Super Video CD
I have not been able to update this page for a while.
I will eventually get to it but for now, you just have to be patient. Meanwhile,
I would like to recommend
for up-to-date practical instructions on making SVCDs.
Jukka Aho, 31-May-2001
Creating your own SVCDs
Feel free to e-mail me any comments,
corrections, suggestions, additions or opinions. If you have already encoded,
authored and burned your own SVCDs and would like to share some tips with
others (or recommend some particular software title or a site related to
SVCD), I would be happy to hear from you. Should you come across a broken
link, please let me know so I can fix it.
outlines the general history, features and applications of the Super Video
Compact Disc standard,
discusses about the authoring issues from home user's point of view and
provides some links to related manufacturers, software and further information.
Linking to this document
You are free to link to this document. If you do so, please use the URL
This ensures that the link will always work, regardless of the actual physical
location of this site.
I would like to thank John Asbacher, Rich H. Aubin, Jeffrey X.
Carbello, Stephane Cazat, Kevin Cribbs, einnarr, Tony
Field, Pierre-Aurelien Georges, Frederic Guigand, Johan Janssen,
Jerry F. Jones, Jari Ketola, Kimmo Kinnunen, Michael Kirk, Gerhard Köll,
Konstantinos Konstantinides, Johannes Kratz, John Mann, Sebastian
Markart, David Martin, Markus Mönig, Thanomsak Liumsuwan, Martin Loose,
Peter Melander, Ivan Ricondo, Anssi Saari, Michael Simmons,
Laszlo Szakalos, Jim Taylor, Ralf Tossenberger and Peter Wu
for providing valuable suggestions, additional information and updates
concerning this document.
Parts of the text have been directly borrowed from various CD-ROM and
Video CD FAQs all over the web, then edited a bit to fit together. The
goal was to make an SVCD-only document, not a general VCD information page.
My special thanks go to Jim Taylor, the author of the DVD
FAQ for letting me use some of his work as a base for this document.
Some of the notions are my own. I like them that way.
Super Video CD (aka SVCD, Super VCD or Chaoji VCD)
is an enhancement to Video CD that was developed by a Chinese government-backed
committee of manufacturers and researchers, partly to sidestep DVD technology
royalties and partly to create pressure for lower DVD player and disc prices
in China. The final SVCD spec, set by the China National Committee of Recording
Standards, was announced in September 1998, winning out over C-Cube's
China Video Disc (CVD) and HQ-VCD (from the developers of the original
As always, the background story is a bit more complicated than how it
appears in brief summaries like the above. First of all, why was there
such a big interest in creating a new CD-based video disc format for China,
at the time when the rest of the world was already preparing to accept
DVD as the "next generation" digital video delivery format?
It all comes down to the following three reasons:
There were originally three independent efforts of bringing the
next-generation video disc standard to the Chinese market:
The prevailing success of the original (White Book) Video CD format.
In 1995 there were less than 1 million hardware VCD players sold in China.
In 1996 there were already 6.5 million. The 1997 estimates ballooned to
18...20 million units. It was quite clear that at this high adoption rate,
people would also be willing to purchase the 2nd generation video disc
players (with better image quality and more features), once they should
come available. This would be a huge market opportunity for anyone who
could deliver the goods first.
The political objectives of the Chinese government. It was decided
that DVD - while undoubtedly a good technical specification as such - is
all too tightly controlled by DVD Consortium, a closed body of foreign
companies. The Chinese government did not quite like the idea that the
domestic home electronics industry would have to pay royalties to foreign
companies in order to manufacture next generation video disc products for
Chinese people. It was calculated that creating a royalty-free, full-fledged
video disc format on their own would be a major long-term win for the domestic
industry. Moreover, this was also considered an issue of national pride;
an opportunity to flex some technical muscle, and to send a clear signal
to the outside world that China has enough critical mass to be able to
ignore foreign entertainment standards it does not want to conform to.
(Chinese politicians and researchers are now keen to celebrate SVCD as
the first international high-tech standard that has been developed in China.)
Finally, it was also thought that a Chinese video disc standard would help
in pressuring the DVD Consortium to keep the licensing fees down, at least
for the Chinese market.
The "luxury" status of DVD. In the western countries, DVD is still
considered an expensive luxury format - mainly intended to part serious
movie enthusiasts from their money. If you buy a DVD player, you're also
supposed to invest inordinate amounts of money in so-called "home theatre"
equipment. People have much more practical approach to video disc formats
in China - after all, there White Book VCDs have long been an everyday
format, not unlike VHS is here. It was quite obvious right from the beginning
that the next generation Chinese video disc format just had to be
based on the tested and proven Compact Disc media for it to be affordable
C-Cube got a healthy head start, mostly because it was already an established
subcontractor in the Chinese VCD player market. The company naturally wanted
to retain its market leader position also with the 2nd generation video
disc technology. Since most of the White Book VCD players were based on
C-Cube's MPEG decoder chipset, the company was able to develop its own
next-generation standard in close co-operation with major Chinese hardware
manufacturers. The development of the CVD specification began in 1997 and
the first CVD players were released on the market in June 1998, while SVCD
and HQ-VCD specifications were still at a draft stage.
China Video Disc (CVD), developed by C-Cube
Microsystems and its Chinese OEM partners
Super Video CD (SVCD), developed by China Recording Standards Committee
under the requirements given by Chinese Ministry of Information Industry,
with technical support from ESS Technology
High-Quality Video CD (HQ-VCD), developed by the Video CD Consortium
(consisting of Philips, Sony, Matsushita and JVC, the companies that created
the original White Book Video CD specification)
This move apparently created some panic in the SVCD and HQ-VCD camps,
especially since creating a national 2nd generation video disc standard
of its own was at a high priority in the government's interests.
The result was that the government - which had up until this moment
mostly pursued its own efforts, and ignored the competition - changed its
position and agreed to back the creators of the rivalling HQ-VCD specification.
This agreement was made on the condition that the respective feature sets
of HQ-VCD and SVCD would be unified into a single standard that would still
go by the name 'SVCD', and that the government-backed committee had a final
say on the details. The deal was actually a big win to the Video CD Consortium
(i.e. Philips-Sony-Matsushita-JVC) since they were late players in this
game to begin with.
The co-operation between Chinese Ministry of Information Industry and
Video CD Consortium was announced in July 1998, and the final SVCD spec
was released shortly thereafter. Thus, the current SVCD spec is actually
a fusion of features taken from the government's original SVCD spec and
the VCD Consortium's HQ-VCD spec.
However, most of the big VCD player manufacturers in China were backing
C-Cube's CVD standard, and there were already approximately 300 000 to
600 000 CVD players in the distribution channels. It was considered necessary
not to alienate C-Cube and the manufacturers who had already put so much
effort in the CVD standard. To resolve this problem, the Department of
Science and Technology of Ministry of Information Industry forced a compromise
in incorporating CVD and SVCD under a single umbrella format called "Chaoji
Video CD" in November 1998.
(which roughly translates to 'Super VCD') is not actually a new disc format,
but more like a compatibility specification for players. A Chaoji VCD player
must be able to play back at least SVCD, CVD, VCD 2.0, VCD 1.1 and CD-DA
Today, all of the so-called 'SVCD' players in production are actually
Chaoji VCD players. Despite the mandatory CVD support, it is conceivable
that the actual CVD format will be (already is?) orphaned in favor of SVCD.
As far as I know, there are no features in the CVD format that would not
also exist in the SVCD specification.
2. Current status
is currently in the process of IEC standardisation
(see IEC document title "IEC
62107"). This means that SVCD is about to become an internationally
recognized CD standard (just like Video CD 2.0 or CD-DA already are), although
it is uncertain whether it will actually find commercial applications outside
China and nearby countries.
SVCD titles are currently commercially available at least in mainland
China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and India (please
me if you know more).
Philips (the inventor of the original
audio CD) has added an SVCD logo to their collection
of official Compact Disc logos (see the sample above). Super Video
CD specification 1.0 can be ordered from Philips
System Standards & Licensing at $200.
Lately, relatively cheap stand-alone DVD / SVCD / VCD / MP3 players
have been appearing all over the western world. They are selling like hotcakes.
You can find links to some of them in the related
3. Technical features
In terms of video and audio quality, SVCD is in between VCD 2.0 and DVD,
using a 2x CD drive to support variable bitrate (VBR) MPEG-2 video up to
2.6 Mbps, and either 1 or 2 MPEG-2 Layer II stereo audio streams (for soundtracks
in two different languages). It is also possible to use MPEG-2 Multi-Channel
5.1 surround audio encoding.
SVCD can deliver more than 2 times sharper video images (480x576 for
PAL material, 480x480 for NTSC - commonly referred to as a "2/3 D1" resolution)
than the previous VCD standard . Because of the increased vertical resolution,
nature of video signal is now also preserved. This results in smoother-looking
motion for any video footage that was originally shot with a field-based
video camera (as opposed to frame-based film or a "progressive frame mode"
SVCD supports 16:9 (anamorphic wide screen) image aspect ratio. (Actually,
it has always been possible to store 16:9 material in anamorphic format
- even on a VCD 2.0 disc or VHS tape - but maybe some SVCD players can
now also tell the TV set to automatically switch to the right mode by using
screen signalling methods.)
SVCD has extensive support for subtitling and karaoke lyrics color highlighting,
neither of which were possible in VCD 2.0. An SVCD video stream can contain
up to four independent subtitling channels for different languages. The
subtitles are overlaid on the top of the video image in real time, which
allows turning them on and off at will. Since the subtitles are stored
as bitmap graphics, they are not tied to any particular script or character
Additionally, SVCD standard supports HTML style hyperlinks, still images
(480x576 or 704x576 for PAL, 480x480 or 704x480 for NTSC), playlists/slideshows,
multi-level hierarchical menus and chapters (indexing).
To sum it all up: SVCD discs can be used to deliver karaoke or music
videos, movies, home videos, still image slide shows, product catalogs
and games much the same way as VCD 2.0 discs. However, SVCD standard is
not a direct superset of VCD 2.0 standard. It is not possible to use VCD
2.0 frame sizes or MPEG-1 video if you want to create a standard SVCD disc.
The typical running time of an SVCD disc (with full resolution and quality)
is about 35-45 minutes, although it can be extended to over 70 minutes
by compromising image and sound quality.
4. Playback options
4.1 Stand-alone SVCD/VCD players
Stand-alone SVCD/VCD players are widely available in Far East. In most
cases they are able to play at least SVCD, Interactive VCD, VCD 2.0, VCD
1.1, CD-i and CD-DA formats. Some of them even support MP3 CD-ROMs.
SVCD/VCD players cannot play DVDs, since they are not based on DVD drives.
However, some models can be 'upgraded' to become a DVD player by swapping
the CD drive with a DVD drive. This is due to the fact that most SVCD players
use basically the same MPEG-2 engine and processor as their DVD counterparts.
As commercially produced SVCD titles will probably only be available
in Far East, it is not very likely that stand-alone SVCD/VCD players would
be released outside of China and nearby countries.
4.2 Stand-alone SVCD-compatible DVD video players
From technical viewpoint, it is relatively easy to make any DVD video player
compatible with the SVCD standard. Most players would only require a firmware
update from the manufacturer.
Asian manufacturers have indeed been shipping SVCD-compatible DVD players
for their local markets quite a long time now. However, in Europe - and
especially in the US - the situation has been quite different. People have
occasionally had a very hard time even finding a VCD 2.0 compatible player,
let alone one that would play back such an 'exotic' and relatively unknown
format as SVCD is.
Now the tides are changing. OEM manufacturers from Far East have lately
been bombarding both Europe and North America with a surge of relatively
cheap "no-name" DVD players, based on standard PC components. These technological
marvels are selling like hotcakes right now, mostly due their low price
and the alluring MP3 CD-ROM playback capability. However, there is yet
another good reason for buying them: they also support SVCDs!
It is still uncertain whether SVCD compatibility - or MP3 playback capability,
for that matter - will become a widely-supported feature in mainstream
European/American DVD players. Nonetheless, now that so many people already
have the necessary SVCD equipment, they are surely going to experiment
a lot more with creating their own SVCDs.
If you are interested in purchasing a DVD player, you should ask your
local retailer first if they have any SVCD-compatible models available,
or if they can order one for you. If not, see the related
links section below. There are many good SVCD-compatible DVD players
available - why settle for anything less?
Note: If you are planning on creating
your own SVCDs and viewing them on an SVCD-compatible DVD player, ensure
that the player can read CD-R media (i.e. has two lasers), or at least
CD-RW media. Some DVD players can only read factory-made (aluminum, "silver")
Note #2: There are some DVD players that
support SVCD even if it does not say so anywhere in the manual. Usually
the salespersons do not know anything about this kind hidden capability,
and they are also very likely to be totally unaware and ignorant about
that such a compact disc standard exists. In order not to miss these players,
take an SVCD test disc with you when you go shopping. (VCD 2.0 and MP3
test discs could also come handy.)
4.3 Multimedia PCs
SVCDs can be read in any CD-XA compatible CD-ROM drive that runs with at
least 2x speed (i.e. any modern CD-ROM drive will do). A Pentium-II 350
MHz level multimedia PC (or equivalent) can possibly decode SVCDs in real
time with mere software. Slower machines may require an additional MPEG-2
decoder card. There are SVCD-compatible software players available in the
links section below.
5. Creating your own SVCDs
Overall image quality seems to be very much as expected - much sharper
than with VCD 2.0 - but in high-motion scenes, the image gets blocky very
easily. Maybe this is a problem with bbMPEG, though - it does not seem
to have the same kind of powerful pre-filtering capabilities as e.g. the
Panasonic MPEG-1 Encoder has (or then again, it might be that I just don't
know how to tweak it properly yet).
I have recently authored and
burned my first home-made SVCD
, which plays back without a hitch
in my stand-alone SMC VP-601K SVCD player. So have the others. Creating
SVCDs is not voodoo or black magic anymore. After you have read this introductory
stuff, simply go to the related links section
and start reading the tutorials offered there. Also check out the MPEG
encoders and SVCD authoring programs, and The Super Video CD FAQ. A good
place for discussion about MPEG encoding and SVCD authoring is the
Update #2: There are some options buried deep in bbMPEG's advanced
options that deal with encoding fields-based (i.e.
image data. It would seem appropriate to fiddle with these if you're encoding
from an interlaced source. Mind you, almost any footage that has been shot
with a regular video camera is interlaced in nature, as well as is a good
part of tv productions.
Update #3: Several "making SVCDs" type tutorials added into the
I'm still interested in any comments and hints from those of you that
have experimented with making your own SVCDs.
SVCD is based on regular CD media. Thus, it is technically possible to
burn SVCDs all by yourself with a standard CD-R writer.
Some obvious applications for home-burnt SVCDs include
In order to create SVCDs, you need:
archiving an analogue video library on CDs before the old tapes start to
degrade (e.g. movies, cult tv show episodes, home videos, any old material
stored on obsoleted formats such as Betamax, Laserdisc, U-matic, Super8,
creating multimedia product catalogs, educational titles and presentations
with near S-VHS picture quality and some level of interactivity (SVCD supports
hierarchical menus, still image playlists etc.)
backing up DVDs in a lower resolution format
sending video letters and home videos to friends and relatives all over
the world in a more flexible, more durable, lighter and more standards-independent
format than VHS is
Some source material (video, movie, animation, still images)
Video capture card, frame grabber, IEEE-1394 interface or some other mean
of transferring your source material into your computer (supposing it is
not there already)
MPEG-2 encoder. These come either in software or hardware form. Those that
fall in the latter category usually function as video capturing cards on
their own. One should be careful when choosing an encoder, since not all
of them necessarily support SVCD resolutions or SVCD MPEG-2 system stream
multiplexing format. (However, you usually can do the multiplexing in a
SVCD authoring package (see below for more information)
Note: Some people have been experimenting
with non-standard deviations of both VCD 2.0 and DVD formats, often respectively
called XVCD and MiniDVD (of which the latter one seems to
be largely mythical, since I have not yet seen reports on any stand-alone
DVD player being actually capable of playing those). Despite very convincing-sounding
names, these are not standards at all - not even coherent technical specifications
- but just some very loosely coined general terms for discs that have specifically
been altered not to follow the standards.
Do not confuse XVCD or MiniDVD with SVCD. SVCD is an industry-backed standard.
Properly made SVCD discs are guaranteed to work in any SVCD-compatible
player. The aforementioned deviations do not come with such guarantees.
It is up to you: if you really want to trust your precious video on a non-standard
format that may or may not be readable in the future on a different player,
go ahead. I would rather not.
5.2 About SVCD authoring packages
5.2.1 Why do I need one?
SVCDs are not like your regular CD-ROMs. You cannot just burn some MPEG-2
files on a blank CD-R and expect the end result to pass as an SVCD disc.
The SVCD specification requires using a specific CD-XA sector format and
a strictly defined directory hierachy, complete with MPEG tracks and some
special control files.
It would be extremely difficult (if not outright impossible) to hand-craft
a proper SVCD disc in a regular CD-ROM authoring application. If one failed
to follow even a slighest detail in the specification, the disc would not
play properly on a standard SVCD player, and could not be considered an
SVCD disc at all. This is why SVCD discs are always created using specialized
SVCD authoring software.
A proper SVCD authoring package contains all the necessary tools and
editors for managing the video clips and defining multi-level menus, subtitles,
still images, slide shows, playlists and other navigational elements needed
for accessing all the content that has been prepared for the disc. In the
end of the day, the authoring package is used to create the necessary binary
image file which one can then burn on a blank CD-R disc.
5.2.2 Where do I get one?
Up until these days, the most irritating problem with the SVCD format has
been the lack of consumer-level authoring tools. There have not been many
available in the first place, and almost invariably they have been aimed
at professional users only. As you might have guessed, this kind of software
often tends to bear a "professional" price tag as well. (You will find
four such packages at the related links section
Fortunately, the situation is now starting to look better from the consumer
viewpoint: The forerunner in this sense has been Ahead
Software which has recently released an SVCD-capable version of
their Nero - Burning Rom
CD authoring software.
As for the technical issues, SVCD is basically nothing more than just
an extended VCD 2.0 specification. Although it is not a direct superset,
it is still close enough to be considered as a cousin format. As the technical
similarities are obvious, it is conceivable that the currently available
VCD 2.0 authoring tools will evolve into SVCD-capable authoring tools over
the time. Hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later so that we
can get some real competition on the field.
Basically it's up to you: let the manufacturers hear what you want.
If you want it to happen sooner, you should kindly request the SVCD
capability in the future versions of Adaptec'sEasy
CD Creator and other CD-ROM authoring packages.
6. Related links
6.1 General information about the SVCD standard
6.2 SVCD authoring tutorials
6.3 SVCD authoring software
Ahead Software has added SVCD
support in their Nero - Burning
Rom CD-ROM authoring software.
CeQuadrat has added SVCD
support in VideoPack
5.0, which has been demoed at CeBIT 2000 fair, but apparently not
Compact Data Inc. sells Query's
VCDMaker software for the Macintosh platform.
EnReach Technology sells SVCD
authoring software called EnReach
I-Author for SuperVCD.
Obviously, I-Author puts the MPEG-2 sequence items inside a directory called
whereas the Philips software uses MPEG2 (which I believe is more
appropriate since Philips was one of the companies involved with creating
the original SVCD standard). This disrepancy can cause some problems, at
least on software players. If you are going to purchase (or already using)
an Enreach product, you might want to ask them about it.
Philips has made a beta version
of their SVCD authoring toolset available
for download. There are three tools available: SVCD Designer,
Toolset and SVCD Verification. Using them requires Windows NT
/ Windows 2000 and a valid registration code. (Yes, this is a commercial
software package and you must pay Philips in order to get the code.)
6.4 SVCD test disc images
Johannes Kratz has made available an NTSC
SVCD disc image in Easy CD Creator's CIF format. Note that it apparently
suffers from I-Author's MPEGAV folder issue. (The sequence items should
be stored in a folder called MPEG2, not MPEGAV.)
6.5 Software-based (possibly SVCD-compatible) MPEG-2 encoders
Note: SVCD specification requires that every intra frame in the
video stream is accompanied by a special block called "User Data". This
block apparently contains scan and closed caption information. Missing
or empty "User Data" blocks will probably at least affect the seek capability
of the player. Moreover, an SVCD disc that does not contain "User Data"
blocks is probably invalid from the standard's viewpoint.
Supposedly, there are two possible mechanisms for inserting the "User
Data" blocks in the elementary video stream:
The MPEG-2 encoder can specifically allocate empty space for the "User
Data" blocks in the elementary video stream. The SVCD multiplexer is then
supposed to fill the actual data in those blocks. (This is probably how
bbMPEG's SVCD encoding works, although I'm not sure.)
Another theoretically possible scenario is that the MPEG-2 encoder does
not specifically create any empty space, but the SVCD multiplexer is still
flexible enough to insert the "User Data" blocks in the stream. (I do not
know if there are such multiplexers.)
It is almost certain that no MPEG-2 encoder will automatically
any space for "User Data" blocks in the stream. So either the SVCD support
must be built-in
(as is the case with bbMPEG), or the encoder must
be tweakable enough to allow creating a profile that takes this issue in
consideration. On the other hand, if an SVCD multiplexer requires
that there are empty spaces for inserting the block data, this would mean
that you could only use SVCD compatible encoders with them.
As of now, I am not greatly confident about any other tools supporting
this correctly than bbMPEG and Philips SVCD Designer/Toolset. There may
very well be tools that claim support for SVCD, but whose author has not
even heard about "User Data" blocks. I am also not too sure if even Philips'
own multiplexer can properly handle any elementary video streams - or just
those that have the empty placeholders for "User Data" blocks. Somebody
obviously needs to test and analyse this more.
If you have any concerns about the encoders, multiplexers and authoring
tools you currently use, you should contact the company/individual who
makes the product and ask them about it. After all, this is one of the
best ways to make the situation better. If you would happen to get any
useful information on the subject, mail
me. I would be glad to add the info on this page.
The main problem seems to be that it is unknown on whose responsibility
it actually is to insert and fill in those blocks. Is it the encoder? Or
the multiplexer? Or both? Should the authoring application be somehow involved?
And what if you use an SVCD authoring program that does not come with
its own multiplexer? Does that kind of authoring tool even check that your
stream is within the specification's limits? Does it warn you if there
are no "User Data" blocks in place, or if they have not been properly filled
with the required information?
So many questions, so few answers... :(
Teco has benchmarked
a bunch of MPEG-2 encoders. Check out the results. They also have their
test AVI file available for download.
Brent Beyeler has
programmed a freely distributable, open-sourced MPEG-2 encoder called bbMPEG.
It can be used either in stand-alone mode or as a plug-in for Adobe
Premiere, and it readily supports SVCD multiplexing.
bbMPEG has some problems with reporting its bitrate correctly - it may
sometimes peak over 2.6 Mbit/s. You should use Teco's free Bitrate viewer
(see below for links) to check that you really have created a proper MPEG-2
file for SVCD authoring.
bbMPEG apparently creates the "User Data" blocks correctly, while many
other encoders don't
A tip from Kevin Cribbs: You can decrease motion artifacts and blockiness
by going to Advanced Video Settings / Additional Settings / Motion Estimation
/ Pel Movement and tweaking the Horizontal and Vertical
values from 3 to 9. Or at least 6. (Note: nothing is free. This slows down
Another good tip from Kevin Cribbs: When encoding interlaced
material, be sure to set the the field dominance correctly (at Advanced
Video Settings / Additional Settings / General / Top Field First).
If the incorrect field is specified as being first, even large motion search
settings would not correctly encode scenes. Users should perform motion
scene encoding experiments using both first field settings if they are
not sure of the field order.
Digigami sells an MPEG-2
encoder called MegaPEG.
According to their tech support, it can encode SVCD-compatible streams.
Besides the stand-alone version, they also have an Adobe Premiere plug-in
Ligos develops an MPEG-1 and
MPEG-2 encoding product called LSX-MPEG
Warning: The stand-alone version of the LSX-MPEG Encoder
does not currently support encoding interlaced MPEG-2 streams, nor does
it support multiple source AVI files, or even the OpenDML AVI standard.
However, Ligos has released an
Adobe Premiere plug-in version of the encoder, which does not have
Also see Dave Wolf's unofficial SVCD
Profiles for Ligos encoders and Johannes Kratz's modifications
If you have problems with importing an LSX-MPEG stream into SVCD authoring
program, try first demultiplexing it with Brent Beyeler's bbTOOLS
(see the links below) and then multiplexing it again with bbMPEG.
Mainconcept sells an NLE
application called MainActor,
which can produce SVCD compliant MPEG-2 streams. The incorporated MPEG-2
encoder is based on bbMPEG codebase, but it has been revised and optimized
Hiroyuki Hon's Tsunami
MPEG Encoder (page in Japanese) is a little known freeware program,
but many already feel it is the best of the bunch. Some sources say it
is "2x faster than bbMPEG" and "produces better quality in moving shots".
It also works for interlaced video and has various VBR encoding modes (even
a 2-pass one). Or as some say, "This is the first encoder ever that can
deal really well with those jumpy, interlaced camcorder videos, without
deinterlacing, filters, whatsoever."
Some English documentation is available here
There is also an English
language patch file.
The encoder does not come with SVCD profiles. However, there are some profiles
available for download on Codecbox's
site (go to the SVCD subpage).
You can get 480x576 output by selecting the "full screen" from "Video+"
tab. You should also set the input format to 4:3 manually. However, it
would probably be better to do the resampling/preprocessing job in VirtualDub.
Some feel that the best encoding mode would be CQ-VBR, but try it for yourself.
The maximum bitrate setting does not work correctly. A setting of about
1300 Kbit/s produces streams near 2600 Kbit/s. Apparently, the value is
exactly half of the bitrate that will actually be produced.
Ulead Mediastudio Pro 6
and Video Studio 4 come complete with Ligos
GoMotion MPEG-2 codec. It is yet unknown whether this codec can produce
SVCD compliant streams. Apparently it does not support VBR or field-based
encoding. Mail me if you have already
tried using it for SVCD authoring.
6.6 General video tools and information
Essential Video Resources(my
own video information bookmark page)
Avery Lee has programmed
a GPL'd, freely distributable video capture and processing utility called
It can filter your video in many ways (crop, resample to different size,
add borders, sharpen, soften, correct colors etc.) and also doubles as
a linear digital video editor. Also see his Video
Capture and Processing info page.
Brent Beyeler has
programmed a freely distributable, open-sourced MPEG-2 demultiplexer and
analyzer toolset called called bbTOOLS.
Donald Graft has programmed some
useful filters for VirtualDub, such as Antiflicker Filter, Smart
Deinterlacer, Unsharp Mask and Hue/Saturation/Intensity Filter.
While deinterlacing is not actually needed (nor even wanted) on SVCD discs,
Smart Deinterlacer can now also swap the field phase, which might
sometimes come very useful and handy.
Jim Casaburi has made some
useful filters as well: 2D Cleaner and Temporal Cleaner.
Teco offers a free version
of their MPEG Bitrate
Viewer for download. It displays a graph of the bitrate and Q factor
(quality). You can use it to check out that your video streams do not exceed
6.7 Software-based MPEG-2/SVCD players
Herosoft (page in Chinese)
develops a free product called SthDVD,
which is an SVCD-compatible software DVD player.
InterVideo Inc. develops
a product called WinDVD,
which is an SVCD-compatible software DVD player.
6.8 Hardware-based MPEG-2 decoder/encoder solutions
6.9 Companies that sell or manufacture SVCD-compatible stand-alone video
is a stand-alone player that is also able to "record SVCD & VCD quality
video and CD quality audio, using CD-R and CD-R/W discs" - in real time!
6.10 Companies that sell or manufacture SVCD-compatible stand-alone VCD/DVD/MP3
Amoisonic makes stand-alone SVCD
players, SVCD-compatible DVD players and even SVCD recorders!
Apex - see VDDV Corp
AVPhile - see Raite
Great America Technologies
Nintaus (Jin Zheng) Electronics Co Ltd (also see this
Hitachi makes at least one
DVD player with hidden SVCD support: DV-P250E (UK and German versions
have been confirmed to work).
Hoyo - see Raite
KISS - see Raite
Monyka - see Raite
Pioneer makes DVD players
with hidden SVCD support: at least the models DV-525, DV-C302D
and DV-K301CD can play SVCDs, although it does not necessarily say
so in the manual.
Raite is a Taiwanese OEM
company whose DVD / SVCD / VCD / MP3 / CD-DA players are available under
many different brand names, including (but not necessarily limited to)
Tokai and Monyka. The most interesting models are 715
and 713. (Note that the the KISS brand uses different model numbers
for the same players.) Also see the following links:
Samsung manufactures DVD players
with hidden SVCD support: at least the model 709 can play SVCDs,
although it does not necessarily say so in the manual.
Shinco International AV Co., LTD
Tokai - see Raite
VDDV Corp. is an OEM company
whose DVD / SVCD / VCD / MP3 / CD-DA players are available under many different
brand names, including Apex. The models 560, 580,
and 830 are SVCD compatible.
Yamakawa - see Raite
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