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What's Video CD (VCD)?

Video CD, or VCD, is a digital movie format. It is a predecessor of DVD.

A Video CD is a kind of CD. It looks the same as a music CD or a CD-ROM, except instead of storing music or software, it holds movies, using compressed MPEG-1 video. Its resolution is 352x240 (NTSC) or 352x288 (PAL), which is roughly comparable to VHS.  Compared to Video CD, DVD provides much higher resolution (700x480), comparable to laserdisc or even better. DVD movies use MPEG-2 compression, rather than the MPEG-1 compression used by Video CDs.  

A single VCD disc can only hold about 70 minutes of video, so for a typical movie, you need two discs. You can play VCD's back on a Video CD player connected to a TV, or on a fast PC with a CD-ROM drive. Many DVD players can also play VCD's.

One big advantage of Video CD versus DVD is that it's relatively easy to convert your home videos on tape to Video CD's.

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