Can a non-anamorphic dvd video be converted to anamophic?

One: I believe I have my terms right. Two: Seems like this would have been asked before but I searched and came up with nothing.

I have an older DVD, Hitchcock’s Vertigo, a 1:85 AR movie that on a 16:9 TV displays right and left bars as well as the expected upper and lower black bars. This means when played on a 4:3 TV you only get the horizontal bars, but on a 16:9 TV you get them all around.

…This aspect ratio should fit the 16:9 screen like my other 1:85s, but I assume it doesn’t because this is an early DVD and non-anamorphic.

My questions: Is there a simple way to alter the IFO’s with a program like IFOEdit to stretch the video anamorphic-ly? Or does the video need to be cropped, which it seems would just be a waste of my time since I can just pick up a new DVD for $20. (BTW my knowledge of video editing is pretty low…limited to simple VOB and IFO editing.)

A bonus question: After successfully altering the IFO’s or cropping the video is the resulting video quality theoretically degraded compared with a factory anamorphic DVD?

Hope this made sense. Thanks,


Yes your query makes sense. You shouldn’t have to crop the video since it seems like something somewhere is applying letterboxing. This is occasionally a problem, and maybe you could try the advice I summarised in this previous query:

Thanks for the response, imkidd. I had been messing with the IFO’s already, but not the “00000 200” line. However I am still getting only a result of stretching horizontally, but not vertically. That is, when you watch the video with the altered IFO’s you see what now appears to be a 2.35:1 AR…no bars on the sides, but bars remain at the top/bottom. (And the image is flattened.)

The thing is the original video attributes show Vertigo as 4:3 (not 16:9) in the original IFO’s. I changed it to 16:9 as well as unchecking the letterboxed option, but only got the stretched right to left picture. I will keep messing with it, but I think since the video is originally 4:3 I am out of luck as far as IFOEditing goes. Who knows?


Could be the original is 4:3 letterboxed. Play the VOB file directly in software player to see if it displays as 4:3 or 16:9. VobEdit can also be used to confirm the video format in the VOB.

The only way to make it a true 16:9 is to re-encode it. DVDRebuilder (Pro) has the ability to automatically convert 4:3 letterboxed to 16:9.

That’s what I was thinking (the need to recode). Since this is just a one-time thing I’m not going to buy any programs just for that. For $20 ro less I’ll get a new DVD. But if there is something free out there I’ll try that. I’ll check out for more programs.

Thanks for both replies.

Stretching that small image to a full 16:9 will be pretty disappointing, quality wise. You’ll take an image that’s about 330 and stretch it to 480, and that’s just the vertical stretch.

OK, that was the other main question which settles it. I had expected this was the case, but didn’t want to assume it for a fact.

Yup. I tried it a few times and gave up. You’d almost need to start with a High-Def transfer to get good results.