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  1. Recently received some MP4 videos that the original aspect ratio had been changed from 4:3 to 16:9.

    Hope others have experienced this and have tips or recommendations how to correct this back to 4:3 without loosing resolution.
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  2. You would have to resize it and add letterbox bars (black bars on the left and right) . This requires re-encoding and you typically have some quality loss , requires time. But it's permanent and works everywhere

    Another option would be to set a container or bitstream flag, that signals to a player to playback at 4:3 . This does not work in all situations; some players might not play it properly, or if you "embed" in a browser it won't work. Some devices might play it back properly at 4:3

    Or you can set your media player or TV to playback at 4:3 . Essentially "squish" it during playback.
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  3. Since you didn't post a sample, I don't know exactly what the video looks like, but if it is 4:3 material that has been stretched to 16:9, the simplest thing is to do absolutely nothing and simply set your TV set's display aspect ratio to 4:3 while playing the video. This should take the 16:9 material and squish it back to 4:3. You will lose no resolution and it will take exactly zero minutes of time to do it.
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  4. Member netmask56's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Sydney, Australia
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    You could try loading it into MKVToolNix and wrapping it in a MKV container. Within that program you can set a flag to play as 4:3. This does not re-encode so no change in quality... So as long as your media player responds to the flags should be OK

    PS I have found on a few files I've done that MKVToolNix recognises the MP4 file as 4:3 and sets it anyway..
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  5. poisondeathray, johnmeyer, & netmask56,

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

    Should have mentioned that I normally watch these videos on a old Samsung Note Phone with Android 4.4.4. The MP4 Player normally used is a version of MX Player that does not have a 4:3 option.

    The videos are poor quality and do not want to make any worse plus am lazy so decided to try using another MP4 Player. Fortunately this Phone already had VLC for Android already installed so tried the various screen options and found 4:3 (much more than MX). so everything is fine!

    johnmeyer thanks for the tip! Since I am new to Android Video Players do you have a favorite?

    poisondeathray thanks for mention "Another option would be to set a container or bitstream flag, that signals to a player to playback at 4:3" You are dealing with a Real Beginner. Any tutorials how to do this?

    netmask56 thanks for mention of MKVToolNix but as previously mentioned as a beginner is over my head but am interested.
    How do you normally use it? Also any good video tutorials? Googled YT and found some but can not tell how good.

    Thanks again everyone!
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