Page 4 of 7: VideoCD MPEG-1

DVD Conversion Guide

    MPEG-1(.mpg, .dat) is the predecessor to MPEG-2 used for DVDs. MPG files are a lower quality/bitrate format usually at half of the resolution of DVD VOB files. They encompass CD quality 2 channel audio, as opposed to the 5.1 channels found in some DVD VOB files. Quality depends on the encoder used, and can be quite good if done properly.

    VideoCDs (VCDs) are simply MPEG-1 data (at a specific resolution/data rate - ie. VCD compliant) burned onto CDs using a special CD writing format. You don't need special CD-Rs to make a VCD (any blank CD-R will do), but you'll need a CD writer tool that supports VCD burning. The .mpg files will then appear as .dat files on the VCD. VCDs can also feature limited interaction (VCD version 2.0), and one popular use for VCDs is for Karaoke. The best thing about VCDs is that they are playable in almost all standalone DVD players (that supports CD-R or CD-R/W reading). A usual 2 hour movie will usually require 2 CDs.


    Below are some useful statistics :
    • Format : .mpg
    • Resolution : PAL - 352x288 @ 25 FPS ; NTSC -352x240 @ 23.976 or 29.97 FPS
    • Bitrate : 650 MB stores around 50-60 minutes
    • Quality : VIDEO - Similar to VHS ; AUDIO - CD Quality (44kHz, stereo)
    • Encoding time : 1-2 frames per second on a PII-350


      You'll need a suitable VCD burning software like Nero Burning ROM, you can download a fully working 30 day trial version here. These VCD burning tools will usually check to see if your MPEG-1 file is VCD compliant and will give you a warning if the file isn't compliant. In most cases, if you convertd the MPEG-1 file using the "Resolution" information listed in the "STATS" section above, and you shouldn't get an error, and even if you do get an error, the file may still play as a VCD, but you may encounter display problems (eg. not full screen, frame skipping, distortions ...).


      Below are some players for VCDs

      DVD Decoders Cards Most DVD decoder cards also support MPEG-1 playback, and hence VCDs
      Multimedia players Players such as Microsoft Media Player and DivX players can support MPEG-1 playback, but you may have to manually load the .dat file from the VCD to start playback.
      Software DVD Players Most software DVD players can playback VCDs.
      Standalone DVD players Almost all standalone DVD players supports VCD playback



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