Results on high bitrate VCDs - players that work : LUSENET : Video CD : One Thread

Well, I burned a higher bitrate VCD using 1960 as the video and 224 as the audio so we are at almost 2200 total bitrate. I have to say that after going to brandsmart and a couple of other stores, almost 90% of the DVD players would not play this disc correctly. The only two that did play the video and audio correctly with no flaws were the Denon dvd-1500 (about a $400 player) and the Pioneer 525.

Encoding at this rate gave a very nice playback with little to no blocki artifacts. The DENON looked really nice, even on a big screen tv. The pioneer was hooked up to a crappy monitor unfortunately so I could't really compare image quality, just that it played a higher bitrate VCD perfectly.

The biggest problem with a VCD is that it's resolution is low, so it has a slightly soft or mushy look on some scenes like wide angles. Medium shots and close ups looked great. My source was high quality DV footage from a Canon XL1 camera, fed digitally directly into a PC through a miro DV300 firewire card, then encoded into a mpeg1 with the panasonic encoder and burned with Nero.

Hope this helps some of you out. The Pioneer 525 is probably your best bet as far as cost goes (it's only about $220) but the Denon might have slightly better quality.

- Michael

-- Blackout (, February 24, 2000


Michael, Have you tried to record it straight to mpeg1 format at that bitrate and's much better than going through encoding process if you already have high quality source. ATI AIW 128 will provide excellent result for you using the same vid/aud settings straight to Mpeg1. I've done this and the result is equivalent to my original source without going through the long hours of encoding. lnguyen

-- (, February 24, 2000.

oh the apex ad600a can play the higher video cds (and super vcds ) the pioneer 525 and apex can BOTH read a regular vcd with a bitrate of 2500, no higher otherwise audio will skip

-- Doug (, February 24, 2000.


Its been interesting to read your inputs to this board, its a classic case of "if you know" you purchase the correct equipment. Once you have committed you have two options, quit and buy something else like the AIW your talking about and a new computer for us oldies who have not got agp or you continue to work on get arounds to achieve better quality from what we have.

I just hope that someone who has not bought yet is lucky enough to see your postings hidden away in the mass on this site with a search system that will not come up with the goods. Unless you know what to ask for you cannot get an answer out of any index type system and thats not just on this site.

What is missing on this site are people that are willing not to just "ask a question" or answer one, but give their experiences and impressions based on hands on experience and not just what they think should happen without the benifit of experience. The new comer can benifit and be put on the right track and the rest of us who are wrong footed can consider what to do next.

I sure hope "Niave" who I have had lots of offline contact with finds this sort of information soon enough to make the correct decisions for an upgrade of what he has now. A lot are in the wrong boat and locked into it, never to get out. In the end who can you trust, not a sales person thats for sure because none of them have hands on experience. For gods sake I was told by a sales person to use a software decoder and not a hardware decoder, I would waste my money!

When I read what your saying and combined that with my astounding experiece with the decoder card in the last couple of days I am not sure firewire dvcapture in avi's is anywhere near the correct answer to this business of playing things out of a DVD player to a TV. In my case this all grew from way back in 1992.

Nearly 12 months ago when I started to get serious in this VCD business the 525 Pioneer would not play my VCd's sound correctly so I made another wrong decision because no real information was available from here or anywhere else to tell us why that was so or what corrections we should make to get success. Even more frustrating now when I take my current productions to a shop they play beautifully in a 525 menus and all. Some you really do win and some your really do not.

I am now going to tape when needed from a high data rate mpeg-1 because then there is no 2G or 4G limit and my little 10G drive can produce a 45 minute file to tape from a firewire capture at 3.62M/s. What I need now is not a new computer but a mpeg2 timeline plugin for Premiere.

Have a good one!

-- Ross McL (, February 24, 2000.

I agree Ross....This site has been a huge help in finding out what was going wrong after I made purchases but it did at least do that. I was able to figure out that a lot of my earlier problems were due to my Philips 825 tabletop and not my software like Philips tried to claim. I was even able to convince Circuit City to let me exchange it for the Pioneer 525(after 90 days). What I don't get is how some people can be using the basically the same equiptment (such as the Broadway 4.0) and claim to be getting "stunning" VCD's form there home videos. I have to question some peoples definition of stunning. If I'm watching a recording of a basketball game and the players look like they are in a haze or that I am looking through heat waves I cannot call that stunning. Now the thing is to use a higher bit rate which of course EZ CD creator doesn't allow so I have to shell out more bucks fore a new software program but lose the ability to create menus. It's very frustrating.

-- Al McCraw (, February 25, 2000.


Now i understand what you are talking about...hehehe. Haze!!! hallows...moving waves around the edges of an object....ah!!! what did you use to encode the AVI? if you're using panasonic encoder than use the half pixel motion estimation algorithym along with the video filter at strong or strongest to fix this problem. Block noise is doing that to ya....note you'll lose sharpness definition on your image. lnguyen

-- (, February 25, 2000.

actually when you have the noise filter on you risk the chance of creating after-effects in your image. I have doen this and i (unless its a really bad looking video)will not use the noise filter at all. I use the other filter set at adaptive and to strongest

-- Doug (, February 25, 2000.

>The biggest problem with a VCD is that it's resolution is low, so it >has a slightly soft or mushy look on some scenes like wide angles. >Medium shots and close ups looked great.

Why haven't you used a higher resolution on your high bitrate VCD? The Pioneer 525 can play mpegs with a resolution up to 704x576, which gives you a noticeable sharper picture.

-- Walter Wego (, February 27, 2000.

WALTER: yes I understand what your saying but you cannot sell the end product to a customer, but just maybe, the process using the VBR MPEG2 might improve the lowly VCD.

LNGUYEN: The waves on verticals are a real problem with some sources/host programs and I wonder if the mpeg based systems suffer the same way - no one has commented till now.

I use The Adaptec DVsoft codec for the source avi and that produces a 6.2M/s DV avi 720 x 576. If I simply encode that to a vcd mpeg-1 from the time line my slow pan of the skyline turns into not only wobbly verticals but into wobbly verticals spaced with about 50 pixels of no wobbles between. You should see the Honolulu skyline under those circumstances.

If I render the edit to a new full frame avi file and feed it to the Panasonic encoder (stand alone, input limit is 2G) the effect is reduced to only slight wobbles in the verticals of the slow pan. This effect is totally eliminated if I take the full frame edit DVsoft file and put it into Video Studio 3 and render to an Intel 5.11 intermediate resize to 352 x 288 and then put that to the stand alone encoder for a standard vcd file. Hence my previous statements that the host program has an effect on the output because if I do the same exercise in Premiere the fault does not go away at all.

Currently thats why it takes so long to create because Premiere fails to give a good quality encode direct from the time line, in PAL at least that is proven.

I would like to try an intermediate mpeg2 file from the time line and have only just got hold of AVI2MPG2 so I will plug that tonight and see what happens.


Here is another plus for the 525. A friend in Mexico has just received my PAL VCD (VP4) of our Hawaiian escape and it played full screen on his NTSC TV perfectly. Gezzzzzzzzzzz Pioneer really appears to have the combo of RealMagic decoder card and all its functions including a PAL to NTSC on the fly conversion in the 525 now. WOW some unit!

-- Ross McL (, February 28, 2000.

oops! typo: 3.62M/s DV not 6.2

-- Ross McL (, February 28, 2000.

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