Higher bit rate VideoCDs that REALLY play on Sony DVD players?

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I have read with great interest of some of you who have said they have made VideoCDs with bit rates up to 2200 that give a much higher quality picture and can be played in Sony DVD players.

Is this true, and what DVD players will it work on and what are the steps. I have the panasonic mpeg encoder but it doesn't let you change the bit rate on video CDs. I also have Easy CD Deluxe 4 and Nero, but Easy CD creator has always screwed up my video CDs if they have more than one track. The first track plays fine and the rest are screwy.

Can anyone who has gotten higher bit rates to play please describe the process in detail.

I need to make looping videos for some people and so far, the quality of VideoCD just isn't too great.. it is blurry and blocky. Every once in a while on close ups and meduim shots that are not moving.. the quality is good.. but for the most part... it leaves a lot to be desired, so I am hoping that uping the bit rate by 1000 might help but need the details.

I am takeing my files directly from a Canon Xl1 DV camera.. DV into the computer.. not redigitizing with a mjpeg card. Then I am converting those files directly with the panasonic mpeg encoder. This is the best I can get but it still is not great.

I have heard that Heuris is the best software encoder... but I heard that about panasonic too and it was only very marginally better than Xing on some of the blockiness, but xing had better colors.

Anyone using Heuris, is it better, is there a way to get a copy of it for testing?

Anyway... thats it for now, hope someone can help.

-- Blackout (blackout@blackout.com), February 07, 2000


I can attest to using higher bitrates for VCD video streams, since I do this. I encode using Panasonic MPEG Encoder. You must use the MPEG-1 Sytem Stream option in the drop-down box (NOT VideoCD Stream). After encoding, I use Nero Burning ROM to make the VCD. It gives me a warning telling me that the files I'm trying to use are not VideoCD 2.0 compliant and asks if I want to turn VCD 2.0 compatibility off. I click yes and it accepts the MPEGs. I burn at 1x on my Ricoh MP6200A burner using Memorex label-less 8x cd-r discs. They came in a 50 disc spindle. Obviously, using a higher bitrate results in larger files and less time to use. I usually leave the audio bitrate at 224kbps and I the video I increase. Just for reference, here are some settings to time figures:

video, audio, total, time

1150, 224, 1374, 74 min. (yes all 74min. this is video not data!!!) 1376, 224, 1600, ~63 min. 1476, 224, 1700, ~59 min. 1976, 224, 2200, ~46 min.

To calculate your desired bitrate according to how much time your video, just divide 101676 by the time you need to encode (in minutes). Example: for 50 minutes of video, 101676/50=2033.52 (always round down to insure enough room on the disc, say 2000kbps (video:1776 audio:224)).

Now for the fun part. From what I've read on other forums, if you can get your media to be recognized by your Sony DVD player, then you can encode your video at up to 2200kbps and play. Over that and the video stutters because the hardware can't keep up. The time display will not be accurate. It will count faster than normal because it is running the video faster due to the higher bitrate. I own a Sony DVP-S500D and it plays my VCDs perfectly. There have been reports of long seek times on the disc and pauses in video. This is because of the burning of the disc. That's why I burn at 1x. This makes a reliable and easily readable vcd for me. Others have said burning at other rates do well for other media and different burners. You just gotta experiment to find your sweet spot. Hope this helps. E-mail me if you have more questions.


-- HazyMind (hazymind@earthlink.net), February 07, 2000.

Hi Hazemind, I tried your method with Nero 4.0. Nero 4.0 will burn the file without problem, but the disc is unusable by both the PC and the DVD. I used Dazzle DVC to capture Mpeg-1 at 2000Kbits/sec for video and 224Kbits/s for audio. What did I do wrong?

-- lnguyen (wingstarzz@hotmail.com), February 07, 2000.

Well, I tried this last night, encoding with panasonic at a bit rate of 1860 video and 224 audio. I then burned the disc at 1x speed using Nero. My Sony S7000 DVD player actually recongnized the disc as a Video CD and strated playing, and the quality looked great! BUT.. there was one major problem... It played back in slow motion and the sound chopped up. Is there a way to get it to play back at a normal speed... or is it just playing the higher bitrate data at a normal VideoCD datarate speed. Is tere some setting in Panasonics encoder to change? I would really like to get this to work because by changing the bitrate, the increase in the quality of the picture was dramatic. I also burned some regular rate mpeg1s onto the disc and they played fine. Maybe you can't mix. Strange thing is... the regular mpeg1s I burned with Nero looked a lot better than what I burned with Easy CD creator deluxe.. even though I burned the same mpegs. It must be that Easy cd creator burns a disc with a lot of errors which results in more blockiness.

-- Blackout (blackout@blackout.com), February 08, 2000.

Just a note about Adaptec and Nero. I've used Adaptec before and it seems to resample each mpeg clip you use and converts to dat. Nero, however, doesn't do this step and just converts the mpeg file into dat. The .dat format is just a transport format for vcd. Nero does this translation on the fly and Adaptec seems to actually reprocess the whole clip. I don't know why this is so or what actually goes on during this preparation step. I do get better quality with Nero.


-- HazyMind (hazymind@earthlink.net), February 08, 2000.

For lnguyen,

What DVD player are you playing this back on? And using a vid rate of 2000 and audio rate of 224 gives a total of 2224kbps. This is too high for for Sony players, at least of my DVP-S500D. Also, to check to see if it's a problem with the disc itself, try to play back the .dat files on the disc using Media Player. It should play fine. If not, there must be something wrong alongside the burning the process or the media used. Remember, the only things I can be sure about pertains to using these non-compliant vcds on a Sony DVP-S500D. That's the model I use. I have not tested it on any others. I might go do that and post results later.


-- HazyMind (hazymind@earthlink.net), February 08, 2000.

Hi HazyMind, My DVD player is Pioneer DVC302D (duel lasers). I have tried the 100% VCD compliant mpeg1 file with Nero and it still tells me that the Mpeg1 is not VCD 2.0 CDI compliant. The Pioneer will recognized the 2000kbits/s video rate disc is a VCD; However, when it plays,all i can hear is some choppy sound from the TV and no picture at all. Another thing is that Nero will put CD-I application on the disc whether i want it or not. How do i get rid of this feature?

-- lnguyen (wingstarzz@hotmail.com), February 08, 2000.

Hi HazyMind, I uninstalled nero and reinstalled EZ CD Creator Deluxe 4.01 and burned a VCD 2.0 compliant clip and it work both on the PC and the DVD player. This same clip is burned with Nero and it will not play on either the PC or the DVD. Tried to play the AVseq01.dat with Mplayer and activemovie and both of these player also failed and it locked up my computer. Giving me an error in module vcx (03) something something.... regarding scsi hlp...i know this is the problem with EZ but when i look for the scsi1.hlp file in windows/system/iosubsys/ and i don't see this file anywhere....so what Nero is doing???? Can you give step by step instruction as to what to do in creating the vcd with nero? There are about 6 tabs during Nero VCD creation...I've unchecked the video tab 2.0 VCD CDi compliant, set ISO 9660 2 and all the related ISO boxes checked.

-- lnguyen (wingstarzz@hotmail.com), February 08, 2000.

Well... I have a sony S7000, the high end player. I am using Nero, and I made a file at 1860 video bit rate and 224 audio. Now in media player it plays back fine, and it is about 5 minutes. The strange thing is, when I put it on my video track list in Nero, it lists it duration at 8 minutes and it DOESN'T bring up a warning of the video being non vcd compliant. Odd... perhaps I have an older version of nero. As a matter of fact if I list the properties, it says the video IS VCD compliant even though I have encoded it at a hiher bit rate.

When I burn the disc and put it in my Sony S7000, it plays it but it takes 8 minutes.. so it is playing it in kind of a slow mo and the audio is skipping. Very odd. I burned normal compliant VCD files and it plays these fine.. Do I have to be sure to burn JUST a higher bit rate file and not mix? When you add your non compliant mpeg1 to nero, does it read the ACTUAL duration or does it stretch the time out longer like what happened to me? The duration of my video at a bit rate of 1860 was around 5 mins but Nero read it as 8.

- Help


-- Blackout (blackout@blackout.com), February 09, 2000.

Hey HazyMind, what version of NEro are you using to do this? I have version mayby I need to reinstall and just use version 4?

-- Blackout (blackout@blackout.com), February 09, 2000.


I'm not sure why Nero does this. I have heard issues with playable vcds burned by Nero. Here's the settings I use. I uncheck the VideoCD 2.0 compliance, ISO Level 1 (Max of 11=8+3 chars), ISO 9660 Character Set, and all ISO restrictions relaxed (both boxes checked). These are the default settings for the VCD template aside from unchecking the VideoCD 2.0 compliance. I am using Nero I have heard some issues with newer versions of Nero (contrary to the e-mail I just sent you Blackout). If you can find this version and try it out that might clear up some problems with the file itself. Blackout, I already e-mailed you about your particular project.


-- HazyMind (hazymind@earthlink.net), February 09, 2000.

Hazymind, You the man!!!! thanks for all your help!!! Panasonic is the only way to fly....IT WORKS!!!! 1976,224,2200 plays wonderful!!! Thanks again... Now can you also give us detail as what settings you put in panasonic to have best quality? i.e filters settings, interpolation settings, etc.... I've tested with an old vhs tape through composite video input to see what kind of quality i get out of it.... The result is awsome. I captured the 5 minutes of video using the Dazzle DVC at 3000kbits/s(highest settings this device let you set it). Ran it through Panasonic 2.3 using the bitrate settings you've mentioned. Burned it with Nero, and man oh man does it works great!!! You know what? This maybe a semi-SVCD??? Have you tried to bump up the video bitrates and reduced the audio bitrates and stay at the 2200kbits/s range and see what happened?

-- lnguyen (wingstarzz@hotmail.com), February 09, 2000.

Congratulation lnguyen! You CAN lower the audio rate to achieve more data rate. Just as long as you're within your maximum. Here's more info, though, that I've found around the net. This is now being dubbed XVCD and some people have found that resizing to 480X480 (ntsc) is also acceptable instead of (352X240). Alas, I tried this, but the SonyDVP-S500D will take the top left 352X240 and show that on the screen. Doh! So I can only do 352X240 on my player. Other people have tried this on other players and I've seen reports of being able to get up to 3500kbps on some Philips players I think. Don't hold me to that, though. Good luck guys!

-- HazyMind (hazymind@earthlink.net), March 01, 2000.

I forgot to include that the settings I use in Panasonic are all default. I've found that these are pretty much the way to go. The only thing I've tried to screw with were GOP settings of 12,12,4. I didn't see any difference, though, so I don't bother.


-- HazyMind (hazymind@earthlink.net), March 01, 2000.

I would think that your playback rate is depending upon the speed of your dvd player. If a double speed reader is installed in a Sony player, it can't read the data that is > 300kbytes/sec ~2400kb/s. So too bad. If another other band uses a 4x reader it can read up to ~4800kb/s. And use SVCD format if you want higher quality. (480x480) if somebody can find out what speed their Sony player reads, can someone post it here? Thanks have fun!

-- big boy (helloworld@helloworld.com), January 31, 2001.

amazing that all these people responded and no one said this, but raise the VBV BUFFER size. set it as high as it will go. that should solve your stuttering audio. also, different sony models have different playable max bitrates. ive seen some sony models play 2500+224. my own sony (dvp-c600d) wont go that high, but will do 2400+224. as for the best encoder, not many (if any) better than tmpgenc. www.tmpgenc.com

-- ndumu (ndumu@hotmail.com), January 31, 2001.

VCDs encoded with tmpgenc and burned with Nero worked well on my Sony S500D. I can do XVCD up to 2500kbps + 224kbps. I am surprised others here have problem with the bitrate.


Can anyone of you has tried SVCD????? My Sony gives me an error 0013.

Plz, reply here or email me directly. I live for SVCD... or Mini- DVD ... or XSVCD...


-- Turbo (pcarrieres@sympatico.ca), April 01, 2001.

Well i'm kinda a newbie to all this, but i have burned vcd and svcd sucessfully. I used vcdhelp.com and their advice worked fine for me. I use smart ripper, then use dvd2avi to make an avi, then tmpgenc to convert to mpeg and cut the file, then use nero to burn. I've burned them at 8x, and they work. I do use the nice verbatim discs though, whi9ch are costly, but hey, the dvd was free to rip right? I have tried playing svcd on a $250 dollar jvc, a $300 dollar sony and a ps2, none of them will play, but i did buy a $100 dollar apex 500-w and it playes it perfectly. Just like a dvd. Apex really makes good stuff. Mine plays, mp3 cd's, vcd, svcd, xvcd, xsvcd, and dvd's, it might even play dvd-r. And for 100 bucks, i have never had a problem with it, oh yeah cd-r and cd-rw. I mean this baby does it all. I trie that panasonic deal but i coulnd't get it to work, but my method works for me so i'm just going to stick with this till iget the pan. to work out. Hope i helped somebody out.

-- Juan Steffan (juansteffan@computermail.net), September 03, 2001.

The smartripper + dvd2avi + tmpgenc2 also seems to be the best quality I have seen as well. The only thing I do different with audio is to use ac3dec + normalize.

My tmpgenc2 has a subdirectory of video profiles called "extra" which has a vcd profile there with a slightly higher bitrate on it. I have been able to use that slightly higher bitrate on some of these stubborn dvd players that refuse to play non standard vcd 2.0 compliant cd's.

I only hope that svcd format will become more widely supported on DVD players. Currently only 30% of DVD players will play svcd as opposed to more than 60% that play VCD.

As far as someone earlier saying that their nero does not tell them that the mpg is not compliant, I am using the latest nero 5.5 and it seems to not alert me either that my mpeg is not vcd compliant. It just tells me that the length of the VCD is longer than it actually is.

-- Tony T (bgsu25@teacher.com), January 08, 2002.

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