What is VCD (Video CD/Video Compact Disc)?

VCD (Video CD/Video Compact Disc) is a standard format for storing video on a compact disc. Files of this format can be played on compatible players, personal computers, and most DVD players.

What is VCD (Video CD/Video Compact Disc)?

History, Characteristics, and Types of VCD

The VCD standard was created in 1993 by a consortium of Japanese electronics companies and is known as the White Paper standard.

The Burning Process

By making a MPEG file compatible with your desktop DVD player, you need to know how to save it so the player can recognize the video format.

Many DVDs today read almost all types of formats, but some players can only read DVDs and some MPG types.

Basic MPG formats will be analyzed to distinguish and accurately save them.

Storage Area

Since the recording format of this type of disc is mode 2, you need to add enough MB to fit on a CD and save it. If you add several MPG video files, you may need to adjust the sum of the sizes of those files to fit the disc.

Since only each minute of video takes up about 10MB in the Video CD format, video minutes are usually added to the CD as well. For example, an 80-minute video takes up slightly less than 800MB, so an 80-minute file can be attached to the CD.


The main and widely known MPG file types are VCD, CVCD, XVCD, KVCD, SVCD, CVD, or DVD. There may be extensions other than these formats, but it is usually a variation of a variety of these types.

In addition, they can be from the PAL region (Europe) or the NTSC region (America), which have different characteristics and are also noted during recording. For this percentage, you need to learn the properties of an MPG file.

There are common 3rd party programs on the Internet to learn the properties of MPG files.

For example, if the video file has a resolution of 352×288 pixels, a frame rate of 25 fps, and a bit rate of 1150 Kbps, that file is MPEG-1. The audio is MPEG-1 Layer-2 (MP2) at a frequency of 44100 Hz and a bit rate of 192 Kbps.

With this data, the MPG file properties are added and the exact format of the video is determined.


The simplest way to find out if a player supports this type of MPG is to burn the file to a CD-RW. Or you can consult the user’s manual or do research on the Internet.

However, there may be formats for such players that manufacturers have not included in the manual. So you can find out if they work just by testing them.

There are also players that use all kinds of formats, including newer formats, but generally speaking, you wouldn’t know what formats it supports without testing them.

If you burn a file without knowing whether it supports CD-R or CD-RW, the player may not be able to read this format and you will throw your disc in the garbage.


The screen resolution of a VCD is 352×240 pixels for NTSC format or 352×288 pixels for PAL format. This resolution format is about a quarter of normal television resolution.

A video encoded in MPEG-1 is stored at 1,150 kbit/s and audio at 224 kbit/s. In general, the video quality is comparable to the VHS format, but in some cases, the effects of compression may be noticed.

Since the common bitrate is similar to that of a regular audio CD, the length of video that can be stored is similar to that of an audio CD. A standard 74 minutes CD can store approximately 74 minutes of video.

An advanced standard, Super Video CD (SVCD) uses MPEG-2 compression and a variable compression rate for higher quality recording.

VCDs were very popular in Asia due to the low price of the players, their high tolerance to moisture, and low media cost. In fact, low cost led to piracy in these areas.

With the advent of lower-priced CD players and recordable CDs, the usage rate quickly increased as most DVD players support the VCD format.

Due to the incompatibility of CDs in DVD players, it has been replaced by DVD, which offers many of the advantages of VCD but offers much higher image and sound quality due to its larger storage capacity.

The only advantage of VCDs over DVDs is that they don’t have region codes, so a CD can be run on any device in the world.

Enhanced Versions

The CVCD system is a non-standard genre that allows us to use a VBR (Variable Bit Rate) to encode a movie and compress one and a half hours of video into an 80 minute CD-R.

This format allows it to be used for situations such as backups, home recordings.

Similarly, there are standards such as KVCD, which uses a variable bitrate but has a more optimized compression algorithm and produces films of up to 120 minutes in higher quality than standard VCD. Examples are 352×576 resolution in PAL format or 320×480 resolution in NTSC.

There is also a format called CVD (Chinese Video Disc) used in television broadcasts and sales of movies in China. This format includes MPEG-2, which has variable bitrate, four possible audio tracks, and a resolution of 352×576 and audio up to 64 to 384 Kbps.

This system is used in China as it supports a new format that will meet the needs of those who do not want to pay for the DVD license.

However, it is being replaced by other MPEG-4 compression systems such as Xvid or DivX, and this takes less space to provide higher quality video and audio.

MPEG-4 is theoretically the new DVD format. This is the codec to be used for Sony’s Blu-ray, known as high definition DVD (HD DVD) or H.264/MPEG-4 AVC.

DVCD (DOUBLE VCD) is designed to get the best performance from a CD. It is a non-standard CD written beyond its capacity to store up to 100 minutes of video and is very popular in China. Therefore, some players have difficulty reading these discs.

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