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On this page I briefly show you a list of available formats for video.

Video formats in the table below are both for analog and digital video - the analog part might not be very acurate so please mail me additional formats and/or improvements on that list.

Some DVD players are highly compatible with the digital formats, for example the Yamakawa 715/713 and the Mustek 520 do play VCD, SVCD, XVCD, MPEG files and DVD's. They can even read CD-recordables and CD-rewriteables.

Other players - usually the more "expensive" brands like Sony and Yamaha, do not support these formats. Sometimes these players show trouble when using your own recorded CD's.

Tip: Some DVD players do not like CD-recordables, try a CD-rewriteable instead some players (like some models of Toshiba) do read CDRW discs but refuse to use CDRs. See also the DVD Compatibility Database.

Tip: Make some CD's of your own and test them in the store before buying a player! You also might take a look at the DVD Compatibility Database.

Update: Added the DVB, KVCD, KSVCD and KDVD formats. For more information see the KVCD website or our KVCD Intro.

Note: The numbers presented for Mb/Min, Min/CDR and HRS/DVD are calculated estimations! Your milage may vary!

Tip: See also Glen's article on recording types!

Video ...

Overview

Framerates indicate the amount of frames (exposures or images) per second are displayed.

For common television and analog video, the framerate times two indicates the refreshrate of the display. So for example PAL has a framerate of 25 fps, this means that a television will refresh it's display 50 times a second (50Hz) using 50 half images. In the first cycle the even lines are redrawn, in the second cycle the odd lines, in the third cycle the even lines, and so on ...

Framerates
PAL 25 fps
Pseudo PAL 29.97/59,94 fps
NTSC 29.97 fps
Pseudo NTSC 25/50 fps
FILM 23.976 fps
SECAM 25 fps
HDTV 50 or 25 fps

Note: Most modern DVD players are capable of switching between PAL and NTSC. Most modern TV-sets accept the so called pseudo formats (Pseudo PAL and Pseudo NTSC) as well so you can do playback of an NTSC movie on a PAL TV-set for example.

Tip: On the "DivX rip intro" page, you can find more info on the commonly used screen resolutions for DivX.

Digital
Formats
Resolution
Compression
Mb/min
Min/CDR
Hrs/DVDR
Compatibility
CPU load
Quality
PAL
NTSC
Video
Audio
74min CDR
DVD players
VideoCD (VCD)
352x288
352x240
MPEG1
MPEG1
10
74 min.
~9 hrs
Excellent
low
OK
Super VideoCD (SVCD)
480x576
480x480
MPEG2
MPEG2
10 .. 20
35 .. 60 min.
~2 .. 7 hrs
Good
high
Good
Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)
720x576
720x480
MPEG2
MPEG2
(AC3/PCM opt.)
30 .. 70
15 .. 25 min.
~2 .. 4 hrs
Excellent
high
Best
Extended VideoCD (XVCD)
720x576
or lower
720x480
or lower
MPEG1 or MPEG2
MPEG1 or MPEG2
5 .. 70
15 .. 74 min.
~2 .. 9 hrs
Poor
high
Misc
720x576
or lower
720x480
or lower
MPEG4
MP3
1 .. 10
60 ..180 min.
~13 .. 26 hrs
not compatible
high
Good
ASF
320x240
or lower
MPEG4
MPEG4
1 .. 5
60 .. 300 min.
~13 .. 26 hrs
not compatible
medium
Poor
nAVI / SMR
320x240
or lower
MPEG4
MPEG4
1 .. 5
60 .. 300 min.
~13 .. 26 hrs
not compatible
medium
Poor
Realmedia
320x240
or lower
RM
RM
1 .. 5
60 .. 300 min.
~13 .. 26 hrs
not compatible
low
Bad
Digital Video (DV)
720x576
720x480
DV/AVI
DV/AVI
215
3 min.
~20 min.
not compatible
high
Best
KDVD Half D1
352x576
253x480
MPEG2
MPEG2
8
80 .. 90 min.
~9 .. 10 hrs
Good high Good
KDVD Full D1
720x576
720x480
MPEG2
MPEG2/PCM
14
50 .. 55 min.
~5 .. 6 hrs
Good high Good
KVCD+ ULBR
352x288
352x240
MPEG1
MPEG1
< 2
320 .. 360 min.
> 30 hrs
Good medium OK
KVCD+ LBR
352x288
352x240
MPEG1
MPEG1
4
160 .. 180 min.
~15 .. 20 hrs
Good medium OK
KVCD
352x288
352x240
MPEG1
MPEG1
6
100 .. 120 min.
~10 .. 13 hrs
Good low OK
KSVCD
480x576
480x480
MPEG2
MPEG2
6
100 .. 120 min.
~10 .. 13 hrs
Good medium Good
KVCD 3 MPEG1
352x288
352x240
MPEG1
MPEG1
5
90 .. 120 min.
~9 .. 13 hrs
Good low OK
KVCD 3 MPEG2
480x576
480x480
MPEG2
MPEG2
5
90 .. 120 min.
~9 .. 13 hrs
Good medium Good
KVCD PocketPC
240x176
MPEG1
MPEG1
unknown
unknown
unknown
not compatible low OK
KVCD PocketPC
320x176
MPEG1
MPEG1
unknown
unknown
unknown
not compatible low OK
CDi (Philips)
352x288
352x240
MPEG1
MPEG1
10
74 min.
-
not compatible
low
OK
Digital Satellite (DVB) See details below since resolutions and bitrates vary per channel/country!
DigitalTV (HDTV) See details below
Computer See details below
 
Analog
Formats
Resolution
Compression
Mb/min
Min/CDR
Hrs/DVDR
Compatibility
CPU load
Quality
PAL
NTSC
Video
Audio
74min CDR
DVD players
Laserdisc (LD)
450x576
500x480
analog
PCM
-
-
-
not applicable
-
Good
Super VHS (SVHS)
400x576
400x525
analog
analog
-
-
-
not applicable
-
Good
Hi-8
400x576
?
analog
analog
-
-
-
not applicable
-
Good
Beta
250x576
250x525
analog
analog
-
-
-
not applicable
-
OK
VHS
240x576
240x480
analog
analog
-
-
-
not applicable
-
OK
Broadcast (TV)
400x576
330x480
analog
analog
-
-
-
not applicable
-
Good

Note: I did not mention the SECAM format in these tables.

Note: Keep in mind, when converting one format to another, that it's not usefull to render a lower resolution to a higher resolution. For example: it's not very usefull to convert a VideoCD movie to a Super VideoCD format. You will only add static to your movie - the movie will NOT enhance in quality.

HDTV - High Definition TV

HDTV - High Definition digital TV comes in several flavors, even (here we go again) a difference between the European and American standard.

HDTV mainly uses the MPEG2 encoding - the European standard also support MPEG4 (wish the US standard would support this).
Note that the SDTV standard covers mainly what our old TV set is doing (although the resolution of a regular TV can be lower). The 720p standard is more geared towards DVD use and we do see a weird 576p standard being used in Australia.

For those considering HDTV; regular TV looks fairly poor on a HDTV, and HDTV cannot (unless one has a converter) be veiwed on a regular (old) TV.
Also the connectors used for HDTV is different. Instead of S-Video or Compsite Video, DVI connectors are being used - commonly including a DRM (copyright protection mechanism). Quite a few things that would keep me away from HDTV for a while ...

Name   Resolution(s)  
480i
SDTV
640x480
704x480
interlace
480p
EDTV
640x480
704x480
progressive
576p
720x576
progressive (australia)
720p
HDTV
1280x720
progressive
1080i
HDTV
1920x1080
interlace

 

Commonly used DivX resolutions

DivX users use the weirdest formats for creating their movie files. Below you will find some commonly used formats. The reason why these formats differ, is due to the fact that a full DVD resolution not always generates additional quality value over for example 640x480 (which is the most commonly used format). It does however add additional bandwidth (ie. disk-space) load.

Most DivX users do not make a difference between PAL and NTSC. What's the use anyway, since playback is mostly done on a PC anyway (I dare to differe on that statement - since I usually use my TV for playback).

Keep this in mind: when resizing a resolution, make sure the aspect ratio remains.

Resolutions
720 x 544
640 x 480
592 x 448
544 x 416
512 x 384
448 x 336
400 x 304
384 x 288
336 x 256
320 x 240

Countries using NTSC

Antigua El Salvador Philippines
Bahamas Ecuador Puerto Rico
Barbados Guam Saipan
Barbuda Guatemala Samoa
Belize Haiti South Korea
Bermuda Honduras Saint Kitts
Bolivia Jamaica Saint Lucia
Burma Japan Saint Vincent
Cambodia Mexico Surinam
Canada Midway Islands Taiwan
Cayman Islands Netherland Antilles Tobago
Chile Nicaragua Trinidad
Colombia North Mariana Island United States
Costa Rica Panama Venezuela
Cuba Peru Virgin Islands

Countries using PAL

Afghanistan Guinea Poland
Albania Netherlands Portugal
Algeria Hong Kong Qutar
Angola Iceland Romania
Argentina India Singapore
Australia Indonesia Somalia
Austria Ireland South Africa
Azores Israel S.W. Africa
Baharain Italy Spain
Bangladesh Jordan Sri Lanka
Belgium Kenya Sudan
Botswana Kuwait Swaziland
Brazil Laos Sweden
Brunei Liberia Switzerland
Cameroon Madeire Tanzania
Canary Islands Malaysia Thailand
Cyprus Malta Turkey
Denmark Mozambique Uganda
Dubai Nepal United Arab Emirates
England New Guinea United Kingdom
Ethiopia New Zealand Uruguay
Faeroe Islands Nigeria West Germany
Finland North Korea Yemen
Ghana Norway Yugoslavia
Gibraltar Oman Zambia
Greece Pakistan Zimbabwe
Greenland Paraguay  

DVB (Digital Satellite) Resolutions and Bitrates

DVB is a digital format, used for TV broadcasts used with Satellite and cable solutions. In 1996 some European stations started broadcasting using the DVB specifications. Currently U.S. some stations use DVB as well. In Europe, the E.U., is "forcing" television and radio stations, targeting the E.U. population, to broadcast in the DVB format.

DVB is a MPEG2 video stream, as seen with Super VideoCD and DVD, with bitrates up to 15 Mbps (!!!).

Some DVB examples:

Canal+ (Netherlands, France, etc.) uses VBR bitrates up to 15 Mbps, keep in mind that this is BETTER than a standard DVD video.

Some stations in Belgium and Italy (like TMF and MTV Italy) use bitrates up to 7,5 Mbps.

To show you it can be done in poor quality as well: CNES transmits with a resolution of 352 X 288 with CBR bitrate of 700kb/s (this is even worse van VideoCD!).

Known DVB resolutions in Europe are: 720 X 576, 704 X 576, 544 X 576, 528 X 576, 480 X 576, 352 X 576 and 352 X 288.

PC Screen resolutions

Maybe not relevant, or maybe it is,... screen resolutions used by your computer (please feel free to email me other format definitions):

Name
Resolution
EGA
640x200, 320x200
CGA
640x200, 320x200
MDA
640x350
VGA
640x480
SVGA
800x600
XGA
1024x768
WXGA
1280x800
SXGA
1280x1024

 


 

 


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