Differences between VCD and CDG

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I do NOT have a DVD, VCD, CDRW, or CDG player. I want to be able to play Karaoke with the sing-a-long music lines at the bottom of the video. In all the advertising associated with Karaoke capable players, I see both CDG and VCD mentioned. Can you tell me what the difference is... and if one has more of a potential of being obsolete and/or of being replaced by a newer format? Thanks for an answer. Shane, Evans,Georgia

-- Shane Baura (sbaura@home.com), January 13, 2001


CD+G is audio CD with low-rez (something like 160x160 16 color) graphics in the subcode tracks, and it's sent at a low bitrate so the graphics slowly paint in like a 2400 baud modem. It looks horrible like something you would expect from an Apple II.

Most karaoke these days is VCD, which is somewhat-lower-than-VHS quality on your television, but definitely good enough for singing along when you're smashed out of your mind on liquor.

-- Dan Hollis (goemon@blort.invalid), January 14, 2001.

CD-G IS obsolete; VCD still is going on strongly, and at least in Asia, complements DVD for now. You DO want to play Karaoke so at some point you WILL have to get a DVD-settop that will also play VCDs or somesuch. :D

-- Mehmet Tekdemir (turk690@yahoo.com), January 20, 2001.

If you want to be a real KJ, you'll end up needing a full top end cd+G system with a really good mixer, amp and speaker system. Most of these are VCD comliant as well so you shouldn't have to worry about obsolescence. Most of the Karaoke music being distributed in the midwest is still CD+G although you are starting to see more VCD in the "better" establishments. If you just want it for home, the format that has the video background with the words at the bottom is normally the VCD format so don't waste your money on the CD+G stuff. If you buy one of the inexpensive ones selling at K_Mart or Radio Shack, you won't be happy! If you buy what it takes to sound good, you get a really good cd player that can print 16 lines of text on a solid background with maybe a four color 80 by 40 icon across the screen at beginning and end. And it costs way more! A decent dvd that plays vcd's hooked into a four channel mix board ($50.00 at Radio Shack) and then plugged into your home system will let you frustrate the neigbors to the point of suicide while you have more fun than the law allows. The only disadvantage to the VCD approach is that ,most Karaoke music is still published in CD+G. You won't have as much to choose from in VCD's. The flip side is that CD+G industry is moving towards the home entertainment market while VCD is eating up market share in the professional market. In a year or so, the situation may change. VCD's are easier to produce, master, and copy. And they don't require a specialized machine to work. Any VCD compliant DVD, dedicated VCD players, and many (most) PC cd rom drives can play back VCD disks.


-- R. Heard (rheard@pcs-consult.com), December 02, 2001.

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