Dreamcast “DreamMovie” VCD Player Demo’d

Derek Pascarella – someone who’s well known in the Dreamcast scene for their contributions to English translation projects – just released a video demoing a VCD player for the Sega Dreamcast.  Even though the video is short, Derek shows two versions of the Innovation Dreamcast VCD player / remote, demo’s the “DRM” that disables the software when the IR remote receiver isn’t connected and shows it working with VCD images on a GDEMU.  Getting it working with ODE’s was a bit more complicated, as it requires converting the VCD to CDi format, then placing it directly after the boot disc, so the GDEMU can treat the movie as the “next disc”.

If you’re looking for a blast from the past…or have no idea it even existed, give the video a watch!

Video CD was an interesting format that was absolutely a product of its time.  It was basically an MPEG-1 container that provided a VHS-like level of quality on a standard audio CD.  As a result, the format took two paths – And please keep in mind, this is from the perspective of an American who grew up in the era.  I imagine (like with most things) people around the world had a slightly different use and memory of VCD.

First, many disc-based game consoles in the 90’s and early 2000’s had VCD plugin modules like this one.  Also, there were free ways to play discs on most PC’s of the time.  This allowed people easy access to the format and media was widely available.  While it was more popular around the world, nerds of the 90’s should definitely remember coming across it!  Of course, once the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox included DVD players…which was also around the same time that DVD burners became more widely available, VCD quickly became obsolete in the US.

The other main use for VCD was piracy.  In fact, there were many DVD2VCD guides, forums and software available throughout the early 2000’s that kept the format alive.  While the quality was a step down from DVD, the files were about 1/5th the size and CD’s (and burners) were significantly cheaper than DVD’s.  I remember watching a handful of them, but usually stuck with other methods of watching video, as (at the time) I didn’t have a way to connect my PC to my TV.

Thanks to Derek for posting this, as there’s not much info out there on the DreamMovie!

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