How to make the first VideoCD

 v1.02
 Guide by delphi.stuff

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This guide explains how to make a very simple VideoCD. If you succeed, you will know how to use some basic VCDEasy features, how to burn and you will see that your home DVD player can read a VideoCD...
Starting with something simple avoid many troubles (coming for example from MPEG encoding, burning, VCDEasy configuration,...)
 
How to avoid some problems...

Principle:

Build a VideoCD as much simple and compatible as we can... There are many potential problems: MPEG encoding, VCDEasy usage, burning, home DVD Player compatibility with the VideoCD specifications, the CD-R(W)s themselves...

NB: Remember that the ability to read/play your VideoCD on a PC is not a proof of success for your home DVD player...



1)

The home DVD player and the CDR(W)s

First, take a look at the VCDHelp's DVD Players Compatibility list to know more about your DVD player.

Format support: To summarize, some DVD players do not play VideoCDs at all, some play only VCD 2.0, some are not fully compliant with the VideoCD specifications, some can read more or less everything... AS an example, when I bought my DVD player, it did not play well VCD2.0 and did not play SVCD 1.0 at all... I did a firmware upgrade (yeap, you can upgrade some DVD players...), it then played well VCD 2.0 but still not SVCD 1.0... I finally found an SVCD unlock code for it... Et voila! Now I can play both VCD 2.0 and SVCD 1.0... Note that it still does not play well some XVCD or XSVCD (VideoCD with some parameters out of the VideoCD specifications)

Media support: CD-RW discs are usually readable on most of the DVD players, while your player may not be able to read CD-R discs, or some CD-Rs... Read the DVD Demystified FAQ for more information. So, again, it is a good idea to take a look at the VCDHelp's DVD Players Compatibility list .

Extra features support: Things like "Selectable SVCD subtitles" are also not supported on all DVD players.


2) MPEG Encoding

Many VCDEasy users have their problems there... It exists a lot of MPEG encoders, but only a few will give you true compatibility with the MPEG for VideoCDs specifications, and a good quality. I tried lots of them, always with "VCD2.0" or "SVCD 1.0" templates... Depressing results in most cases... And the price does not proove quality! I personnally choose TMPGEnc (with its VideoCDs templates), coupled with GNU VCDImager (used by VCDEasy) I have very good results, knowing that my home DVD player does not accept everything but only true VCD 2.0 or SVCD 1.0, it seems...


3) VCDEasy configuration

You can configure/use almost all aspects of the VideoCD specifications... But as a first VideoCD, to know if your Home DVD player can read at least something (except a DVD!), you should not use most of the VideoCD features.

Let's do something simple, to summarize: VCD 2.0, no PlayBack Control (PBC), one MPEG video (with a length more than 4s), no chapters, no MPEG still (pictures), no CD-i support... this should be a good start! If it does not work, turn ON the PlayBack Control but let the defaults in the Interactivity page.

See below for details.


4) Burning

Another potential problem... See the "How to Burn" guides on this web site.

Remember to first try burning with low spped 1x or 2x, it is really important for some DVD players, in order for them to read correctly the CD-R or CD-RW.



Once you will have a very simple VideoCD playable on your DVD player, you will be able to use/test extra feature more easily...!

If this does not work... and if you are sure about your MPEG file and way to burn... sorry I can not help more. Try the VCDHelp.com forum.


The first time you start VCDEasy

The first time you start VCDEasy, it should look like below.
Let's first check the working environment:


You must have GNU VCDImager integrated into VCDEasy (), otherwise you won't be able to have CD images files ready to be burnt. If you do not have the GNU VCDImager integration ( ), the easiest way for you to have it is to install the VCDEasy full distribution. See the downloads page

Burning... the most difficult part...

You need to decide how you will burn the CD image files...
To summarize, if you want to use the integrated CDRDAO (), you must have a valid ASPI layer on your Windows ( , here "Nero ASPI", selected using ), then you should be able to choose your CD writer ()... but is it not enough, you will have to configure the CDRDAO settings...

If you do not want to use CDRDAO, simply do not check "Simulate" and "Burn" () if they are enabled, and do not check "Generate the XML file only" () in order to build the CD image files.


In all cases, you must read the "How to Burn" guides.


From now, for this guide, I will use the integrated CDRDAO as burning example.

The VCDEasy settings page

Go to the VCDEasy settings page


Choose "BIN/CUE" as CD Image Type. "BIN/detailed CUE" may (it depends on your DVD player) be important for you only if you use chapters
NB: In the case your are not using the PlayBack Control information, "Detailed CUE" may be necessary for you in order to have chapters. Note that if you use "detailed CUE", you must use a burning method that keeps CUE subindexes (See BIN/CUE CD image files)


Do not check "Use 2336 bytes sectors for CD Image". It is mainly only needed when you want to burn 99min CDRs 



Do not check "Delete CD image files if burn successful", as if you fail to burn with CDRDAO or if the VideoCD can not be read on your DVD player, you will be able to use the CD image files with another burning application (See the "How to Burn" guides).


The (S)VCD Player settings page

Go to the "(S)VCD Player" settings page


Except if you plan to play your VideoCD on on CD-i player, better not include the CD-i application, at least for your first VideoCD tests.



When you will author a SVCD (this is not the case for this guide), this option is very important and only depends on your DVD player. You will have to test both case. NB: Unchecked is the good choice for most DVD players



Again, for SVCD only, check "Update scan data offsets" if your player does not apply the Chinese Specifications



Better have this option always checked.



This options concerns chapters... out of the scope of this guide... But usually, you should not relax the APS constraints, or may experience chapters troubles... or may not, it depnds on your DVD player



This is only used when you are authoring a MPEG Stills only VideoCD... out of the scope of this guide.



Better not play with Gaps and Margins if you do not know exactly what you are doing.



The CDRDAO settings page

See the "How to Burn" guides for the CDRDAO settings page. This page is hidden if you does not have the CDRDAO integration into VCDEasy

The VideoCD authoring

Go back to the (S)VCD authoring "Main" page


Select VCD2.0 (most of the DVD players supports at least VCD2.0). NB: You can also use VCD1.1 if you want (No PlayBack Control in this case, but for this guide, we won't use PlayBack Control)



If you want to use CDRDAO to burn, better choose "Simulate" first, and not "Burn". When the simulation will end successfully, eject you CDR or CDRW, uncheck "Simulate", check "Burn" and hit "Go" again. Indeed, some users have troubles when both "Simulation" and "Burn" are checked at the same time, because of another burning application running in background (like DirectCD, PacketCD,...). You will have to test later if you can have both checked at the same time.



You can put what you want here, it will be the name displayed when you will put your VideoCD in your computer




This is the location where the CD image files and the XML file will be. This is important for you if you planned to use another burning application. You can change this location in clicking

NB: Do not check "Generate the XML file only"


Always check "Analyse MPEG files". It will gives you extra facilities in VCDEasy. For example the ability to have "Perform some MPEG compliance check", and a far better chapter entry points handling



Better always have "Perform some MPEG compliance checks" turned ON. If your MPEG files pass the checks, it does not proove many things, but if your MPEG files fail these checks, there is a greate chance that you won't build a working VideoCD



This is the approximate size of the CD you will have. Remember... approximate! As your MPEG files may be padded on the fly during the CD image files creation, I have no way to compute the exact size.



This is the space available on the hard disk where the CD Image files will be created (See ).



Let's now add the MPEG1 for VCD2.0 file.
See the VCDHelp's TMPGEnc guide to have an example on how to build such a MPEG file. NB: I will put soon some MPEG files for tests in the downloads page

As I already said previously:

Many VCDEasy users have problems due to bad MPEG file... It exists a lot of MPEG encoders, but only a few will give you true compatibility with the VideoCDs specifications, and a good quality. I tried lots of them, always with "VCD2.0" or "SVCD 1.0" templates... Depressing results in most cases... And the price does not proove quality! I personnally choose TMPGEnc (with its VideoCDs templates), coupled with GNU VCDImager (used by VCDEasy) I have very good results, knowing that my home DVD player does not accept everything but only true VCD 2.0 or SVCD 1.0, it seems..



Note that you can select several files at the same time (in using the "CTRL" key)



If your MPEG file is ok, you should now see it in the MPEG files list, without having had a warning or error:


When you let VCDEasy analyse the MPEG files, you can see information about your files



Note that when there is at least one MPEG file in the MPEG files list, you can not anymore check or uncheck some options.



Now go to the "Option" page. Note that there is a page called "Interactivity"



Uncheck "Use PlayBack Control (PBC)" (Note that this hides the "Interactivity" page)

If you DVD player won't play the VideoCD, it is a good idea to make it again in changing only this option.
In all cases, it is important to know if your player supports the PBC information.
NB: PBC is not available when authoring VCD 1.1 


No need to go to the "Chapter" page... out of the scope of this guide. So, let this page as it is.

No need to change something in the "Iso Files", but you can take a look at it. 


The disc will looks like this when inserted in your computer (except that there won't be a CDDA folder, I show it because it is a reserved folder).
Note that using this page, you are able to add files like "autorun.inf", a software VideoCD player,...


All you have to do now is to hit "Go" !

In the Log page, you can see what happens...
You can see here a "Starting write simulation..."

You can also see that VCDEasy generated an XML file which describes the VideoCD you are making, and used to build the CD Image files:

At the end of the write simulation, if everything went well, you should have:


Means that there was no problems during the XML file generation...


Means that the CD image files have been successfully created...


Means that the write simulation succeeded!

You can now go back to the (S)VCD authoring "Main" page:


Now check "Burn" instead of "Simulation" (). Eject and insert again your CDR or CDRW to refresh the CD writer status


Hit "Go" again. VCDEasy will ask you if you want to overwrite the previou CD image files... say Yes.

You should now have:


No more "Simulation finished successfully" but "Writing finished successfully"

You can now try in your DVD player...



NB: This guide is quite long... but detailed (It was also quite long to write... and I am not native English speaker...). With the time, you will find it quite easy to understand... I hope. Remember that making the first successful VideoCD is the biggest problem, you may make a few coasters... but once made, you will have fun and will be able to make more complex VideoCDs...



This page comes from http://www.vcdeasy.org/



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