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How to Convert Video and Maintain the Correct Aspect Ratio

Edited by Ben Jacklin

July 24, 2019

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. The 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.

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

There are two main possible approaches you can take to the 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 (the usual aspect ratio for Full HD TVs and YouTube) video to 4:3 or vice versa.

No matter what you need to do – to maintain the aspect ratio of your video or change it – Movavi Video Converter will do it in no time. Just download the version of the program that's compatible with your OS (Windows or Mac) and follow these step-by-step instructions to forget about aspect ratio problems.

Install the Movavi Video Aspect Ratio Changer

Download the installation file for Movavi Video Converter and install the software on your computer. It will take just a few minutes.

Add Your Video File to the Program

Click the Add Media button and select Add Video. In the dialog box, 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 into Movavi Video Converter right from the folder they're stored in.

Choose the Output Format for Your Video

Open the Video tab to see the list of video formats, including MP4, AVI, WMV, and many others. To convert your video to a specific format, hit the name of the desired format. You’ll see a list of presets with different resolution options. If you want to keep the original resolution and aspect ratio, select the option with Original Size in its name. Want to change the aspect ratio of your video? For your convenience, we matched the most popular presets with corresponding aspect ratio values.

  • 3:2: 480 × 320; 720 × 480
  • 4:3: 240 × 180; 320 × 240; 640 × 480; 384 × 288
  • 16:9: 640 × 360; 960 × 540; 1280 × 720; 1920 × 1080
  • 16:10: 1280 × 800

Also, Movavi Video Converter includes dozens of ready-made presets for various devices, including iPod, iPhone, iPad, PSP, Xbox One, and many others. Just click 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.

Specify Video Settings (Optional)

If you want to set the width and height for your video manually, click the Cogwheel button next to the Output format field. In the format settings window that appears, choose the appropriate video and audio codecs and specify various video parameters.

As Movavi Video Converter uses square pixels only during the conversion (except when converting to DVD), the aspect ratio of an output video is always set automatically according to its width and height proportions. So, open the Frame size list and select the right resolution option or pick Custom and enter the required width and height values into the corresponding fields. And don't forget to select the appropriate resize method!

After all the parameters have been set, hit OK, and you’ll be returned to the main program window, where you can finish transforming your video.

A note on saving video in a DVD-compatible format (VOB): all VOB files made in Movavi Video Converter contain non-square pixels so, after choosing the appropriate size preset, you can select the required aspect ratio – 16:9 or 4:3 – in the format settings dialog.

Launch Video Conversion

Now you need to choose the folder where the converted files will be saved. If you want to change the default Movavi Library folder, click Save to and specify a new folder in the dialog box 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.


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