How to make a Video CD

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    I have a lot of .mov files. Each file is about 1 hour of movie footage but compressed to only 200-300MB. When I import them into iMovie it tries to convert them to dv files. Do you know a way to burn a collection of .mov files to a dvd so that they can be read with a normal dvd player?

Good question, let me explain a little bit about what you can and can’t do with CDs and DVDs.

You can’t put .mov files on a DVD to watch on a normal DVD player, but you can put the on a CD as a VCD to watch on a normal DVD player!

There in only one kind of DVD movie format – DVD.  But people started putting videos onto CD’s because it was cheaper, this is called VCD. When VCD format started becoming popular, companies produced DVD players that could play VDC’s.
Notice that although VCD is video on a CD,it can be played on most DVD players, but not CD players.

There are three main ways of putting video on a CD, from oldest to newest…

  1. VCD 352×240. 72 minutes on a 72 minute audio CD. Very popular and will play on most DVD players.
  2. SVCD: 480×576, 60 minutes of good quality SVCD on a CD. Slightly less compatible than VCD but better quality.
  3. DivX. The newest video codec becoming very popular. higher compression and quality, but least compatible only new ‘DivX Certified’ DVD players play them.


  • VCD is older and worst but most compatible.
  • SVCD is in the middle.
  • DivX is the newest and best but least compatible.

I did a trial. I had a 600 MB DV file. I made DVD, a VCD, a SVCD and a DivX CD
Here’s the sized the turned out at:

  • DVD: 76MB
  • SVCD: 49MB
  • VCD:30MB
  • DivX:6MB

Now for the test I put them all in my 1 year old LG DVD player, they all played except the DivX one.

DivX is quite reasonable at 624×352, 1200kbps, with MP3 Audio. This is better than TV quality, not quite DVD quality, but good to watch. 45 minutes of Boston Legal takes 350Mb.

Unfortunately you can’t make a VCD on a DVD. You can only put VCD on a CD.
If you want to store a lot of video on a DVD disk you can copy it onto the DVD as data, but it won’t play on a DVD player.

Therefore you may as well go for the best – DivX. You could get over 4 hours of DivX on a DVD.

How to make a VCD….

The best free program is called burn. Download Burn from here.

It does all the converting for you. Just run it, drag and drop the quicktime movie onto it, select the format you want (VCD, SVCD, DVD or DivX) and click burn!


3 responses to “How to make a Video CD”

  1. dev dutta

    what is the process to make video cd which will play in normal cd player from the .mov file format files?

  2. Rick White

    A Hollywood producer replicated his 5 minute “Sizzle Reel” and burned it to a disk.
    His intention was to distribute as a marketing tool, to studios, actors, directors, and others in the field.
    After his initial copy was burned, he tried playing it in an older model DVD player and it failed to play at all.
    I checked the file type, and it is a .MOV format. You explained above that the .MOV format is for Mac/Apple and works best in QT. I would like to convert this file into a format that could be burned on a disk (CD or DVD media) so it will play in most DVD players from as old as 5 years to present day. What is the best advice you can give me for doing this?
    Thank you for your help
    Rick White

    1. Old DVD players only play proper format DVDs not Movie files on a DVD.
      Load the movie into iDVD and then burn it as a DVD.

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