Video encoding



I have some holiday videos that I recorded in TV format (4:3) that I want to encode in true widescreen format (16:9 - with black horizontal bars only). Unfortunately, I tried to do this with Nero, but it put black vertical and horizontal bars in the final product. Can anyone recommend an application that will do what I want?


I would have thought the only way to get widescreen from 4:3 was for it to be stretched & that’ll make your family look short & fat. That’s not advisable.

If it’s now 4:3 then keep it that way.


Correct. I guess I am hoping there is an application that can encode a 4:3 video into a 16:9 without distorting the objects in the footage.


Vegas Video is one program that is capable of making the transformation, but I can’t vouch for the quality of the output, as I’ve never tried it. You could always download a trial of it and see how it works.


There’s only 2 options:

  1. stretch the image to 16:9. Many monitors and DVD players can do this using various stretching techniques. Some of them are watchable, if they use a variable stretch algorhythm. None of them require you to do anything with the image. Using a video editor to stretch it can be done, but the results are pretty poor, as they will use a constant stretch rate.
  2. Crop the image to a 16:9 ratio. This was recently covered in another thread. The results will be very poor. 4:3 images are at a max resolution of 640x480. In order to make it 16:9, you would crop the top and bottom till you had something like 640x360. The resulting image, when displayed on anything larger than a 30" 16:9 monitor would be pretty poor. This is due to a 360 res being stretched back to 480. (16:9 at 480i is 720x480)

You could apply some combination of the 2, stretching and cropping, but you’d still be stretching a limited number of pixels into a larger area.


So either way I go, I will end up with a poor result. Either a pixelated or disproportionate video.