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Want to convert 4:3 to 16:9

john_thomas's picture
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:01pm

I have some VHS video from a wedding to convert to a widescreen (if possible) DVD. It will ultimately be displayed by folks who want to just drop the disc in the player and enjoy without adjusting the DVD or blu-ray player to get the aspect right. I don't want it letterboxed because most of it is of people dancing and the original video has the dancers' heads near the very top of the frame and their feet near the very bottom, and letterboxing for the 1.78 (16:9) frame size will cut too close.

I thought I would be able to just add black sidebars to the 4:3 video thereby extending it out to widescreen, 16:9 width. If I can't do that, I'll just have to consign her to learning how to use her player to make the best presentation of it.

I've looked long and hard at DVDxDV Pro, and Final Cut Express' Widescreen Filter, and I haven't seen the ability to add sidebars. Anybody have any ideas?



john_thomas's picture
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:01pm

No, just to convert 4:3 to 16:9 as described above-- by simply adding sidebars to extend the original 4:3 out to 16:9. Any ideas? The effect would be like watching ESPN (NOT the HD version of ESPN) on my new Sony Bravia. Standard definition aspect ratio channels are shown with black sidebars when seen on an HD TV.

I can't believe I'm the only one who wants to do this.


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

I can only speak for the NLE I use (Sony Vegas), but all I need to do is adjust my project settings to any widescreen project (1920 X 1080 1:1 pixel ratio - Many HD presets; 720 X 480 1.21:1 pixel ratio - preset called DVD Widescreen) and it adds those black bars for me (of course I could change that by putting a background behind the video to allow for other colors or even background videos).

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


BruceMol's picture
Last seen: 1 hour 32 min ago
Joined: 03/11/2008 - 10:35pm

In PPro CS3 I'd open a 16x9 (PAL or NTSC widescreen) project, add a black matte an then insert the 4:3 file on top. On another note, using ENCORE, all I had to do with that situation (using a 4:3 file in a 16:9 project) was to create another timeline. That way I could mix aspect (timelines) without going through a re render. The 4:3 file fills the entire screen w/o bars though.


john_thomas's picture
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:01pm

I figured it out. Actually I remembered having seen the solution in a book about the iLife applications. iDVD is the key. The trick is to simply set up the project in Final Cut Express as a regular NTSC DV project (4:3-- NOT anamorphic!). Then when you're done editing in FCE, just export to Quicktime as per usual (still 4:3). In setting up the authoring project in iDVD, choose one of the 16:9 themes. When you drag the 4:3 movie export into the iDVD menu, the sidebars are added instantly, without fanfare or message from iDVD, and the movie plays back just the way I wanted it. This side-barred format has a name: pillarboxed.

Thanks to Birdcat and BruceMol for your suggestions!


john_thomas's picture
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:01pm

I was wrong-- it's not figured out at all for me. iDVD fooled me because when I first dragged the 4:3 movie to the main menu to add it to the DVD, it previewed just the way I want it to look. (That's when I made the above post.) After encoding, the movie wound up squashed out over the entire 16:9, just as though it were anamorphic. Jeesh.

Back to the above suggestions from Birdcat and BruceMol.


wbmp's picture
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 02/03/2010 - 3:56pm

MPEGSteamclip will convert your 4:3 to 16:9. The convertor is free too!

GoodLuck!

WBMP