When you purchase your new DVD player, you should make sure it is capable of "reading" CDR media. Some can and many cannot. The commercially available VCD and SVCD discs are authored to a disc whose media is like a DVD type media. The DVD discs (and VCD/SVCD) that you purchase at your local video store are made of a different material than the common consumer burnable CDR. These two types of discs work at different wavelengths when decoding.
Your best chance of getting a player that will read "all" types of media is to get one that has a "dual laser" reader. In this case the manufacturer has incorporated TWO lasers .. one optimized for the wavelength of DVD media, and the other optimized for CDR. For example, my own Philips 825AT DVD player has one laser running at 780 nm (for CDR) and the other at 650 nm (for DVD media)
Notice we are talking about the MEDIA here. Not the "coding" or parameters of the actual video.
(A note for Sony DVD player owners)...Some of the older original Sony models had "dual laser" compatibly. Lately the newer generation of Sony players have switched to a single laser and suffer the incompatibility with CDR problem. There's a lot of discussion going on about why they did this. Refer to the various news groups or discussions on that subject if you want information. Just be warned, when a guy says "his" Sony plays CDR VCDs just fine, be sure to GET the model number. Some older models do, some newer models don't.
A workaround: Some (DVD media only) players have a very "tight" laser set up. They will only work within a plus or minus wavelength that is very small. With these, you are most likely NOT going to get any homemade type media to be read. However some manufacturers have a laser that is more "broad banded" (my guess). This means that although it's only designed for DVD wavelength media, it's plus and minus bandwidth is wider than others. In THIS case you might be able to get it to read a CDRW. Note I'm talking about CDRW not CDR. There is a slight difference in the reflectivity of a CDRW than a CDR. CDRW are made with different material than a CDR to enable you to erase and re-write them many times. Because of that, they have a little different "reflectivity" to them. And depending on the brand of the CDRW disc, some are a tad closer to the wavelength of a DVD.
If you ... 1 - have a DVD player with a wider than normal single laser frequency response, and 2 - are using a CDRW that falls into that frequency
window, then you might be able use CDRW media to make that homemade VCD and play it on your DVD player.
My best advise would be to first go to one of the (listed below) Web sites and check to see if anyone has already done the tests for your make and model. These sites have a continuing updated listing of many popular DVD stand alone players and confirmations on which media they can read. (as posted by actual users) Save yourself a lot of time and check there first before you waste weeks of encoding and testing. http://www.redrobe.com/dvd/index.html
Also try http://www.vcdhelper.com
Next when you go to buy the player, bring a known good test sample. Maybe two discs, one on CDR and another on CDRW. The sample VCD and SVCD mpeg's on this web site have all be tested and were actual "rips" from existing, working discs I have authored. Using them, with the proper burning software should give you a working compliant disc. Sorry they are so short. When making a "test" disc you can put several copies of the same clip into the play list just to enable the VCD/SVCD to play a little longer. (this will also show you how multiple clips will play automatically one after the other in a properly authored VCD) No need to do any fancy menus, just add the same clip(s) several times to the play list. They should just play one after the other when recognized by a DVD player.
So in "some" cases you can get your DVD player to work with your homemade CDR based VCDs. BUT, read on for some potential problems.
Remember, using the CDRW to "trick" your DVD player into thinking it's a DVD "media type", is just that. A trick. IF your DVD player and it's laser and decoder etc., are of high enough quality you will probably be able to do this and be pleased with the result. However, be warned, you are working outside of the player's factory specifications and there is no guarantee. Consider yourself lucky if it works. Again, that aforementioned web site with the DVD compatibility listing will be of great help to you. But even if you are successful be aware of these potential problems. You could have some erratic playback problems.
Some areas where you have edited your source and "joined" two clips may stutter or even crash the player. You might see slightly poorer quality as the laser may have trouble decoding. AND your success may vary with different
manufacturer's CDRWs. Here's my best analogy to explain what using CDRW media means when playing them in a "non-CDR capable" DVD player.
Check out this URL to see if your DVD was tested for reading CDR/CDRW