VCD stands for Video Compact Disc and is basically a CD containing up to 74 minutes of video, in a format both hardware VCD players and most DVD players can play back. The video on a VCD is encoded as a standardised form of MPEG1 - an old video compression standard that requires less computing power to play back than many of the newer and more sophisticated codecs that are available. MPEG1-VCD is comparable to viewing a VHS in terms of perceptible image quality.
The advantages of distributing your video on VCD over DVD are:
cost – the price of blank CD media is lower than blank DVD media
playback on more PCs – many more people have CD players installed in their computers as it is older technology
ease of copying – many more people have access to a CD burner than a DVD burner and can therefore copy your movie for others themselves. In addition to this the majority of hardware DVD players will play back VCDs, and in many areas of the world VCD players and the VCD format in general are so popular that they are more widely available than DVDs
- It is easiest to use the most basic VCD settings (rather than the more advanced Super-VCD format that allows you to include MPEG2 video files) and create a disc without a menu. This will result in a disc that will be compatible with most players.