Here is a brief overview of the above video disc formats.
VCD (Video CD) comes in two versions: 1.0/1.1 and 2.0. Version 2 supports menus and a few other goodies.
The quality of VCD is fair. Sometimes it is equated to VHS video, but in my experience,
usually VHS is better. The video should be MPEG-1 at up to 1152 kbps fixed bitrate,
and the audio stereo MPEG-1 layer 2, at 64, 128, or 224 kbps (usually 224kbps) at a sampling rate of 44,100 Hz.
The video resolution should be 352x240 for NTSC and 352x288 for PAL.
Acceptable video framerates are 29.97fps and 23.976fps for NTSC, and 25fps for PAL.
With these settings, playing time is 74-80 minutes.
On some players it is possible to play a nonstandard VCD.
VCDs that do not adhere to the VCD specification are called XVCDs.
XVCDs are very useful, but there is no guarantee that they will play on any particular player.
Some players will play XVCDs with MPEG-2 video or different resolutions other than CIF (352x240/352x288).
Some also allow different rates of audio and higher video bitrates than 1152kbps.
Super Video CD is similar to VCD, but it allows better quality video, but at the expense of the time that will fit on 1 CD.
It contains MPEG-2 video at 480x480 resolution (480x576 for PAL) at up to 2600 kbps.
Unlike VCD, SVCD allows variable-bitrate video. The audio is the same as VCD, except additional bitrates are allowed.
The video framerate is also the same as VCD.
Usually, an SVCD can store 25-50 minutes of good quality video.
A nonstandard SVCD is called an XSVCD.
DVD (Digital Video Disc, Digital Versatile Disc) is a very versatile format.
It allows complex menus; multiple audio, video, and subtitle streams; and other features.
DVD video is MPEG-1 or MPEG-2, at up to 9.8Mbps at resolutions of 720x480, 704x480, 352x480, or 352x240.
PAL resolutions are 720x576, 704x576, 352x576, and 352x288. The framerate is the same as for VCD/SVCD.
The audio can be one or more Dolby Digital (AC-3), MPEG audio, PCM, and/or DTS streams.
A DVD will usually hold about 2 hours of excellent quality video.