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  1. OK, I'm kind of a newb at this and don't know all the correct terminology to describe the problem I need help with, so bear with me. What I'm trying to do is rip music videos from DVDs so that I can build a sizable collection to go along with all the rest of my digital media. I'm using Handbrake to convert individual videos into MKV files.

    The problem I am having is with a certain DVD called Triple J Hottest 100 Volume 16. It's this one:

    https://shop.abc.net.au/products/triple-j-hottest-100-volume-16-1

    So what's the problem? Well, when they authored the disc, they decided to stretch all the videos into a 16:9 aspect ratio, which make them look like crap. None of the videos on disc were originally shot in hi-definition, so the image looks soft and undefined.

    All the other music DVDs I've encountered up until this point had a normal 4:3 aspect ratio, which is what I like. This means that the videos all have black bars either on the left-ride sides, or across all four sides. The video image is smaller, yes, but the image quality is much higher and defined.

    Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

    This is the 'Cat Power - He War' video with black bars (not cropped or stretched out) as I like it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poGk-bo7Wmc

    Now this is the 'Sleater-Kinney - Jumpers' video that has been cropped and blown up to fill up a screen:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZA_7FtttRY

    So, is there a way to make Handbrake convert the 16:9 videos on this disc back to their original 4:3 size, along with adding the black bars? I don't quite understand the 'picture' tab in Handbrake and how to use it to downsize a picture. In other words, I know how to crop off black bars and blow up the size of a video, but I don't know how to add black bars and downsize a video.

    Any ideas?
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  2. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    I doubt you can add any black borders in handbrake. I would try something else like xmedia recode, xvid4psp, avidemux etc. They can import ripped dvd folders or use vob2mpg and import the mpg.
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  3. Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    I doubt you can add any black borders in handbrake. I would try something else like xmedia recode, xvid4psp, avidemux etc. They can import ripped dvd folders or use vob2mpg and import the mpg.
    Dude, you're a God. Thank you. I didn't think I'd find what I was looking for here, but XMedia Recode was exactly what I needed. It read the folder for that DVD I was having trouble with and after 20 minutes of encoding, spit out a perfect 4:3 file formatted with an accurate letterbox around the image. No fuss, no muss. I can now take that file, chop it up, and run it through Handbrake and extract the videos as I like them. Even better, it can reformat some of the stretched, poorly cropped videos I've bought off of iTunes and downsize them for a better viewing experience on a large screen.

    I'd buy you a beer or three if I could.
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