SVCD stands for Super Video CD (called also
SuperVCD or Chaoji VCD). It is a new CD standard (actually it
is currently undergoing official standardization process) developed in 1998
by Chinese consumer electronics manufacturers, Chinese government and
(Sony, Philips, Matsushita and JVC).
SVCD is a successor for extremely popular video format called
VideoCD which was
based on MPEG-1
video encoding. SVCD itself contains
stream and MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 audio stream (MPEG-1 stereo audio layer II,
MPEG-2 stereo audio layer II or MPEG-2 Multi-Channel 5.1 surround audio).
It's video bitrate is normally higher than VideoCD's -- clear difference to
VideoCD is the fact that SVCD doesn't specify a certain bitrate for video.
Unspecified video bitrate also causes a situation where one SVCD disc can
contain various amount of video -- normally one SVCD disc contains 35-40
minutes of video, but by reducing the bitrate, one CD can hold up to 74
minutes of video (which is the same amount what
VCD disc contains).
As an addition, SVCD can also contain multiple audio streams (just like a
can), subtitles, still images, multi-level hierarchical menus, chapters
(for indexing), hyperlinks and playlists.
Just like VCDs (and audio CDs), SVCDs require a specific way how they
are burned on the CD -- just sticking all the required files into CD structure
doesn't make disc a SVCD compatible. Most of the new CD burning applications
support SVCD already, so authoring your own SVCDs should be relatively easy.
SVCD's resolution is 2x higher than VCD's, in
PAL the resolution
is 480x576 and in
NTSC it is 480x480. Framerates are 25fps and 29.97fps, just like in any
other video format. SVCD's quality is somewhere between
Most of the DVD players can play SVCD discs which makes is perfect format
for backing up your DVD movies and a very good alternative for
DivX ;-) format.
SVCD has also gained popularity among movie studios -- in Far East
distribution, of course -- and most of the studios already release their movies
in SVCD format in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc..