I have a video that plays in widescreen, but was originally filmed in 4:3. It fills the widescreen frame, but looks stretched.
I know you can compensate for this by watching in VLC and using the Video>Aspect Ratio options, but I'd like to learn a way to convert such videos to just play 'normally' (without notable loss in quality of course).
Is there a way to do this? I've been poking around but most people are asking questions kinda backwards from what I'm trying to do. Here are the details for the file, if it helps:
Video Codec .............: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
Frame Size ...............: 720x416
AR ............................: 1.731)
Audio Codec .............: mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC
Sample Rate .............: 48000 Hz
Audio Bitrate .............: 160 kb/s [2 channels]
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Did you highlight the video track? Select it by left clicking it, then go to the format specific options tab
You have to hi-light the video stream in the box above.
And if your player doesn't recognize the AR flag, reencode after resizing to some 1.33:1 ratio such as 640x480.
what container was it before?
Probably mp4 if you had thumbnails
It can be difficult to get mkv thumbnails. Many people disable thumbnails because of stability issues. For some people it works if you use haali media splitter as the directshow mkv splitter - You can configure in the options under explorer integration "enable thumbnails extraction" set to yes instead of no
Or, you can use yamb or mymp4boxgui to set the aspect ratio, and keep the mp4 container . Similar procedure in yamb - highlight the video track, hit properties, select 4:3 NTSC from the drop down box, push ok ,next
neat, thanks. the thumbnails weren't such a big issue, just something I'd also noticed before with some files and didn't understand.
cool, thanks! is there any benefit to using mkvtoolnix over yamb? or, if I used yamb and kept the mp4 container, would there be any benefit to that? or is it just file format preference at that point?
again, many thanks for your help!
The benefit for you is ease of thumbnails use
There are pros/cons to MP4 vs. MKV container . You can read the various discussions in other threads.
Basically, MKV is less compatible with devices (like ipod/pad/phone, various portable devices) , but more versatile in that it supports more video & audio formats, more subtitle formats like ASS, SSA. The filesize overhead is similar (it might be 0.1% difference between them)
Not all players (hardware or software) accept container aspect ratio flags - so your adventure might be for nothing. In that case your only option is to resize/reencode as manono suggested above. In my experience, MKV will play the AR flag properly more often than MP4 . You mentioned VLC - that will usually play videos correctly and acknowledge the AR flag
XBMC are my usual viewers. thanks for the tip about the AR flag with mkv!
It's more than just a preference thing; in some scenarios you can't use one or the other , or there are limitations
e.g. h.264/aac (same video & audio as yours) , cannot stream in a mkv container in flash web pages, but can in MP4.
It first boils down to how are you going to play it, what is the intended hardware device or software player.
VLC can play just about anything on any platform (win/mac/unix) , XBMC can be problematic with some file types, encoding settings