How we grade our DVD quality

The video and sound quality of movies will vary, based on the original source of the film. If a film has been officially released on DVD, it is likely to be available with superb image/sound quality. However, if it has been released only on VHS or VCD (or has never been officially released at all), the overall quality is likely to be weaker -- sometimes much weaker. Most films listed on these pages have never had an official DVD release, so they simply are not available with perfect quality. We are constantly upgrading our collection, so that we can provide the best quality which is currently available on any given film.

The chart below will give you a good idea what to expect, from each quality rating:

Q-4 or Q-3.5 … Excellent quality -- The equivalent of an official remastered DVD.

Q-3 … Fine quality -- A particularly good transfer -- possibly from a cable TV station, or from a very strong VCD, or a much-better-than-average original VHS. (This will be an above-average copy.)

Q-2.5 … Very Good quality - basically a solid transfer from a VCD or VHS original. (This will be an average, to slightly-better-than-average copy.)

Q-2 … Good quality - A transfer from a slightly below average VCD or VHS, or possibly a standard TV broadcast station, or maybe even a second generation copy from a strong VHS original. (This will be an average, to slightly-less-than-average copy -- very watchable, but not perfect.)

Q-1.5 … Fair Quality - A 3rd, or maybe a good 4th generation copy from VHS, or an especially weak VCD – like many from India. (This will be watchable, but certainly a well below-average copy.)

Q-1 … Poor Quality: A 4th, 5th or worse generation copy – very fuzzy and either barely watchable or unwatchable. We only offer the rarest films in this quality -- only when no better source is available.

Overall, I would say the average quality of our films would probably be approximately: Q-2/2.5


For those of you unfamiliar with the term, VCD

VCD stands for Video CD. These are basically unused in USA markets, but are quite common in many Asian countries. In fact, in many countries, they are far more popular and common than DVDs. A VCD is produced using CDs, rather than a DVD. Since CDs hold much less information than DVDs, there is far more compression involved. Therefore, the video quality is not as good as what you would get on an average DVD. (Films produced on VCD usually come packaged on two discs.) Some of the countries where VCDs are quite common are; India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Phillipines. They are also somewhat common in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but less so than in the other countries.

Since VCDs almost always come on two discs, when they are transferred to DVD, there may be a small gap in the middle of the film, or even a small repeat of the action (with will typically be only a few seconds).

I would rate the average VCD quality as between Q-2 and Q-2.5.


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