Sunday, May 29, 2005

New Star Wars movie -- still have NOT seen it -- but -- it was offered as a VCD Rental

The latest Star Wars flick is out and we have yet to find the time to go. Perhaps Monday.

But, in our apartment, we have a VCD player. That is NOT a DVD, but a VCD. In China, they have both DVDs and VCDs. The VCDs are a bit older. Same idea, same sized disk, same multi-language capability, remotes, etc.

But, ours does NOT work well. That's another story, tied to this one.

These movie rental palces, not much like Blockbuster, have a wierd line-up of rentals. But the kicer was the fact that we were offered a rental of the new Star Wars on VCD. The movie was out only about four days, and it was here, in the shops in Chengdu.

We passed. Rather, we'd like to see it in the theaters.


Anonymous said...

the VCD was a hack.

Amos the Poker Cat said...

VCD is a fixed bit rate (1.15 Mb/s) mpeg-1 video and 224Kb/s audio on a 680Mb/700Mb audio cd for a max capacity of 74min/80min. Resolution: 352 x 240 at 30 fps (NTSC) or 352 x 280 at 25 fps (PAL/SECAM).

SVCD is variable bit rate (max 2.3Mb/s) mpeg-2 video and 224Kb/s @ 44.1 kHz audio. A capacity between 34min to 60min.

These formats are popular in Asia where video piracy got a foot hold years before DVDs (with 4.3GB capacity) became cheap ($.25/disc down from $7/disk), and movies were burned on the much cheaper audio cds.

Most DVD players in America can also play VCD/SVCDs but unless you are a long time anime fan, you probably did not have any reason to check.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Thanks for the insights.

FWIW, and it aint much, we could only get our VCD player to show the cleaner VCD and one of 2 disks of the British spy movie (humor). I forget the darn name.

Anyway, after a few other rentals that didn't play as they should have -- we turned away from the VCDs for the past three weeks.

We did watch some good volleyball (China loves women's game and is often fielding a good team) and some pool play in football (soccer).

I love CTV's English language station -- especially the DOCUMENTARY shows, 30-minutes, 10:30 pm.

BIZ China and some international news from China is always interesting to me, the skeptical journalist viewer.