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Who here owns any VCDs? (1 Viewer)

StephenA

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If you do, can you reccommnd any, or are they all crap?

I'm trying to get away from VHS, but don't have the money right now to invest in a laserdisc player and discs, so I get into VCD if at least some are of good enough quality.

I only want to get legit VCDs if there are any. What are some good websites that sell legit ones?
 

Steve Tannehill

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Have you considered a...

DVD player?

VCD is optical, so it won't degrade, but the image quality ranks worse than VHS in my book because of the frequent MPEG1 artifacts.

- Steve
 

rutger_s

Supporting Actor
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As stated before...

VideoCDs have:

Stereo Sound for most releases, some are Dolby Surround or MPEG Surround. They can have dual channel audio but this results in mono sound for each channel.

Same resolution as VHS tape. However, compression artifacts can and do arise. They appear more so when a transfer from a VHS tape is used or when there is heavy movement.

99.9% of Malaysian releases are pan & scan. In Hong Kong, its about 90% pan & scan for the Hollywood films and 70-80% letterbox for Hong Kong films.

Hong Kong distributors usually use new NTSC transfers for their releases. However, Universe Video & Laser Company Limited and IVL Limited do use PAL transfers. Malaysian distributors usually use PAL transfers, which are usually the same VHS transfers, for their releases.

CDs only hold up to 70-80mins of audio and video so two or three discs, maybe four(maybe more) are used.

These are decent alternate if you are looking for a particular Hong Kong film and can't find it on DVD.
 

Peter Overduin

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I have the legit SW episodes 1, 4,5, and 6. Full-frame, surprisingly good sound...but, bought a LD player and the original trilogy:D
I will sell the VCD set of SW if you want them. Email me if you like. Cheers
 

andrew markworthy

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I have a few VCDs of magic shows, because I couldn't find them on DVD. I've also a couple of (not v. good) Jackie Chan movies on VCD because they weren't available on DVD at the time. I've also got Pink Floyd's 'Pulse' which is surprisingly good (certainly better than the VHS version).

I'm v. happy with VCDs - no, they're not as good as DVDs, but they are better than VHS (I can live with the occasional digital artifact secure in the knowledge that at least they won't rot after a couple of years like tape). *And* they are cheap. E.g. I have a box set of 5 VCDs each one an hour long and showing most of the classic magic acts of the last couple of decades. It cost me 10 pounds (incl. postage). I can live with the problems of VCD at that price.
 

Jeff Kleist

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With Hong Kong VCDs, 1.85:1 films are usually widescreen
2.35:1 are P&S'd, sometimes only to 1.78:1, but still :frowning:
 

StephenA

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I do have DVDs. I'm just asking about VCDs, because I know some movies are released on VCD and not on DVD. I don't wanna buy the VHS versions if I don't have to. I'm trying to stay with all discs now, DVD, VCD, or otherwise.
 

andrew markworthy

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Stephen, what I was trying to say (but I guess not v. well) is that if there's no DVD, but there is a choice between tape and VCD, go for the VCD every time.
 

StephenA

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Non it's not you who I was commenting to, it was Steve T. I was just letting him know that I do have DVDs and a player. Sorry for the confusion.
 

Michael St. Clair

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Tape doesn't "rot in a couple of years" if you take care of it.

And even VHS looks a lot better than VCD if you have a good deck. My Tosh S-VHS deck has digital noise reduction and I have 15-year-old VHS tapes that it makes look better than any VCD I have ever seen. Also, hi-fi VHS audio beats VCD audio.

If there is a choice between tape and VCD, go for tape every time.
 

Jo_C

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I tend to disagree with you, Mr. St. Clair. VCDs are definitely a good idea to archive your tape material...that is, for those of you with DVD-R drives and software who haven't quite mastered the art of DVD recording, or if you don't have DVD-R material at all...or even if you just feel comfortable with just VCD.

I have made some homemade VCDs from my tapes, and while the picture quality is obviously a notch below that of DVDs (and probably no different than watching, say, a high-quality VHS tape recorded in LP mode), it's the next best thing to a homemade video disc as you're gonna get...and definitely a cost-efficient way of making your own videodiscs.

Only one catch...you have to have a computer disc drive capable of playing VCDs, or a player that's capable of playing VCDs. The other day I bought a Hitachi DVD player that's compatible with CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVD-Rs, and, yes, even VCDs (homemade ones included). I played my homemade VCDs through that player with absolutely no problem.

I guess I said my peace.
 

John_Berger

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you have to have a computer disc drive capable of playing VCDs
All CD-ROM drives should be able to read VCDs. They're just 650 MB CDs in ISO format. You simply need a player capable of playing MPEG-1 files.
As to the topic itself, I picked up a set of 15 VCDs of "Tom and Jerry" from Singapore. To my surprise, the last three VCDs were T&J CinemaScope episodes in widescreen! Full, glorious, 2.35:1 widescreen! I was thrilled!
Those episodes also looked fantastic since the entirely of the MPEG bit rate could be focused on the small visual portion rather than being diluted across the entire screen. That's one reason why I can't understand why VCDs weren't (aren't?) a good platform for widescreen movies.
 

John_Berger

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Are those Tom & Jerry VCDs legit? Where can I get them?
I got them on eBay.
As to whether they're legit or not, I found out after the fact that they're probably not - no copyrights, no studio information.
Well, how was I to know? It was my only VCD purchase, they came from Asia, and VCDs are still big in Asia. I assumed that they were legit, but that's what happens when one assumes. :frowning:
 

Michael St. Clair

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I tend to disagree with you, Mr. St. Clair.
I suppose it comes down to one's tolerance for different kinds of artifacts, which is very personal.
I know a lot of people criticized laserdisc (actually, the players) for chroma noise. And some of these same people think digital cable and direcTV look fantastic. So they aren't tolerant of noise but have no problem with substantial compression artifacts.
I find the compression artifacts of even the best-mastered VCDs absolutely abhorrent. Others may not.
Others may find the chaotic, random analog artifacts like noise terrible. I find them quite tolerable in small amounts, and with good equipment that is what you get; small amounts.
To each their own.
 

Jeff Kleist

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Dave, yes there are, but they are VERY few and far between

SVCD was basically an effort by the Chinese government to better control their home market, because they didn't want to be paying royalties to make players (and I'm sure the bootlegger kickbacks were most impressive)
 

andrew markworthy

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With respect, Michael, tape *can* rot after a couple of years - to my cost, I've had this happen. *And* I was taking care of it. Before he retired, my dad was responsible amongst other things for archiving audio tape and he is neurotic over such things - guess I caught the bug from him.

Okay, 2 years may be an exception, but I've not had a VHS tape which hasn't shown some signs of decay after 5 years tops. Maybe the decay isn't always great, but it's still there.

The worst case I had was of a whole set of recordings of BBC concerts I made in the late 70s/early 80s, which even after careful storage, were unplayable within 15 years. I now archive everything on digital media, and use VHS just for cheap and cheerful (and impermanent) copies.
 

Robert Ringwald

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I just have one VCD. I bought "The Shining" 3 part miniseries. It's full-frame (I assume it was filmed this way for television, I doubt HDTV was even considered...) and I think it has stereo sound.
The set is over 4 discs, and I think the quality is better than my VHS tapes (from broadcast, glad I got rid of them).
If a DVD is ever available, I'll upgrade. ;)
 

Tom Morgan

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The only VCDs I have are pictures of the family and stuff that I burned on to cd for play back thru a RP-91 on the 65" tv. :D
 

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