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Having aspect ratio problems?

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How to Handle Stretched Videos and Remove Black Bars from Videos

You’ve probably encountered problems associated with aspect ratio – for example, a video appears stretched when you play it in a media player. How can you fix this? Also, how do you remove black bars from the edges of a video?

With Movavi Video Converter, you can easily correct your stretched video so that it displays normally and you can get rid of those unwanted black bars. Try this program for Windows or Mac by clicking the appropriate button below.

Problem classification

Let’s summarize the problems associated with aspect ratio described above:

  1. A video has an incorrect aspect ratio and appears stretched
    • vertically (all objects look narrow and elongated)
    • horizontally (all objects look flattened out)
  2. A video has an correct aspect ratio and is not stretched but has black bars
    • across the top and bottom
    • down the left and right sides

Solutions

Doing stretched video correction

a. In most cases, this occurs because a widescreen (16:9) video was stretched to a 4:3 aspect ratio, breaking the original aspect ratio. To correct this, we need to stretch the video horizontally while leaving the height unchanged:

Knowing the height of the converted video, we need to calculate its width. Let’s use W as the width of the, and H as the height.

The converted video is supposed to be 16:9, i.e. W:H = 16:9, so the width should be calculated as W=16×H:9.

b. It appears that a 4:3 video was stretched to 16:9, breaking the original aspect ratio. To correct this, we need to compress the video horizontally while leaving the height unchanged:

The converted video is supposed to be 4:3, i.e. W:H = 4:3, so the width should be calculated as W=4×H:3.

Removing black bars

a. This usually happens when a widescreen video (16:9) is converted to 4:3 using the Letter Box resize method. You can find more information about resize methods here. The proportions of the image are fine, but black bars have appeared on the top and bottom of the video. The result can be very distracting when you watch the movie on a widescreen TV, as it adds its own bars to the sides of the movie to fit it into the TV screen. This is called windowboxing or postage stamp effect and your video will look like this:

You can remove the bars and return the video to the 16:9 aspect ratio using Crop resize. We need to crop the video vertically while leaving the width unchanged:

Since the converted video is supposed to be 16:9, i.e. W:H = 16:9, the height should be calculated as H=9×W:16.

b. It appears a 4:3 video was converted to 16:9 using the Letter Box resize method. In this case, black bars are added on the left and right sides of the video image. You can remove the bars and return the video to 4:3 aspect ratio by using the Crop resize method.

We need to crop the video horizontally while leaving the height unchanged:

The converted video is supposed to be 4:3, i.e. W:H = 4:3, so the width should be calculated as W=4×H:3.

Conversion instructions

To convert a problem video file, follow these steps:

  1. Add your video to Movavi Video Converter and select the appropriate output preset in the Video tab.
  2. Click the cogwheel button next to the Output format field.
  3. Open the Frame size list and select the resolution that you've calculated above. If you want to set it manually, pick the Custom item and enter your width and height values into the corresponding fields.
  4. Select from the Resize method list:
    • Stretch if you want to correct stretched video
    • Crop if you want to remove black bars from the edges of your video
  5. Click OK.
  6. Convert the video.

Movavi Video Converter can do a lot more than simply fix videos with the wrong aspect ratio. The app is a universal converter that handles video, audio, and photo files and supports 180+ formats, including MP4, AVI, MOV, WMV; MP3, FLAC, OGG; JPEG, PNG, and more. It also features presets for many popular mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android-based platforms, etc.) and websites (YouTube, Facebook, and more). Mac owners would also find iMovie presets so that they can easily open converted videos in their favorite video editor.

Movavi Video Converter

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