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Poll: What is better qaulity VCD (NOT CD-Video) or VHS?

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  1. In my opinion in general it is VHS. VCD give better colors and no snow, but the compression is too strong, with fast movements a lot of macroblocks and other artifacts occurs, in my opinion in general vhs has sharper image qaulity with more detail.
    with good tape and recorder quality is more continue.

    First is VCD (PAL but i'm not sure) second VHS (for sure ntsc)

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  2. When VHS is watched on a CRT TV, its vertical resolution (for NTSC) is about 480 * 0.7 = 336 lines and it is capable of 60 images per second. When watching a movie on a TV with good deinterlacer you can get full 480 lines. VCD is limited to 240 lines and 30 fps progressive. VCD does not work for fast movement, for sports, for example.
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  3. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    VHS is better with framerate, and thus, with motion. VHS is ostensibly better with resolution, but that's only the luminance, and only theoretically.
    Real life luminance with vhs is often (far?) worse than the theoretical, so it is likely more equivalent.

    Vcd has better chroma resolution, even theoretically. Vhs is ~40 pixels of horizontal resolution (with an equivalent reallife vertical resolution, due to bandwidth constraints, even though theoretical says it should be 480ntsc/288pal).
    Vcd is 4:2:0 color subsampling, so it is 160x120ntsc or 160x144pal, and there is no difference between theoretical and practice.

    Vcd is component digital encoding, versus vhs color-under composite analog. So if both were starting from a pristine SD or better master, vcd would much more faithfully reproduce the colors and not have any issues with timebase, unlike vhs.

    Audio-wise, it depends on whether vhs is using hifi audio or not. If using hifi audio, it theoretically is better, though not always in practice (tracking, hum interference...). If not hifi, then vcd is clearly better, even with mp2 compression.

    Compression artifacts in vcd are totally dependent on available bitrate vs. subject material complexity. Since vcd is cbr, this means that it sometimes has enough bitrate, and other times not enough. When it is not enough, usually this is due to motion. Then artifacts ARE an issue.

    Most comparisons I have seen (and the above media example seems to fit that assumption) have used vcd material that is a generation greater than that for vhs, which is not a fair comparison. Having worked for years and years at a production house that created lots of SD material in both master formats (1"C, Betacam, Digibeta, etc), and in vhs, vcd and dvd consumer formats - all directly 1 generation from the masters - I can say that when done properly, dvd is easily best, then vcd is next if there isn't much motion (or if the framerate started as filmbased 24/23.976), then vhs is next, then vcd with high motion is last. Overall, in practice they (vhs, vcd) are basically equivalent, quality-wise.

    But why is this still even being discussed, when both vcd and vhs are archaic, passč, deprecated formats? In modern workflows, the very minimum quality I would expect to create now would be dvd.


    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 31st Mar 2022 at 18:48.
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  4. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Get off of the NTSC <> PAL nonsense and you'll come to more informed conclusions.
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    With a quality VHS machine and using SP, VHS by far. Heck probably even VHS with a cheaper recorder, VCD looks like crap IMO, no contest.
    Truthfully with any decent recorder using SP I'd go with VHS. I'll take it a step further, back in the day ('05) when I wanted to get out of VHS and move on to optical media I compared various DVDRs to my quality SP VHS recordings and I found few DVDRs that matched my VHS recordings, none even came close using half D1 resolution but I finally found a couple of brands that equaled VHS or were a bit better. I would have never considered using VCD.
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  6. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
    but I finally found a couple of brands that equaled VHS or were a bit better.
    Wait a minute. Maybe I got this wrong, but the brand of optical media (DVD, CD) does not have any impact on the quality of the recording as long as it can be recorded and played back without any data corruption.


    Half D1 is technically not enough to hold all the luma information there may be in a high quality SP speed VHS recording.
    SVCD resolution of 480x576/480 is about what you need to store this. I will explain why.

    According to Nyquist you need >2 times the amount of sampling points of the analog signal's bandwidth to faithfully reconstruct the image.
    Under normal conditions VHS has a luma bandwidth of about 3 MHz. So we would need to sample at at least 6 MHz.

    6 MHz * 52 µs = 312 pixels

    (For 60 Hz systems the active image may be slightly longer than 52 µs but let's not go down this rabbit hole.)

    We are not done yet.
    All proper real world captures result in a frame width of 720 or 704. If we were to resize this to 312 pixels thinking we would not lose information, we would be wrong!

    Kell factor says to avoid interference such as Moiré we need the actual information to be about 0.7 times smaller than the amount of pixels. (This number may change slightly depending on who you ask.)

    312 / 0.7 ≈ 446

    So there you go, SVCD resolution is about what is needed to store and reconstruct all the information there may be on VHS.
    In reality, most recordings are not this good however.




    Back to VCD. I'm more with Cornucopia on this. Given a high quality source that meets certain properties, VCD can look surprisingly good when watched on a CRT as we would have in the heyday of the format.


    First, the source needs to be inherently progressive because any interlaced source will lose half the motion on VCD which is a big no-no in my opinion.

    Second, it helps a lot if the video is not 4:3 full screen but has clean letterboxing of some sorts. This helps spread the limited bitrate over a smaller portion of actual video with the result of lower quants and better quality. And of course the fewer motion there is, the better.
    Last edited by Skiller; 1st Apr 2022 at 17:01.
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  7. Member
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
    but I finally found a couple of brands that equaled VHS or were a bit better.
    Wait a minute. Maybe I got this wrong, but the brand of optical media (DVD, CD) does not have any impact on the quality of the recording as long as it can be recorded and played back without any data corruption.
    Maybe I was misunderstanding how/using what the OP was going to record. I was talking about recording VCD from a standalone DVDR with only an analog input, in those the DVDR has a large impact on the recording as the DVDR only has an analog input and it must convert that to digital before it's recorded to the CD. I guess I've never recorded VCD on a PC where you can directly record digital from a source to the CD.
    My only experience with the VCD format was recording from standalone DVDRs that had that function, such as Liteon and a few other brands I can't remember now. VCD wasn't really popular in standalones and not too many brands supported recording video on a CD or really anything on a CD.
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  8. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    I see. I never came across a stand alone VCD recorder (or a DVD recorder that does it) so I wasn't even considering this.



    Originally Posted by ConsumerDV View Post
    When VHS is watched on a CRT TV, its vertical resolution (for NTSC) is about 480 * 0.7 = 336 lines and it is capable of 60 images per second. When watching a movie on a TV with good deinterlacer you can get full 480 lines.
    No, because interlaced video is already vertically low-passed to about this ratio. If it wasn't, interlaced video would be almost unbearable to watch on any display due to excessive inter-line twitter and/or jaggies. (Interline Twitter on Wikipedia)
    Last edited by Skiller; 1st Apr 2022 at 14:33.
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Terapin made a vcd recorder back in the day. My production house had one. On a scale of 0-10 of what vcd could/should be capable of, the terapin's quality was 4.5-6.5. Soft, yet with more macroblock artifacts than you would expect. Going the lossless master on computer route and then downconverting ALWAYS was a better image that the terapin. I would expect other dvrs' to be equivalent. One cannot process a video as efficiently using a realtime method as when using a non-realtime method. That's why we ended up barely using the device, and then only for event use that required an instant, realtime vcd output copy. Convenience.

    I am not surprised y'all are preferring vhs if all your experiences with vcd are limited to 2nd gen or realtime dvr versions, or both.

    Scott
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  10. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    Terapin made a vcd recorder back in the day.
    I had a Terapin. Mine was orange. I liked it. If you didn't expect miracles from it....you weren't disappointed.

    PS It was also a CD recorder without having to buy the more expensive "Music CD-R" blanks.
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  11. Properly digitised VHS
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  12. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    Terapin made a vcd recorder back in the day.
    I had a Terapin. Mine was orange. I liked it. If you didn't expect miracles from it....you weren't disappointed.

    PS It was also a CD recorder without having to buy the more expensive "Music CD-R" blanks.
    Guess I expected miracles, then. Or at least the equivalent to what I could do manually with TMPGEnc & VCDEasy.

    I like the cd recorder function, but it didn't hold a candle to the Alesis Masterlink that I had access to. The terapin was a toy compared to that.


    Scott
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  13. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    I like the cd recorder function, but it didn't hold a candle to the Alesis Masterlink that I had access to. The terapin was a toy compared to that.
    It still bothers me to this day why nobody invented a program to write a Lead-In of some sort to turn simple CD blanks into Music CDs.
    That has always bugged me.
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  14. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    This post was a few hours early for April Fool's.

    Next question:
    What is better, phone booths or car phones? (Correct answer = who gives a shit.)

    ... but just to play along. Most VCDs were badly made. Thus, from that stances only, VCD was lousy compared to tapes. An idgit could make a VHS recording that wasn't too awful, but even somebody knowledgeable could botch and butcher a VCD.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank DiscsBest TBCsBest VCRs for captureRestore VHS
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