White Book

The White Book, which was released in 1993 by Sony, Philips, Matsushita, and JVC, is the specification document for Video CD (VCD). Like other compact disk (CD) standards documents, the White Book is based on the original CD specification document, Philips and Sony's Red Book. VCD is defined in the White Book as a particular adaptation of CD-ROM XA (extended architecture) that is designed to hold MPEG-1 video data. The CD-ROM XA sector structure (as described in the Yellow Book and ISO 9660) is used to define the physical and logical blocks, and MPEG-1 is used to compress data so that full-screen, full-motion video data can be contained on the disk - without compression, the disk could only hold about 2 minutes worth of video. VCD resolution is similar to that of VHS.

White Book specifications include the disk format (such as the use of tracks, for example), a data retrieval structure compatible with ISO 9660, data fields to enable fast forward and reverse, and closed captioning. VCD, Photo CD, and Karaoke CD are defined as bridge disks, a format based on CD-ROM XA to enable the disks to work in compatible CD-ROM and CD-i (CD-Interactive) drives. Following the original specifications, VCD 2.0 was released in 1995, VCD-Internet in 1997, and SuperVCD in 1998, all from extensions to the White Book. Video CD is expected to be one of the first of all the CD formats to be completely supplanted by digital versatile disk (DVD) technology, which is of much higher quality.

This was last updated in September 2005

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