What are VCD ????

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Hutman, May 10, 2002.

  1. Mike Hutman

    Mike Hutman Supporting Actor

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    I see them all the time on e-bay, but not sure what they are. They almost sound like bootlegs or something. Most of the titles I seen are not even out yet. Is it like DVD???
     
  2. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Similiar, but much lower quality picture, Dolby 2.0 sound, nd they're on CD media rather than DVD media. There are many legitimate VCD releases of titles not availiable on DVD, but they're almost exclusively pan & scan.
     
  3. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    There is also software that allows you to burn "VCD" files onto CDR's that are compatible with any DVD player that plays VCD. These are most of the movies that are available on e-bay, such as the very high quality Lord of the Rings screener for example.
     
  4. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    Dependent on distributor...

    Some VideoCDs have MPEG Surround sound, others Dolby Surround sound, most in stereo sound, and a few with mono sound.

    VideoCDs allow up to two channels of audio(each in mono) and resolution equivalent to VHS tape.

    Some VideoCDs are presented in widescreen but its almost entirely up to the originating studio what the distributor will get. Most Hong Kong films, from Hong Kong distributors, are presented in letterbox.

    Hong Kong distributors also like to use new NTSC transfers for many of their releases. Malaysian distributors seem to prefer to use the same PAL transfers from the VHS tapes.

    Subtitles are burned into the film and no VideoCD currently has optional subtitles. Some VideoCDs(released in the U.S.) did have closed captioning.

    And a lot of VideoCDs have menus and/or chapter stops.
     
  5. andrew markworthy

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    VCDs are not of the same quality as DVDs, but before they are totally consigned to the outer darkness, it's worth remembering a couple of points:

    (a) they are at least as good as VHS, and sometimes better, and they are rather more compact to store;

    (b) just once in a while a movie you might want is only available on VCD. E.g. there are a couple of Jackie Chan movies which were until recently only available on VCD, then there's e.g. Pink Floyd's 'Pulse', Star Wars, BTTF, etc. You either get them on VCD or there's nothing.

    (c) they're cheap. You can pick up most titles for a few dollars. Okay, DVD is better, but suppose you want to see a movie but you're not sure it's a keeper? A VCD will cost you less than a movie ticket (and that's before you factor in parking and travel costs), so if you hate the movie, you haven't lost as much as seeing it at the cinema. And if you like it, then you can always get the DVD and regard the VCD purchase as a movie ticket (if you see what I mean).

    (d) they are legitimate issues. Okay, there are bootleg VCDs around, and I'm not condoning these. However, remember that the VCD is the main digital medium in some countries, so a decent set of titles is available.

    On the down side, as has already been said, they're often pan and scan (though this doesn't matter if the OAR is 1.33:1) and some movies sourced from legitimate issues in e.g. Malaysia are censored. However, we're talking about a cheap medium here. It's not like VCDs cost the same as Criterion discs. Just treat them as a cheap and cheerful thing, and you're unlikely to be disappointed.
     
  6. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    People like to malign VHS, but on a whole a new VHS tape is a much better presentation then a VCD. Think about how some people complain about MPEG artifcating on some DVDs and then multiply that by a hundred to get a better understanding of VCD.

    Unless you like watching movies with no movement or detail whatsoever, you will probably be disappointed with VCD after watching DVD or even VHS.

    Save your money, unless it is a must have title that will never make it to DVD.

    J
     
  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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