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How Do I Burn a VCD?

A stack of VCDs.
A computer with a CD burner or an external CD burners is needed to burn a VCD.
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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2014
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There are few alternatives to DVDs for burning videos to a disc. Fortunately, the video compact disc, or VCD, offers a practical option that is less expensive and easier to use with most computers. If you plan to burn a VCD, there are some key facts to know about the format, what equipment you will need and some simple steps to take.

To burn a VCD, it helps to know exactly what you are dealing with and how it differs from a DVD. A VCD is simply a compact disc with audio and video tracks burned onto it. This format is preferable to DVD for many reasons, with the cost being the biggest reason. A blank CD generally costs a fraction of a blank DVD, which makes burning a VCD more affordable than burning a DVD. If you burn a video CD, you also have increased compatibility compared to DVD, because many computers and DVD players accept only certain types of DVDs, but they will accept any CD.

A VCD does have a distinct disadvantage to a DVD. A typical CD holds up to 700 megabytes of data, but a DVD holds much more. This results in a limited space for video and a lower picture and audio quality on a VCD than on a DVD.

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The most important thing you need to consider if you wish to burn a VCD is the necessary equipment. You need either a computer with a CD burner or an external CD burner. The speed of the burner is not an issue, but know that the higher the speed of the burner, the less time the burning process will take. You also will need to purchase blank CDs for the process.

Download your video to the computer's hard drive either by taking it directly from a video camera or by downloading it from the Internet when you are ready to burn a VCD. If possible, save the file in the MPEG-1 format, and if this is not possible, download a converter online, because VCDs will accept only this format. After you have encoded the video to MPEG-1, simply proceed the way you would burn an audio CD. Most burning programs have a simple menu that allows you to click a few buttons and have the entire process completed in a matter of minutes.

If you are looking for a simpler way to burn video than burning a DVD, you could burn a VCD. This compact disc technology offers some distinct advantages to the DVD. With very little effort, you can make a VCD in only minutes.

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