How are the Star Wars VCD´s?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Oscar, May 13, 2002.

  1. Oscar

    Oscar Second Unit

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    I readed an article on Jeff Kleist´s website www.dvdangle.com
    Where he discussed the OFFICIAL VCD´S for Back to the Future and the Originial Star Wars triology.
    According to him, the image is better than VHS. Not as good as DVD, but if you have a very very good DVD player which is able to play them, you almost have DVD quality.
    But there are a few drawbacks:
    It´s in Full Frame
    Is not DD 5.1
    AND NO SPECS!
    But since i am used to watching my old SW Videotapes on Full Frame that wouldn´t be much of a problem to me (PLEASE FORGIVE ME, I STILL HAVE A BIT OF A JOE SIX PACK ATTITUDE ON ME).But if they were on widescreen, i will go quicly to www.coolvcd.com and buy ´em in a heartbeat to satisfy a bit of my appetite for the SW OR BTTF DVD´s
     
  2. Oscar

    Oscar Second Unit

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    I wonder how they might look like on an HDTV?
     
  3. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Not too good. I tried watching these...but decided to get a laserdisc player + the LDs...much better that way.
     
  4. Artur Meinild

    Artur Meinild Screenwriter

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    They're Pan & Scan.

    Should be a good reason to stay away!
     
  5. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    THE BOTTOM LINE is ... You can't view Star Wars in P&S!! There's just no way to do it.

    If LucasFilm had provided Widescreen transfers for these legal VCD's, I would be on them in a second.

    But these P&S iterations of the films are worthless IMO.
     
  6. YANG

    YANG Second Unit

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    "According to him, the image is better than VHS. Not as good as DVD, but if you have a very very good DVD player which is able to play them, you almost have DVD quality."

    The reviewer is totally wrong about the image quality of VCD.When you pop in a VCD into your DVDplayer(provided that your player and TV can do multi-color system),the image will always loose out to a fresh issued original VHS tape,so as the sound quality.

    Tapes cannot last long,this is what VCDs is best on.When tapes starts to fade,visual quality and audio quality of VCDs will stay constant...if you handled your discs properly.

    Recommended TV size for viewing VCDs are 21 inchers and below.Any size bigger than this,you will see the negative part of VCD picture quality.

    Audio frequency range of VCDs is limited when compared to VHS tapes.Digital discrete surround sound is impossible to VCD release.

    Most of the movies released in VCDs are cropped from widescreen to fullscreen.Only limited titles in widescreen are available to HOLLYWOOD movies.Most chinese movies r widescreen.
     
  7. Michael St. Clair

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    Bah!

    VCD has 352x240 resolution. Compare that to 740x480 for DVD (though effective horizontal resolution is typically somewhat less than that), or ~400x480 for laserdisc.

    Then throw into that tons of readily apparent compression artifacts, and crappy (non-DD, non-DTS, non-PCM) MPEG pro-logic sound.

    On a big screen Digital Television, VCD on a GREAT DVD player looks like some kind of dancing pixel video from a bad rave. And Ecstacy won't help!
     
  8. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Oscar - you should really grab widescreen VHS of the movies. Once I saw Empire Strikes Back in widescreen I was physically unable to watch P&S without looking like I was having some sort of fidgeting seizure attack!![​IMG]
     
  9. DanHaya

    DanHaya Second Unit

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    I wholeheartedly agree with you guys. I have the Star Wars VCDs. Yes, the quality is pretty much equal to VHS. You gotta realize that VCDs are not marketed in the US. They are targeted for Asia and Malaysia, so don't expect widescreen from these things.

    Something else you should know: these VCDs are the Special Edition versions of the films. I still have the original widescreen box set (the first one that was produced back in the late 80s) just so I can go back and view the films in their original state. Remember that Lucas has indicated that he will never release the original versions of the films to theaters or video.

    So, be forewarned before you decide to buy them. They weren't that expensive, as I recall. And they are kinda neat to have as a novelty, but I wouldn't spend a lot of money on them.
     
  10. John_McKittrick

    John_McKittrick Stunt Coordinator

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    Absolutely under no conditions should you buy the VCD's. I have them and images are extremely pixelated and the sound quality sounds like the actors are very high pitched, not 'the chipmunks' high pitched but close enough to make a difference. A waste of $25 if you ask me. The VHS are much better so stick with them for now. How many times do you actually watch Star Wars a year anyway?

    John
     
  11. Oscar

    Oscar Second Unit

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    Ok thanks for the tips.
    I will try looking for the VHS Widescreen copies of Star Wars.
    But, i already have them.
    If i knew what widescreen was all about years ago, i will have buy them.
    Also, i would have my Laserdisc player with the best way to watch Star Wars. [​IMG]
     
  12. Rob Montoya

    Rob Montoya Auditioning

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    I purchased the Star Wars trilogy on VCD. I thought they were pretty lousy. The sound was okay. I think VHS looks better and that's not saying much. They looked like duped VHS and these were legit VCD. I sampled them on a 34inch Philps HD TV and a 19 inch Toshiba - they both looked crappy. I gave them to some one. I wasn't going to watch them. Until they come out on DVD - you best bet is LD.
    hope this helps.[​IMG]
     
  13. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    Dan describes them perfect as "novelties". They are a neat collectible, and they look ok in a small PC window, but that's about it.

    -Dave
     
  14. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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  15. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    As Michael St. Clair stated, the image on a VCD is 1/4 the size of DVD. VCD's use MPEG 1 compression as opposed to DVD's MPEG 2 compression.

    MPEG 1 usually runs around 1.70 Mbps (constant) whereas DVD runs between 8-10 Mbps (variable).

    So it's safe to assume that you'd be better off with the VHS's. The only advantage with the VCD (over the VHS) is you'd be able to play them in your computer. But other than that, the P&S versions of the film isn't worth that ability.
     
  16. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    I had a couple of VCDs, but knew even then they were nowhere near the quality of a VHS. I had them for their novelty, and the quality was tepid at best on a computer.
     
  17. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    MarkHastings: I assume you were replying to my post. I think you missed some of what I was saying.

    First, I mentioned that my VCR was broken. Therefore VHS is out. I do own copies of Star Wars on VHS, but I have no plans to buy a new VCR anytime soon.

    Second, I mentioned that I wanted the VCD's mainly as a novelty collector's item. I would never by a non OAR DVD, but for the VCDs I don't care. I also don't care if the quality is worse than VHS, I simply want to try them out because I can, and because they are cheap.

    So please don't feel the need to "save" me from VCD, I know what I am getting, and I'm just fine with it.

    On the other hand, if you can direct me to a source for NTSC versions of the Star Wars VCDs, or tell me whether or not the Pal version will play for me, I would be very greatful.
     
  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  19. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    my apologies mark. I only assumed that was the case as I was the one who dig this thread up from it's grave, no one else had posted for ages...
     
  20. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    My brother had these. The compression is terrible. Everytime a fast-moving shot comes into play, the framerate lags behind the generally muffled audio. Nearly impossible for me to sit through. Not really even worth a low price for them unless you collect novelty items of this nature.
     

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