Windows XP Codec Svcd

Codec SVCD

 

 

Article by Marc Liron - Microsoft MVP (2004-2010)

 

Introduction to using SVCD and the Codec required.

 


I often get asked by site visitors how they can get hold of a codec for the SVCD content they have... This may be downloaded files or actual CD's. Most of the enquires relate to using Windows Media Player 9 for playback so that is what I shall address here in this article.

Super Video CD (aka SVCD, Super VCD or Chaoji VCD) is an enhancement to the earlier "Video CD" format.



 

In the mid 1990's the Chinese government decided that DVD - while undoubtedly a good technical specification - was all too tightly controlled by DVD Consortium, a closed body of foreign companies.

The Chinese government did not quite like the idea that the domestic home electronics industry would have to pay royalties to foreign companies in order to manufacture next generation video disc products for the Chinese people.

They calculated that creating a royalty-free, full-fledged video disc format on their own would be a major long-term win for the domestic industry. Moreover, this was also considered an issue of national pride; an opportunity to flex some technical muscle, and to send a clear signal to the outside world that China has enough critical mass to be able to ignore foreign entertainment standards it does not want to conform to.

Finally, it was also thought that a Chinese video disc standard would help in pressuring the DVD Consortium to keep the licensing fees down, at least for the Chinese market.

Today, however, DVD is everywhere.... even in China! BUT the SVCD is not going to disappear... It is actually very good for what it does and has a large following online and is Asia.

Why does WMP need a codec for SVCD...?

Well, essentially MOST SVCD content has been encoded as MPEG2. And there is the problem... Windows Media Player does not have MPEG2 support built in due to licensing fee's. Every vendor who releases an MPEG2 compatible player, has to pay a small "royalty" fee for each unit sold.

As you know Windows Media Player 9 is a FREE download so there is no codec SVCD support!

BUT.....

Windows Media Player 9/10/11 does work with SVCD if a suitable MPEG2 codec has been installed on the computer.

To find out if you have one already installed type:

dvdupgrd.exe /detect

Into the Run box on the Start Menu. This will then tell you, via a small dialog box, if you DO have one installed...

If you have no suitable codec SVCD installed you may get an error message similar to this one when you try to play the SVCD:

error=80040111-class factory can not supply requested class

My experience with SVCD codec support in Windows Media Player has been varied though!

For instance...

NEVER download the free/shareware Elecard shareware MPEG2 decoder that is often mentioned in newsgroups etc.. I have seen to many things go wrong with this software. If you want to use an Elecard MPEG2 decoder then pay for the pro version... it is only a few dollars and will save you a few headaches.

NEVER have more than one MPEG2 decoder (DVD software) installed at a time!

My recommendation would be to install WinDVD 2010 but it does not come cheap BUT it is the best DVD software!!! By installing an MPEG2 player on your PC, Windows Media Player can now playback your SVCD content... AND any normal DVD movie.

Another CHEAPER MPEG2 alternative is a Microsoft approved DVD plug-in for Windows Media Player - like the one I use from from COREL

If you want to make your own SVCD's then you will need Nero v.5580 or later to burn this format on to a CD-R

If you want to convert SVCD content into compliant .MPG files take a look at this software:

http://www.smart-projects.net/isobuster/

There is other software out there that can do a similar job, but Windows Media Player 9 and 10 can have trouble playing back .mpg files that have not been produced strictly in accordance with the international standards for the format. (This is actually Directshow being very picky!)

SVCD is a good format still, after all a CD-R can contain from 35 to 74 minutes of quality video. The video resolution is: 480x480 for NTSC and 480x576 for PAL

As for playing back SVCD on hardware DVD players sitting under your TV. many of the newer models will!

Windows Media Player DVD Plugin's

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# For the Windows XP - Operating System

Corel dvd player for windows mediaDVD XPack gives you the same technology at a fraction of the price as WinDVD, the world's leading DVD player, used by over 125 million people! FULL integration with Windows Media Center or Windows Media Player 9, 10 or 11. NVIDIA PureVideo technology support for superb picture clarity, and precise, vivid colors on any display!

FLAWLESS DVD playback every time...

 

Get this DVD plug-in and start enjoying DVDs in WMP with the:

DVD XPack for Windows XP Users   - USA & Canada Website

DVD XPack for Windows XP Users  - United Kingdom Website

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# For the Windows Vista - Operating System

Cyberlink dvd player for windows mediaThis windows media player plug-in for Windows Vista delivers the kind of outstanding performance you would expect from CyberLink, one of the leaders in DVD playback software. Access all your favorite Windows Media Player features, now with built-in support for DVDs! PowerDVD SE for Windows Vista ensures the best possible quality for watching movies with Windows Media Player.

 

Get this DVD plug-in and start enjoying your DVDs in WMP with:

PowerDVD SE for Windows Vista (Click HERE!) - All Countries

 

Need a DVD Player with More Advanced features?

The windows media player DVD decoder not enough for you?

If you are looking for a dedicated DVD player with advanced features then look no further than WinDVD 2010 (Standard and Pro editions) - the worlds most popular DVD and Video software for the Windows XP / Windows Vista and Windows 7 computer!

WinDVD 2010 

For more information visit: Corel US Website OR  Corel United Kingdom Website OR Corel Canada Website ..and click the "Standard" or "Pro" tabs!

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Marc Liron

Marc Liron - Microsoft MVP (2004-2010)
www.marcliron.com
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