How exactly should I choose between VCD and SVCD?

I guess I know the differences between both and that high bitrates should be preferable for SVCD convertion, just how high is that?

Sorry about the title…
It won’t let me to change.

I fixed the thread title for you.

Have a read of the DVD to SVCD and DVD to VCD tutorials, both using DVD2SVCD. It will explain much for you.

A couple of things to remember, on playback SVCD’s have a higher picture quality than VCD’s. SVCD’s on average take up 2 or 3 CDR’s while VCD’s take up 1 or generally 2 CDR’s. SVCD take longer to encode than VCD’s. Many DVD Player have problems playing SVCD, most can play VCD’s.

@Chickenman: When you say most DVD players are capable of playing VCDs, does that inlcude Xbox? Because I can’t play VCD in xbox without a modchip…

No, sorry I ment standalone DVD Players, not dvd playing consols.


I searched through all the forums before posting. I read now both tutorials but I cant really decide yet for a VCD or SVCD conversion.
I guess the trouble is that I read somewhere that the quality of the video source should be high so that the SVCD would make any difference - in comparison with the VCD.
but how do I determine how good the quality of the video source really is? Is that about the bitrate correct?

Or will the SVCD always look better no matter how good (or bad!) the video source is?

If the source resolution is as high or higher than SVCD and uses a reasonable bitrate then you will get better quality out of SVCD, even I supose as long as the resolution is higher than VCD although less so.

You have not quoted what you intend to convert/backup. If its DVD yoyr converting then go for the SVCD, playback picture quality will be so much better than VCD.

However, if its an AVI your wanting to convert, then a lot depends on how the AVI was made in the first place (ie. its dimensions and data rate used.) If you play the AVI on your PC and playback looks almost as good as a DVD, then it will convert to SVCD the best by retaining most of the quality thats there. However, if the picture is pretty crappy, out of focus and the file was small, then convert to VCD as there was little quality in the first place and the VCD will reatin what ever was there.

Best option is to convert one DVD to both VCD then to SVCD and compare the results. If you follow the Tutes, they will basically make the best you can do for both formats. You will see the pic quality of both and the time difference it takes to make them. You can now make a decision that best suits your circumstances.

Most of what I have are .AVI files (DivX) I download off the internet, but they are average quality I guess. Not as good as DVD or bad like you said.

I’ll check them using VCD and SVCD conversions.