by combee

How do I make a VCD (Video CD)?

VCD's are a great way to store medium-quality video for long-term storage, with good compatibility with many DVD players (especially the cheap Chinese ones). They're also much easier to duplicate and use for distributing projects than video tape -- a blank CD-R is ten cents, while a video tape is a buck, and you can dupe the CD-R in under ten minutes.

The best site for learning about this is They've got lots of info. For my own purposes, I use this setup:

  1. Get an analog video capture board. I'm using a Matrox Marvel G400, which works great.
  2. Get VirtualDub and the HuffYUV codec and use them to capture your video. Go for 352x240 at 29.97fps. Capturing YUV2 and compressing using HuffYUV gives you uncompressed video, where an hour is about 8GB.
  3. Set up VirtualDub as a frameserver, then use TMPGEnc to encode your video. This produces about 600MB for an hour of video, just right for a CD.
  4. Burn your VCD using Nero Burning ROM. Its a great tool, and it supports primitive menus if you chunk your video into parts.

On my 1.13GHz Athlon, the whole process of capturing, editing, and converting takes about 3x the time of the original video, most of it spent waiting on my computer or VCR. I use Win98 as my multimedia OS, mainly due to hardware support... most of this is possible on Linux too, although you'll need to be more picky about your capture hardware. A cheap BT848 card ($15 from will do.


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