No need to make another thread on this subject tiersa. I've merged them into one.
I haven't tried to get rid of black bars, as I see it as a huge waste of time when converting to dvd. Therefore I have no help for you. I know you can crop with ffdshow, Avisynth, AviDemux, Virtualdub, Vdubmod and several other programs, but haven't used them for this purpose. If you still want to pursue this course, I suggest talking to the folks over at videohelp.com