The Transition

Before Blu-rays and DVDs, people viewed their home movies on Video Compact Discs or VCDs. It was the next big thing after VHS yet never really gained ground since the superior DVD format came almost simultaneously, preventing VCDs to be used widespread. It was the start of the transition from the analog VHS way of watching movies to digital. A VCD can hold up to 80 minutes of video and will produce quality stereo sound. You can also add chapters to keep everything organized, and VCDs are great for photo slideshows with added background music. If you enjoy making your own home movies and are on a budget, buying CD-R/RW blank discs are a lot cheaper than using DVD-R/RW. Of course, the quality won't be as good, but it's good enough for just home viewing. There are many DVD players that support the VCD format, here are a few with high customer ratings on Amazon.

sony vcd dvd playerCredit: amazon

Sony DVP-SR200P/B DVD Player

The Sony DVP-SR200P/B is a customer favorite with tons of positive reviews. It's widely popular because of the extreme low-price, ease of use, and dependability. If in need of a secondary DVD player, the DVP-SR200P/B will output 480p and will also improve the quality of your DVD discs that have warped overtime. With Sony's Precision Drive 3 System, the optical lens will adjust as it scans your discs for faster error-correction. This will ensure the overall picture quality will be maintained over the life of your DVD discs. It also has disc resume, virtual sound and picture navigation features among others. The player itself is compact at 2.2 pounds and is also extremely slim so to take up less space. Also included is a remote.

Philips PD7012/37 7-inch Dual Screen DVD player

The Philips PD7012/37 Dual-Screen Portable DVD Player will keep the kids entertained the whole way to Disney World. Philips is a good brand to purchase portable DVD players from, and this one will play any home movies recorded on VCD discs. You'll be able to let the kids view past family vacations you've recorded on 7-inch 16:9 widescreen displays. It'll get them excited and keep them from fighting one another on the way there. This player is compatible with most other DVD and CD formats as well. And an added feature is power resume for when the DVD player stops abruptly, you'll be able to start back up where you left off. You also have the ability to watch SVCD discs, the superior version of the original VCD.

Panasonic DVD-S38 Multi-Region PAL/NTSC

If in need of a multi-region DVD player, the Panasonic DVD-S38 has you covered. It'll play DVD discs from any region (1-8) and also NTSC or PAL formatted DVDs. Reviewers have been able to play DVD shows and movies from China, Japan, the UK and of course America. 12-bit video output keeps picture quality as close to the original as possible and a coaxial digital audio output will allow you to enjoy the Dobly Digital sound. You'll also be able to view JPEG files and listen to MP3 music. A remote control is included and a built-in 64MB video converter to add to its versatility.

Brand Names

Most DVD players can play VCD and SVCD discs so there are plenty more to be found. You can even find Blu-ray players that support the format. These wouldn't be used as primary DVD players, you'd probably want a Blu-ray player instead. But for a kids room or as a secondary player, these devices should be sufficient for entertainment purposes. They're inexpensive yet have are dependable as their manufactured by popular name brands. Another discontinued format is the HD DVD from Toshiba. HD DVD movies offer great value; movies can be found for 2-3 dollars.