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  1. Member
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    Hello everyone,

    I have some video collections that I would like to archive on single discs. Already managed to author a DVD-Video version (but couldn't make it fit on a DVD-5, it has to be burned on a DVD-9) and the Blu-Ray will be most likely a breeze.
    But, for the standalone players forgotten by time, I have to have a VCD and perhaps SVCD version. I suspect SVCD will be much harder to do than VCD, but so far I can't even manage to author the VCD.

    The problem is bitrate. There are many clips and in order to have them fit, I have to go really, really, really low on bitrate. Good old TMPGEnc lets me go for MPEG-1 352x288, 25 fps, 4:3 (not that I ever heard of 16:9 VCD, either) at 50 kbps video bitrate. Audio, of course, 48 KHz, 64 kbps, I think it's MPEG Layer II.
    So now I have the clips about 10 MB each, which is kind of okay. They will most likely not fit ALL on a single 700 MB disc (or maybe there are bigger discs? 900 MB? 800 MB? Will standalone players actually play from those?) but I can always split the content into 2-3 discs. The quality of the clips is bearable.

    My problem is, I can't author the VCD without the software trying to impose a certain bitrate. Nero Vision (I use version 4) doesn't let me go anywhere beyond 1150 kbps I think, making each clip worth kinda 100 MB. Tried to get the old Ulead DVD MovieFactory 6, which authors VCD and SVCD. Same thing, can't change bitrate.

    So my question is: can I get some authoring software (I would also like to create menus, but...) that doesn't impose bitrates? Or maybe this is because any other bitrate will make the VCD nonstandard, thus unreadable? I doubt that's the case.
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by j_me View Post
    Audio, of course, 48 KHz, 64 kbps, I think it's MPEG Layer II.
    Of course.....NOT. VCD is 44.1 audio.

    Originally Posted by j_me View Post
    My problem is, I can't author the VCD without the software trying to impose a certain bitrate. Nero Vision (I use version 4) doesn't let me go anywhere beyond 1150 kbps I think, making each clip worth kinda 100 MB. Tried to get the old Ulead DVD MovieFactory 6, which authors VCD and SVCD. Same thing, can't change bitrate.

    So my question is: can I get some authoring software (I would also like to create menus, but...) that doesn't impose bitrates? Or maybe this is because any other bitrate will make the VCD nonstandard, thus unreadable? I doubt that's the case.
    VCD is 1150:
    https://www.videohelp.com/vcd
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  3. So my question is: can I get some authoring software (I would also like to create menus, but...) that doesn't impose bitrates? Or maybe this is because any other bitrate will make the VCD nonstandard, thus unreadable? I doubt that's the case.
    Unfortunately, that is the case.
    https://www.videohelp.com/vcd#tech
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  4. Member
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    Ok then transporterfan, by looking at the SVCD specs, it looks like I can pull it off by authoring to SVCD using VCDimager?
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    To answer a few of your questions: VCD spec requires a Constant Bitrate, not to exceed ~1158kbps (usually 1150). Some/most manufacturers interpret this as being the ONLY allowable bitrate, and a few interpret this as being a MAX bitrate.
    SVCD, otoh, fully supports VBR, with the max being ~2600kbps.
    Both formats have spawned non-standard offshoots that make use of super-bitrate or sub-bitrate settings, as well as modded features. These are usually called XVCD and XSVCD, respectively. Caveat: non-standard means less common support.
    It is quite possible to create low constant (or variable) bitrate VCDs. It's also possible to create VCDs with 16:9 DAR, or multi-channel (surround) MP2 . It's possible to mux SVCD as if it were VCD and VCD as if it were SVCD (to fool certain finnicky players). There are a few things they have NOT been successfully modded to do: MP3 or AC3 instead of MP2, other sizes besides 1/4D1 (aka SIF/CIF), 1/2D1 and 2/3D1 rez. I can attest all those from firsthand experience.

    While there are older apps to do VCD & SVCD (and it's Chinese variant, CVD) that have come and gone, the only FREE one that is still easily accessible is VCDimager, and the GUIs based on it. El Heggunte mentioned one. There is also my favorite: VCDEasy, as well as TCVD (IIRC). VCDEasy combined much of the best features of many of those alternates, along with GUI elements for a few other supporting tools (mjpegtools, cdrdao, etc) to give you the most well-rounded package (incl. menu authoring). However, it hasn't been updated in a while and is unstable after WinXP32sp2. If I were you and wanted to do this right, I'd either use that in a VM or get a hold of the grandfather authoring apps for VCD and SVCD: Philips' VCDTools, and I-Author. Both will be very hard to find, though.
    VCDImager-based apps don't usually force strict bitrate compliance. VCDTools does. Not sure about I-Author (not likely).

    Hope that helps,
    Scott
    (PM me if you get stuck)
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  6. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Don't fight the bitrate man. Just because you want to fit more or make them better quality doesn't change the rules. You can't author a DVD with H264 video because the rules don't allow it....same with older technology.
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  7. Another way to get SVCD (no menus) is to convert to standard format using the preset in (under MPEG - options):
    https://www.videohelp.com/tools/Pazera-Video-Converters-Suite

    Then create and burn the disc using:
    https://www.videohelp.com/tools/Ashampoo-Burning-Studio-Free/old-versions

    For total control Scott just about said it all.
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  8. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Especially if the whole purpose of this is to have formats that cover the bases with various hardware/settop devices and you want it to work with legacy ones, you should stick to standard VCD or SVCD and not go the X- route.
    I agree with hech54, keep the bitrate as high as (spec legally) possible and distribute to multiple disc sets, if necessary.

    Scott
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    Sorry guys, I really have to make this as small as possible. It has over 190 titles. Even for the DVD I had to group two of them per track, to stay within the 99 track limit of Video DVDs. Then the result was about 14 GB without menus. After some battles I managed to get the DVD to about 7 GB with menus. The video bitrate was originally 1150 as the authoring software wouldn't let me go underneath that.
    So even if managing to pull off this 50 kbps per video track thing, I would still end up with more than one disc. And no menus.
    However, have no fear, I can test the SVCDs because I have a player that supports them:

    http://www.tocmai.ro/dvd-player-simbio-17940969.html

    I'm thinking I should stop making the VCD version, because if you show me a VCD-only player, I will show you a rare machine. And SVCD is more permissive.

    But, I can only find VCDEasy as a trial version. Does that have any limitations?
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  10. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by j_me View Post
    I'm thinking I should stop making the VCD version, because if you show me a VCD-only player, I will show you a rare machine. And SVCD is more permissive.
    I was always under the reverse assumption, VCD was more playable in an older DVD player than SVCD, and dedicated VCD players were only popular in Asian nations. I've lived on two continents, one NTSC(USA) and one PAL(Europe)....I've seen ONE VCD player....a Terrapin VCD recorder.
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    Well, if it's a DVD player, I do have the DVD version ready. Double layer disc, but still. Are there DVD players unable to play double layer discs?
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  12. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by j_me View Post
    Well, if it's a DVD player, I do have the DVD version ready. Double layer disc, but still. Are there DVD players unable to play double layer discs?
    Dual layer DVDs are more compatible with modern DVD players than VCD. The only problem is that as far as homemade dual layer DVDs go....the only extremely reliable ones are Verbatim. If it's not Verbatim discs burned with ImgBurn, the possibility of errors while playing goes UP.
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    Ah, will remember to specify that, thank you very much. This is going to be a series of ISO files available for download. People would just download and burn them on their own. In which case I will have to say clearly, for the DVD version, it appears the best choice of blank DVDs is Verbatim.

    Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing some blank DVDs in a supermarket, with packaging made to look like film reels and all that. Especially for home video or stuff like that. I was always wondering what that means exactly. If memory serves, they were also more expensive than the others. And yeah, I think they were Verbatim.

    Also, yeah, for VCDEasy (managed to find the free version, 1.1.something), it seems I have to set up a VM. It doesn't recognize Windows Media Player in Win7 32-bit. So, Virtual PC, here I come.
    Thanks, people.
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  14. Member hech54's Avatar
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    I just looked up the specs on a Panasonic Blu Ray player for another poster needing help.....VCD is not in the list of playable formats.
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  15. Member DB83's Avatar
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    You can also author a DVD with VCD settings(for video) - audio would be 48khz - although most authoring programs will not allow you to create this direct from the program. Then you can fit 6 hrs or more on to one dvd. You still have the 99 title limit tho since that is built in to the dvd spec

    But playing such a disk on any modern large-screen tv will reveal its short-comings.
    Last edited by DB83; 25th Dec 2014 at 05:12. Reason: typos etc.
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  16. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    There are ways to "cheat" the VCD spec (continuing forms of XVCD): lower the color palette (posterize, or even Black&White), lower the implicit framerate (even if not explicit), letterbox+windowbox to a smaller size (black padding doesn't take up much bitrate), mono 22kHz audio, and the usual lowering of bitrate, using VBR, using custom quant matrices, using 90+min discs & overburning.
    Again, not counting those first 3, each kind of non-standard method increases the likelihood of incompatibility.
    For that # of titles (unless they're all VERY SHORT), multiple discs is the only way.

    If they ARE all very short, you should combine the titles to a "super-title" and use chapters to access the individual titles. That saves on the title limit (in either S/VCD or DVD). 99chapters each of 99 titles is 9801. Don't think you've hit that limit yet, eh?

    Scott
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    Yep, told you, that's what I did for the DVD, I have 90+ titles with two chapters each. Except for the last one, because the total number was odd. 190-something. Their length ranges from 2+ minutes to 8-9+ minutes. I think two of them are very long, over 30 minutes.

    Yes Sir, hech, I didn't imagine a BR player would ever even dream of supporting VCD or SVCD. I think my granny has a DVD Recorder (didn't manage to make it record anything, however) that was bundled with her Samsung LCD TV years back. I'm pretty sure that doesn't play VCD/SVCD either
    Although technically, the laser still has to be able to read CDs even officially, because it might get DivX titles on CD, right? So maybe making sure it can play the ancient VCD/SVCDs would probably be easy to do.
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  18. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Not many modern set top DVD players can play SVCDs or VCDs. Divx/Xvid would be more common. With BD players, MKV/H.264 may be more common.
    You can also create SVCDs with DVD2SVCD. But an average 1.5 - 2 hour movie takes two CD discs.
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  19. Originally Posted by j_me View Post
    or maybe there are bigger discs? 900 MB? 800 MB? Will standalone players actually play from those?
    Yes there are or were. I remember 900 & 800 MB CDs. Never tried 900, but bought some 800 MB. I don't know if they can still be found. Once burnt, they worked OK in PC players, but I sure wouldn't trust them in all standalone ones!

    Also, they required to activate the "overburning" option of the burning software ("Nero" in my case), which, during the mid - late 2000s anyway, was not highly recommended: I'd sometimes read that, with incompatible burners, there was a risk of damaging something, may be the laser carriage (?).


    .
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  20. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    I would NEVER recommend for sharing/clients ANYTHING overburned, oversized, or non-standard. Totally not worth the ensuing hassle.

    Also, why bring that up a year later?

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 5th Nov 2015 at 23:35.
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