VCD & SVCD Guides

VCD is the oldest format of the bunch. It uses MPEG-1 compression at a fixed bitrate and offers VHS like quality, usually on 2 CDs (very short movie might fit on one CD, very long movies require 3 CDs). SVCD is a younger format and is MPEG-2 based. It allows LaserDisc like quality, usually on 3 or more CDs. SVCD allows you to use VBR encoding to distribute the bits more effectively and allows MPEG layer 1 and 2 audio. Theoretically it also allows for multichannel sound and VBR audio but this has never before been achieved due to the fact that there's virtually no player which actually would output the multichannel sound (usually all you get is 2 channel output). Both formats are essentially designed for standalone playback.

Your first step is to decide on a decoding utility. For most people DVD2SVCD is clearly the best solution as it's a one in all program but still allows you to select your favorite MPEG1/2 encoder. And despite the name creating VCDs is also possible.

DVD2SVCD - last updated 03/07/02

+: Most beginner friendly SVCD encoding program ever built, all-in-one solution, multiple audio tracks and selectable subtitles possible, fast and excellent in quality
-: Requires CCE SP 2.50/2.6x or TMPG which both aren't free

DVDx - last updated 11/04/01

+: Very newbie friendly, even spares you the ripping step. All-in one solution, you enter the DVD, set it up and in the end just burn, open source software
-: the internal routines (especially for SVCD) might not be up to commercial encoders, relatively slow (SVCD), it's not possible to make 2 audio track SVCDs and have selectable subs.

Related guides

VCDs & SVCDs with chapters - last updated 29/12/01
TSCV guide - chapters and menus using TSCV - last updated 01/10/02
DGIndex frameserving - fastest and most complicated frameserver ever based on DGIndex
How to fix asynch VCDs

This document was last updated on 09/07/02