Will the old Magavox/Philips CDI450/550 play new (white book) VCDS?

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Will the old Philips/Magnavox CDI450/550 play newer White Book VCDs? I picked one up at a garage sale and it came with the Philips copy of "Dances With Volves", which has both Cdi and Video CD directories. It has the cartridge too. TIA,

w sanders at netcom dot com (remove the X's around the @ sorry maybe it will prevent spammers.)

-- W Sanders (wsandersX@Xnetcom.com), May 18, 2000


Yes. The CDi 450 with the mpeg cartridge can play VideoCD 1.1 (cdi) and 2.0 (Whitebook). If you're going to create your vcd with the Panasonic encoder, *be sure* to demux the Mpeg file created by Panasonic and remuxit with Xing Encoder - otherwise the playback will be *very* jerky.

-- Jean-Luc Picard (jl.picard@startrekmail.com), May 19, 2000.

To further answer my own question, the Video-CDs I received happened to be Malaysian and designed for playback on PAL TVs. (Are any NTSC-formatted discs of recent movies even available?) Because the discs are formatted for a PAL market, they are slightly stretched in the vertical. This is only slightly annoying for an unsubtitled movie (would be *very* annoying for a true videophile; but if you are a videophile you're not going to be watching a VideoCD for its image quality) but it could present a major problem in a subtitled movie or karaoke disc. Be careful! The authoring system is not fully compatible with the CDI-550 either, you cannot Rev or FF, but this just forces you to watch the entire disc without stopping.

-- W Sanders (wsanders@netcom.com), May 24, 2000.

OOPS - I posted back too hastily. "Three Kings" would NOT play back correctly; it freezes about 15 min into the movie. "The Matrix" and the first reel of "Zero Effect" played back OK though. More info as I work through these titles.

-- W Sanders (wsanders@netcom.com), May 25, 2000.

Detailed answer: Spartacus, Ben-Hur, Zero Effect, The Matrix, Episode 1 all played back. Three Kings would not play all the way through. A small speck of crud on the Episode 1 CD prevented it from playing completely but it played OK after cleaning. Incomplete menu control on all discs. There seem to be 2 different mastering programs - the "CE Quadrat" one for BH, ZE, TM, and 3K prevents any kind of control except straight through play of disc, the other (unidentified) program allows scene-by scene selection but no Rev, FF, etc. All images slightly stretched in vertical; these are Malaysian discs played back on NTSC.

-- W Sanders (wsanders@netcom.com), May 30, 2000.

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