AVI to VCD/SVCD

Spurred on by the Cowboy Bebop thread, I’ve been downloading the episodes of Bebop off of Kazaa and watching them on my computer, since they aren’t available for purchase over here. Now I want to burn them to a CD so I can watch them on my DVD player. These are in relatively low quality AVI files… 24 minutes is generally about 70 megs each. They are definitely watchable and I suspect they will look better on my television than on my monitor. Anyway, I did a quick search for an AVI to VCD converter and came up with this, which looks pretty simple. But I have some questions.

  1. Is there a better piece of software for doing this sort of thing?
  2. I’m assuming that since the avis are about 70 megs each, I can fit about ten episodes on a VCD. Is that so, or is the VCD format bigger than AVI?
  3. What are the advantages of SVCD over VCD? Is it merely an issue of picture quality (which I don’t think my Bebop avis would benefit from) or are there compression advantages as well?

Any tips/tricks/help/info you guys could give me would be great,

1). I’m out of the loop on that unfortunately
2). It really depends on how it comes out when you convert from AVi -> MPG1/MPG2. AVI’s (I’m assuming the original AVi was done in DiVX) tend to be more highly compressed then MPG’s, so you’ll fit less on the CD. A general rule is given normal encoding rates - VCD = 1 hours of video, SVCD = 45 mins, but if you encode the finaly MPEG’s at lower data rates you can fit more video per cd, but your DVD player may not play it because of the non standard data rate.
3. VCD is MPG1 and slightly better quality then VHS given perfect source. SVCD is MPG2 and about DVD quality given perfect source. You’ll be able to fit less per CD using SVCD then if you use VCD. Given that you’re just encoding some anime you’ll want to go with VCD.

-edit corrected a Acronym error :)

Well, if you had a KISS dvd player, those can play Divx. But you probably don’t, so I’m no help.

http://www.dvdrhelp.com/

The standard app for creating VCD/SVCD files that you can burn to CD is “TMPgenc”.

VCD is set bitrate. You can fit 80 minutes onto a standard VCD (700MB media). That’s three 24-minute episodes per CD. You can

>What are the advantages of SVCD over VCD? Is it merely an issue of
> picture quality

Mainly, yes.

like the man said:
http://www.dvdrhelp.com

3 episodes per CD? That blows… forget it. I was kind of hoping I could get about 8 episodes per CD, but obviously not. I’ll just burn them as AVIs and, if my DVD turns out not to play AVIs, watch them on my laptop.

Odds are that your player won’t be able to play them. Very, very few models on the market do.

Would it not be easier to get a TV-Out card for your computer? I’ve no idea if you can get an external doohickey if you only have a laptop.

You could always get an X-Box and put Linux on it. But I don’t know how easy it is to put Linux on it (hardware patching?), or how simple the Linux install would be…

This is actually quite incorrect (unless you’re talking about DivX). Most players can play VCD’s now, SVCD’s are usually the sticking point in my experience.

TV out cards suck in my experience unless you have a HDTV. Things tend to be more pixelated on them then on my monitor.

My experience is quite the opposite, divx movies definitely looks better on my (regular) TV.

I’ve done it with MPEG/ASF mostly - comparing the MPEG output form a VCD and a Video Out, I saw the VCD as higher quality. Guess YMMV.

Regardless, a TV out card isn’t for me… actually, I’m pretty sure I already have one, but stringing the cables across the house isn’t a very good solution. I’d rather burn the episodes to CD and prop my laptop on the coffee table between my feet. The old thing that sucks about this solution is the sound, but it’s nothing plugging a decent set of headphones into the jack couldn’t fix.

Doesn’t Amazon ship over there?

They do, but you pay for shipping and 21% VAT and custom charges on top of it. That often times comes out to as much as 100% extra, all said and done. To put it in perspective: when I ordered Icewind Dale II from a US retailer, it ended up costing me 85 euros, and the euro is stronger than the dollar (1 USD = 1.1682 Euros, currently). That means that I spent $99.27 on Icewind Dale II, of all games and for christ’s sake. Retail price? 40 bucks.

As another opposite of incentive, Amazon.com doesn’t ship DVDs or software overseas, last I checked. Amazon.co.uk doesn’t stock the series - it must not have Region 2 distribution yet.

I would much rather have the episodes on DVD, but not at that cost. I might pick up the DVDs when I’m home in the States for Christmas, though, which is when I pick up all the shit that is much too expensive to justify in Ireland.

Wow. And I know people who drive 45 minutes to Delaware just to save on the 6% sales tax in PA.

Actually, I’ll probably be in Delaware to see some friends soon, so feel free to send me some money for the DVDs + shipping. I’ll probably buy an XBox Live kit with it, but you know, feel free to send it anyway :)

Sales tax is 6% in Michigan, too. Used to be 4%, until like 5 or 6 years ago.

/me grumbles