Newbie wondering is it the VCD or my DVD player?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Video CD : One Thread
I am new to the whole VCD/DVD experience. I bought some homemade VCDs of a Japanese television show (so I'm assuming I'm dealing with first-generation VHS converted to VCD). I was told by the seller that they were excellent quality; however, when played on my new Sampo DVE-611 (modified for region-free), there is "mosaic-like garbage" (phrase stolen from my user's manual) popping up occasionally as well as considerable blockiness/pixellations during much of the playing. I find it strange, though, that during the track listing, the smaller pictures are very crisp. This leads me to believe that there may be a way to improve the quality of viewing the VCDs.
According to my user's manual, the remedy for "unwanted mosaic-like garbage display during playback" (which has the "possible cause: Video CD MPEG 1") is "Playback with DVD format." I'm not sure what "playback with DVD format" means. I've emailed Sampo, but they haven't answered yet.
So, I guess my question is, judging my by attempt here at a description of my problem, does this sound like the VCDs are poor quality or that my DVD player is not equipped to give me the quality I'm looking for? Also, what is the highest bit DVD player available? Does anyone know? And could that help fix the blockiness of my VCDs?
Thank you very much!
-- Lucy Ramone (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 29, 2001
VCD quality is almost always overstated by people selling/making homemade VCDs. It is possible to get very good quality, but it depends on what you use to make them and it's typically very time consuming to make high quality VCDs. The problem is almost certainly with the VCDs themselves and I don't think you're going to be able to do anything to make them look better. I don't know what Sampo is claiming in their manual, but I have yet to see a DVD player that could improve poor quality source material. Imagine playing a badly scratched record and using a new needle on the record player. The record is still going to be scratched and the new needle is not going to help. I've never seen any list of what the highest bit rate supported on a DVD player is. The DVD format doesn't support anything above 9.9 Mbps or so, so I doubt that any players go above that. VCD uses MPEG-1 video at relatively low bit rates, which makes it prone to blockiness and only very careful, time consuming software encoding can reduce the blockiness. I suspect that whoever made your VCDs did not go to that kind of trouble. To be fair, quality is quite subjective too. Whoever made them may honestly think that they are quite good. I have seen people rave about their homemade VCDs being "near DVD quality" when they suffered from blockiness and were hardly what I would consider to be "near DVD quality".
-- Jason (Jason.Shumate@equant.com), January 02, 2002.