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Windows 7: Windows 7 Media Center Aspect Ratio problem

23 Dec 2012   #1
Sams Grandad

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Windows 7 Media Center Aspect Ratio problem

The Task
I use Windows Media Center (WMC) running on Windows 7 to record wide-screen Freeview DVB-T films from an AverMedia H752 PCIe TV card and store them on the C: drive in Windows Recorded TV format (.wtv). I use Windows Live Movie Maker (WMM) to edit the .wtv files to top and tail them and remove any adverts in between. I use Windows DVD Maker (WDM) to create a DVD which I then view elsewhere or copy for other people.

The Problem
When the .wtv files are read into WMM for editing they are sometimes presented on screen in Standard 4:3 aspect ratio format rather than Widescreen (16:9).

Software Settings.
I checked the software settings in all the programs to confirm they were set to Widescreen 16:9 and not Standard 4:3.........
In WMC: Tasks / Settings / General / Windows Media Center Setup / Configure Your TV or Monitor / Widescreen (16:9).
In WMM: Tools / Options / Advanced / 16:9
In WDM: Add Pictures And Videos To The DVD / Options / 16:9 (under DVD aspect ratio)

Testing
When I play back recorded .wtv files in WMC, they are displayed OK (as 16:9).
When I read the .wtv files into WMM for editing some scenes present as 4:3 and others as 16:9.
For example, I recorded a film in two separate parts because there was a 30 minutes News programme about half way through. Both parts displayed OK as 16:9 when played back separately in WMC. However, when read into WMM and shown as multiple scenes within a single film the first part played back as 4:3 in WMM and the second as 16:9.

The Question
Why do TV programmes recorded using Windows Media Center change their aspect ratio from Widescreen (16:9) to Standard (4:3) when processed by Windows Live Movie Maker?



My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
23 Dec 2012   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. I would not use WMM, rather use WLMM - much better output quality.
2. In WLMM you can change the aspect ratio to 16:9 in the Project tab.

http://download.cnet.com/Windows-Liv...-10965753.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2012   #3
Sams Grandad

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Tanks WHS, but I do use Windows Live Movie Maker. I just gave it the acronym WMM for simplicity.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

23 Dec 2012   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sams Grandad View Post
Tanks WHS, but I do use Windows Live Movie Maker. I just gave it the acronym WMM for simplicity.
So did you try the Project tab.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #5
Sams Grandad

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Thanks again WHS for your prompt reply.

Yes I did set the aspect ratio on the Project tab to Widescreen (16:0).


I selected 'Click here to browse for video and photos' and chose the .wtv film that I wished to edit.


The Preview Pane presented OK. It displayed as 16:9 without any black bands to top, bottom or sides.


The video clip on the storyboard panel was held in a 16:9 ratio frame BUT the inner video image was squashed laterally (i.e. producing tall people) and thick black bands were inserted just inside the 'sprocket holes'.
This suggests that WLMM loses the aspect ratio information when it prepares the clips for the storyboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I know what you are talking about. I have this problem sometimes too. I think it has to do with the aspect ratio of the input. I sometimes crop videos (with Format Factory) and they look OK in WLMM, but when I save them in WLMM, they have the black bands.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #7
Sams Grandad

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Windows 7 Live Movie Maker aspect ratio problem

Thanks WHS.
At last I have found someone who has reproduced the problem.
Do you know if it has been logged with the developers?
If so, when can we expect a fix to the bug?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I don't think there is much the developer can do about it. If the picture or video input is say 14:9 and they stretch it to 16:9, the pictures would be distorted. So they have to put the black bars on the side. And if it were 16:7, the bars would be on the top and bottom.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #9
Sams Grandad

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Windows 7 Live Movie Maker aspect ratio bug.

WHS,

With the greatest respect, I do think that WLMM has a genuine bug that the developer should address.


If I can explain why ….


The video input to WLMM is a wtv file that initially presents perfectly in the 16:9 Preview Pane, without distortion or black bars. To me this shows that the incoming video is handled correctly by WLMM at this stage of processing.


However, when the 16:9 video clip is processed and placed on the Storyboard Panel it is distorted to reduce it to 4:3 and black bands are placed at the sides to make it refill a 16:9 frame.


There is no reason why WLMM should manipulate the video in this way. It should retain the same Aspect Ratio as it had when it was initially read into WLMM. There is an error in the processing algorithm somewhere.


I remain convinced it is a bug!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

But when the 16:9 video shows as 4:3 on the storyboard, then you have to change the aspect ratio in the Project tab.


Attached Images
Windows 7 Media Center Aspect Ratio problem-2012-12-24_1720.png 
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 Windows 7 Media Center Aspect Ratio problem




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