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Thread: Changing aspect of 4:3 file to 16:9

  1. #1

    Default Changing aspect of 4:3 file to 16:9

    I wonder if anyone can help me, before I explode!!!

    I have a "Pinnacle Video Transfer" which is a tiny device which records a MP4 file from a composite source. Make quite a nice job, but there are NO absolutely options. What you get is what you get.

    Unfortunately, when you record from a PAL widescreen source, what you get is a video file which only plays in 4:3 format on your PC.#

    i.e. the video is played, but is too tall.

    One solution is to resize the size of the screen on your video player software, but that is not really a great solution.
    What I'd like is a video file which will just play in widescreen format on my PC.

    Ideally, I'd like a quick fix to flag the MP4 file as a 16:9 format, without recoding. But from what I read I dont think this is possible.

    So... please could someone help me set up a project, load in the MP4 file and output a Xvid that plays correctly.

    Honestly, I must have tried 100 different settings in Vegas 8.0b, and I simply CANNOT get it to work.

    Please... Save my hair!! What do i do??

    Thank you for ANY help you can offer.

  2. #2


    Is this quite a hard question?

  3. #3


    You seem not to get any answer, unfortunally i can't help you a lot cause i use cs3 but if you export it right it should work properly, sometimes the players won't play it with the right aspect ratio, so try another player just to see if it is working properly .
    And a pal widescreen as you say will play as widescreen .

    Visit my portuguese blog :
    VĂ*deo Digital

  4. #4


    I feel your pain and anguish!

    "Is this quite a hard question?" For, the answer is - yes. Not the question!

    I need to understand your workflow a bit better.

    I DID read your post when you made it, and my heart sank. Because for me there are just so many project setup variables that I am getting quite light headed.

    Now, there NEAREST I've come to what you are doing, and thence maybe a clue for you is the following:

    1] Videoed in 16:9

    2] Edited in VegasPro8 with setting as 16:9

    3] Rendered out final 16:9 AVI

    4] Brought this into DivX Convertor ( see? DivX - not your format)

    5] Played this on a MP4 device and 16:9 is good.

    OK . . .

    When I need to DO a 4:3 for the same device I set my settings as 16:9 and brought the 4:3 to FIT Top and Bottom. This produced neat classy black bars each side of the screen on the DivX device ( actually an MP4 capable )

    Ok all this is good.

    Now, I want to play a 16:9 on my Nokia phone - which has a 4:3 display. So this time I force a 4:3 onto the 16:9 format and render out in 4:3. This time I end up with black bars TOP and BOTTOM. I then used these Black Bars to fill with ticker tape text. It works.

    The point I am laboriously trying to make here with these 2 examples, is that at some point I too need to FORCE the correct aspect ratio for the device I wanted to play the video on. Now this MAYBE a way forward for you. Bottom line here, I HAVE been where are at. I have tried often to render the "right" "wanted" aspect ratio, but IF the media doesn't contain the 16:9 or 4:3 flag that that device would need, then it WILL miss that info and play blindly just what is in front of it.

    If this has been at all valuable I am glad. If it hasn't, you wont surprise me!

    But yes I did read it and yes, these format workflows can be a real pain to get right/correct. Sometimes we take for granted just WHAT we want and expect the s/w to comply.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    I'm no expert on MP4 but I believe the freeware tools Yamb + MP4Box (the former is a GUI front-end for the latter) allow you to set a Pixel Aspect Ratio when MUXing streams. Might be worth a google + download.

  6. #6


    Thanks all for your suggestions and sympathy!

    Why cant computers just do what you WANT, not what you tell them to do

    I found this excellent, vegas oriented, non-techie, description...

    Eugenia’s Rants and Thoughts » Blog Archive » Understanding Pixel Aspect Ratios

    Basically, he (she?) says that video players are hit and miss whether they understand the Pixel Aspect Ratio. Therefore it's best to render in the actual resolution of widescreen, and not expect the player to stretch it for you.
    Last edited by Rob; 05-09-2008 at 05:29 AM.

  7. #7


    You can find great things at Eugenia's blog, she is a well know girl by her knowledge .

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