. But the videofootage was perfect. The equipment and the knowledge of the guy using it was perfect.

  18. Gameshow Host,

    Yep. I notice that some DVDs have terrible artifacts and really bad compression. One of the worst that I can think of off the top of my head is the original Basic Instinct DVD (not the Director's cut version). It's so bad that I would rather watch it on VHS. The Sopranos DVDs also have a lot of artifacts. The probelm with this one is that they try to squeeze 3 or 4 hours worth on to each DVD, so they have to lower the maximum bit rate, resulting in artifacts (I don't know if you are familiar with the show, but Dr. Melfi's office's wood paneling is just an arifact mosaic, especially in the first season). It looked better on HBO than it does on the DVD.

    I think what bothers me is not the fact that artifacts are distracting, but that studios even bother releasing movies on DVD when they don't take the time and effort to do it well. DVD is touted as being this awesome format (it's good, don't get me wrong) but they don't even bother making them the best they can. The best DVD I have ever seen is Boondock Saints (an indie film starring Sean Patrick Flanery and Willem Dafoe). This film went straight to video, and was only released on DVD in Canada (at least here in North America). The quality is so good that I thought my standard TV turned into an HDTV unit. But that's only one out of who knows how many that I have watched/own.

    I've been making a lot of SVCDs lately becuase quite frankly, they usually come out looking better than many commercial DVDs. I don't know if you are familiar at all with SVCDs, but they are infact the same mpeg 2 compression as DVDs, just a lower resolution and bitrate. Of course the resolution isn't as high as if I recorded a DVD, but it costs me something in the neighborhood of 15 cents per disc, a fraction of what it costs me to record a DVD.

  19. Here's my 2€cents

    DVD burners are still 3-4 times more expensive then a fast CD burner.

    DVD discs are als 4 times more expensive

    DVD burners are slow compared to CD burners..

    Not all burners accept all discs, not all burners can produce a DVD which can be played on a stand alone DVD player.

    Most people put movies/TV shows they grab from usenet on CD, most of these are VCD or SVCD MPGs or divX AVIs. Most divX are of SVCD resolution at best.

    a 50 minute TV show fits nicely on a 80min CD in SVCD quality and a well encoded SVCD can look almost as good on a normal TV as a DVD does.

    Most standalone DVD players can handle VCD, a lot also SVCD

    So I guess DVD has a way to go before it becomes mainstream..

  20. Not that everyone hasn't already posted their opinions, but I thought I'd throw mine in too...

    -As most people have stated, DVD burners aren't as common as you state. The technology also isn't standarized yet, there are several competing types of DVD burners. Also, as most people have stated the media is much more expensive for most folks. DVD burners cost $400-500, a CD burner can be had for $50. For alot of folks choking up $50 for a CD burner is a big expense. Your statements make you sound rather inexperienced with life and being able to look at the "big picture". Why would anyone ride around is a beat up piece of sh*t car? Why wouldn't they just go out and buy a fancy sports car - tastes and economics, that's why!

    -The CPU and harddrive requirements for working with MPG2 (DVD) are far above and beyond what is required to work with MPG1 (VCD). Not everyone is working with the latest and greatest. There are plenty of PII and PIII machines still out there.

    -There are people out there with HUGE libraries of VCDs, makes for some excellent trading. You can easily trade 50 discs at the cost of $20 for a spindle of blank CDRs. How much would 25 blank DVDRs cost (given that most films take 2 CDs for VCD, so they would only require 1 DVD). If a blank DVD cost $5, that's $125 for blank DVDs vs. $20 for blank CDs.

    -Not all VCDs are created equal. Some types of film/movie encode better than others. But for the most part, VCDs are an acceptable format for most people. You could make the same arguement, why MP3 when the quality really is sh*t compared to the original audio CD. But we all know the answer to that. MP3s for the most part sound good enough and people have MASSIVE libraries of them. VCDs for the most part, look good enough and many many people have MASSIVE libraries of them.

  21. Well, lol, for me, I couldn't affort a DVD burner yet and I didn't know anyone that can affort one yet...Yes the burner price is coming down...sure I will get one if the price is right and the standard or spec is mature enough...what I meant was if all/most DVD Player can play the DVD+RW that I burned

  22. I'm not good at arguing, but I also do not know of anyone with a DVD-burner.
    In my country, I can say that less than 5% of the population are into DVDs. (believe it or not, there are still alot of ppl who cannot even afford VCDs!!)

  23. Hey GameShow Host.....with that arrogant statement "why would anyone
    want to make a vcd............everyone I know has a dvd burner" I will
    guess your name is Alex Trebek.

  24. Originally Posted by pvdh
    DVD burners are slow compared to CD burners..
    Not necessarily, 10x CD ~ 1x DVD. Most DVD Burners burn at 1.4x DVD which if i remember correctly is about the same bitrate as 10x CD.

    I personally don't think MPEG-1 is a shitty format. Sure it isn't the most advanced or best looking, but that's assuming if you are comparing a 1150kbps CBR VCD vs. 2500kbps VBR SVCD vs. 9800kbps VBR DVD. All use different bitrates and have different standards. If you were to take MPEG-2 (DVD/SVCD) and MPEG-1 at the same bitrate (whether it be high or low) they would look almost the same (though MPEG-2 is a bit better at high bitrates while MPEG-1 is a bit better at lower bitrates). MPEG-2 is an extension of MPEG-1, almost no coding differences except they added support for Subtitles, Multiple Audio Streams and better VBR bitrate handling in MPEG-2.

    Professional encoded VCDs look just as good or better than VHS cassettes. When people rip DVDs to VCD it may not look as good because A) they are not using studio equipment (though tools can be tweaked to give just the same results, but that's for advanced users) and B) DVDs (MPEG-2) are in a lossy format. DVDs do look awesome, but capturing to MPEG-2 from the Master Tape does lose quality, then converting it to VCD loses more. that's why SVCD looks so good, it's practically a lower bitrate DVD, while still having a higherbitrate advantage over VCD. All i'm trying to say is, VCD (MPEG-1) has its uses and it probably won't die for a long time. for most capture purposes (TV) it does it's job very well and looks pretty good. SVCD has the advantage in DVD because of it's specs. you can't compare apples and oranges.

    For most capturing purposes (ie TV), MPEG-1 is more than enough (unless it's a DVD or Digital Video source, then it's either good to make DVD or SVCD for minimal loss). It may not be the latest or the "greatest" but i still think it's a good format for many things and i, for one, will continue to use it.

  25. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Search PM
    I think a point worth mentioning here is that not everyone makes VCDs from TV shows or for the purpose of duplicating movies. In my case I have been making VCDs for only just over 8 months but the main reason I went down this road was to convert all my old analog home videos of my children to a format that will hopefully not deteriorate with time. To me and I dare say many others like me these home movies are priceless. I can also cheaply reproduce several sets of these VCDs to hand around to the other members of the family who are interested.
    As the VHS tapes have a limited resolution putting them to a higher format may not prove to be of any benefit.
    I capture at 704 x 576 and then encode to PAL VCD, my results are very satisfactory when compared to the original tape.

  26. I think I will wait until the competing formats shake out and the price comes down. I burn VCD's of the VHS tapes I have and because of the resolution, it doesn't make sense to burn to a DVD. I do have a DV Camcorder. Eventually, I'll make DVD's. For now, I'll concentrate on editing and processing. "Why do people make VCDs?" because it's easy.

  27. Why do you ask that question ?

  28. Nexzus>>

    >You could make the same arguement, why MP3 when the quality really is sh*t compared to the original audio CD. But we all know the answer to that. MP3s for the most part sound good enough and people have MASSIVE libraries of them.

    The quality of mp3s are not "really shit" compared to the original CD (unless they're encoded badly). Actually, mp3s, when properly encoded, are virtually indistinguishable from the original CD. They are lossy of course, but not to the point where the audible quality is noticeably reduced. There is always a slight chance that a song might not sound as good after being encoded as mp3, but probably 99.999% of the time, mp3 is indistinguishable from the original CD.

    As for the price of burners, it may be a "huge price" to many people, but it's roughly about double the amount for a standard capture card. You all payed for your capture cards, presumably because capturing is important to you. And like I said,if you don't have a DVD burner now, you will soon when the price comes down more. Why not just keep your videos onyour hard drive until then?

    As for the price of discs - it depends on your country I guess, but where I live, they're failry cheap, and coming down all the time.

    As for PC power - you're right that people with older machines can't encode mpeg2 as fast, but on this board I see loads of people with high spec machines talking about making VCDs. (Besides which, you can still encode mpeg2 even if you have a slow machine, it just takes longer).

    As for availability, I didn't know VCD was all that popular. I've never met anyone who's even heard of VCDs in real life, I've only ever heard of VCDs on the Internet. In my country, most people just use DVDs, and record onto tape.

    MOVIEGEEK>> My question "why do people make VCDs?" was not an arrogant rhetorical question, it was an actual question. I could not understand why people use VCDs, after asking the question, people have told me why they use it, and now I understand a little more. Arrogance has nothing to do with it. If I was arrogant, I would say "VCDs are rubbish, don't use them". I didn't say that, I said "I think VCDs are rubbish, why do people use them?" there is a huge difference between arrogance and inquisitiveness you know! And who's Alex Trebek?

    condone>> What you don't seem to realise is that MPEG1 is low resolution, and MPEG2 is high resolution. You can talk about bitrates all you like, but the highest bitrate VCD in the world still only uses a low resolution. When you capture video, whether it's bad quality TVor video tape, or high quality cable, when you captureany of these things, you are capturing a high resolution image (576 pixels high) but if you turn thatinto a VCD you are throwing away half that resolution and squashing it down into a movie only half that height. I realise that might be finefor most people, but I couldn't bear to use something such low resolution, and no matter how high the quality of VCD and how low the quality of DVD - DVD is the only one that uses full resolution and doesn't throw away half the information (actually, it throws away three quarters of the information as both the vertical and horizontal resolutions are halved).

    Da Fish>> you should readmy above point. It doesn't matter whether or not your old VHS tapes are good quality or not, if you convert them to VCD you are halving the vertical resolution. If you capture at 704x576 then your VCD will end up as 352x288 because mpeg1 is half the dimensions of normal video resolution.

  29. I think it's really simple. It all depends on the quality of the soure:

    - Backing up DVD's to SVCD's is really a waste of time. Why would you spend a coule of days converting the movie, the menus, the making of, the trailers, etc. to several lower quality SVCD's when you already own the DVD. Better wait for a decent DVD-RW standard.

    - Backing up VHS to SVCD is different! SVCD is much higher in quality than VHS. Why would you encode in DVD when SVCD already stores the VHS tape in the highest quality. No matter how you encode the VHS movie, it stays VHS quality. So, if you want to digitize your VHS-collection for safe keeping, SVCD is an excellent choice.

    - Size makes a difference. A DVD can contain a complete VHS-tape, a SVCD can not! We have to be honest, DVD has a serious advantage there!

    - In short time, when the DVD-RW standard is stable and prices will drop, SVCD will die - no doubt about that. DVD will be the way to go, if you like it or not.

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