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What is SVCD?

SVCD supports MPEG-2 video, 2/3 D1 video resolution (480 x 576), MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 Audio Layer II, two-channel audio, variable-bit-rate (VBR) encoding, overlay graphics and text, and a 2X speed CD-ROM drive with a multiple tray.

The current VCD format, by contrast, provides for resolution of 352 x 288 based on MPEG-1 video. Under SVCD’s overlay-graphics and text technology, text would be multiplexed with audio and video streams. The intent is to improve the quality of subtitles and multiple languages displayed on-screen. In the VCD standard, such subtitles were compressed with video, resulting in a low-quality text display, according to Shmuel Farkash, vice president of video products at Zoran.

Notable differences between SVCD and the DVD format, meanwhile, include the lack of support for Dolby Digital in SVCD, as well as the Chinese format’s use of a CD rather than a DVD drive. After that, the specs are virtually identical.