VCD vs. VHS: My test results : LUSENET : Video CD : One Thread

I recently conducted a visual test between a VCD-encoded CD-RW disc and a VHS version of the same video project. Playing them side-by-side on my Sony split-screen TV, I found the VCD image better than the VHS image. In fact, I found that the VHS version had a home-vide look to it while the VCD version looking more like film.

Film? Yup, film. It was duller than the VHS. But I thought that made it look more like film. The VHS version had a lot of color in it - maybe too much color. Like any second-generation VHS image, there was a kind of black outline around the moving objects. The VCD didn't have this problem (or at least, much less than the VHS version).

In fact, the area where I thought the VHS version was better was that it (obviously) didn't have pixalated blocks. The VCD version did - BUT ONLY where I turned up the color and brightness on the TV monitor. And even then, the VCD blocks only showed-up as the images was fading in. In regular TV color mode, I didn't really notice the digital blocks.

Has anyone else looked at these formats side by side? What was your conclusion?

.................. WHAT I TESTED ON: Sony Hi8 captured video from Hi8 tape

Captured with s-Video wire to Pinnacle DC10+ at 4:1 compression

Output to AVI using Huffyuv lossless codec

Conversion to MPEG-1 using TMPGenc beta 12a (Video-CD NTSC MPEG-1 352x240 29.97fps CBR 2520kbps, Layer-2 44100Hz 224kbps)

Burned to Verbatim CD-RW using WinOnCD 3.7

Viewed on Sony Wega TV in picture and picture mode (side-by-side, equal size)


-- Thumper Strauss (, January 06, 2001



-- Matthew adam Overs (, January 07, 2001.


Good report - but I think your TMPGEnc settings did not produce a true-VCD. VCD CBR should be 1150kbps if I remember correctly. This would likely affect the result.

-- Guy Nicholson (, January 11, 2001.

Guy, you're right that I should have probably said XVCD instead of VCD. My mistake. However, the bottom line results in still the same: I was able to play a recordable CD on a DVD player with very good results - better than VHS (imho).

-- Thumper Strauss (, January 12, 2001.

i burned video to VCD using Toast 5 on an iMac and exported the same video to VHS. one problem is Toast 5 VCD encoding is at 320X240 making the VHS look much better and my DVD player is very picky about CDRs

-- Twick Insisted (, July 24, 2001.

Cool Comparison! TMPGenc is definently the best encoder around and it is free! My friends and I are very good Mac OSX programmers and we have talked to Tsunami about porting TMPGenc over to the Mac. We are working on it right now. I have been making VCDs and SVCDs for a while (Ever since I bought my APEX DVD Player). If your player supports SVCDs, ditch VCD. Using two pass VBR in TMPGenc you can scrunch a 55 min video clip to a CDR at DVD quality. Normally, you can only fit around 40 min. SVCD is not as rigid of a standard (VBR) as VCD and supports more features (Link Menus, Multiple Audio Tracks, up to four subtitles, etc.). I have a well trained eye for video artifacts and clearly understand how the video is represented on a television. I can't tell the difference between a well wncoded SVCD and a DVD. The only downside is the storage of a CDR, but you would run into that same problem with a VCD.

-- Tom (, March 16, 2002.

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