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How to Convert Video and Maintain the Correct Aspect Ratio

You probably know that the aspect ratio of a video is the ratio between the width and the height of the image; the most widely used video aspect ratios are 4:3 and 16:9. Aspect ratio affects our perception of movies significantly – it’s hard to ignore an image that’s stretched or compressed. So, when converting video, it's important to maintain the correct aspect ratio.

With Movavi Video Converter, you can be sure that the results of your video conversion will have the correct aspect ratio. You can use it as a video aspect ratio converter to change the aspect ratio of your video to meet the needs of your target device when you want to prepare an HD video (that usually has 16:9 aspect ratio) to watch on a portable device with a 4:3 screen such as the iPod Classic.

There are two main possible approaches you can take to aspect ratio and video conversion:

  • You want to keep the aspect ratio of the original video the same.
  • You want to change the aspect ratio of the video, e.g. to convert 16:9 video to 4:3, or vice versa.

No matter what you need to do – to maintain aspect ratio of your video or change it – Movavi Video Converter will do it in no time. Follow these step-by-step instructions, and you can forget about aspect ratio problems.

Step 1: Install Movavi Video Converter on Your PC

Download the installation file for Movavi Video Converter and install the software on your computer if you don’t already have it. It will take just a few minutes.

Step 2: Add Your Video File to the Program

add file

Click the +File button. In the dialog window, locate the folder with the file(s) you want to convert. Choose the necessary file(s) and click Open. You can also drag and drop files to Movavi Video Converter right from the Windows Explorer window.

To find out what aspect ratio your movie has, right-click on the added file and select Information; in the new window you'll see the information you need about your video file.

Step 3: Choose the Output Format for Your Video

choose format

Click the arrow button in the Preset list to open up the list. To convert your video to a specific format, click More presets for formats and choose the desired format from the list.

Movavi Video Converter includes dozens of ready-made presets for various mobile devices, including iPod, iPhone, iPad, PSP, Xbox 360, tablets, and smartphones. Just click More presets for devices and find your device in the list. If you choose a ready-made preset, you don’t have to specify any additional options, because your video will be converted with the optimal settings for playing on the selected device. In this case, you can skip the next step and jump to Step 5.

Step 4: Specify Video Settings

Click the Settings button next to the Preset list. In the format settings window that appears, you can choose the appropriate video and audio codecs and specify various video parameters, including aspect ratio.

If you want to keep the aspect ratio and resolution of the original video:

Make sure that the Video same as input checkbox is checked. In this case, the converted video will have the same resolution (width and height) and aspect ratio as the original clip.

If you want to change the aspect ratio of your video or resize it, do the following:

Uncheck the Video same as input checkbox and enter the desired width or height value. If the Scale proportionally checkbox is checked, you can enter one dimension, and the other will be calculated automatically, keeping the preset dimension proportions.
If you want to specify both width and height values, uncheck the Scale proportionally checkbox.
Select the appropriate resize method – Stretch, Letter Box, or Crop – from the Resize method list, if necessary.
Click the Options button in the Video stream area, and select 4:3 or 16:9 from the Aspect ratio list, depending on your goal. Choose the same aspect ratio as the original video has (see Step 2), if you want the converted file to have the same aspect ratio as the original. Click OK.
Be aware that the resolution and aspect ratio of a video are not dependent on each other. For more information, check our article about aspect ratio.
For MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 formats, there is no Scale proportionally checkbox, and you can select the required width and height values, and aspect ratio right from the corresponding lists.
For MOV and WMV formats, you cannot manually specify the aspect ratio – it is calculated automatically using the width and height values you set.

When you’ve specified all the video settings for your task, click OK.

Step 5: Launch Video Conversion

Now you need to choose the folder where the converted files will be saved. If you want to change the default \Videos\Movavi Library folder, click the Browse button and specify a new folder in the dialog window that opens.

Click the Convert button to initiate the conversion process. The folder with the finished files will open automatically upon completion, unless you disabled the feature in the program settings.

Movavi Video Converter

  • Convert between 180+ formats
  • Save video for 200+ devices
  • Extract audio from video
  • Cut and join media files
  • Share files online
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Movavi Video Suite

  • Edit 2D & 3D video, apply effects
  • Convert video, audio, and DVD
  • Encode for mobile devices
  • Capture screencasts or web
  • Play 2D video in 3D
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