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Windows 7: What alters DVD aspect ratio "to fit screen"

12 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
What alters DVD aspect ratio "to fit screen"

Win 7 32 bit HP.
Win Media Centre and Win Media player
DVD43 to decode other regions' DVDs

A couple of DVDs that I have bought recently have a little message on them just as they start to actually play, saying that the aspect ratio has been altered to fit my screen. This makes everything fat, because the videos are 4:3 and the screen 16:9

If I play the videos in Win Media Player, the message shows, but then the video plays OK. If I play in WMC, the message shows and the video is widened.

So it's not WMC, but something else that is trying to "fix" the video.

Does anyone know what will try to do this? I can't really eliminate DVD43, because the offending DVDs are wrong region and need decoding.

thanks for any help

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #2

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1

Hi Nick,
I'm not a fan of WMP or WMC so I use Media Player Classic Home Cinema.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

hmmm...well I have had my share of problems with _all_ alternatives: WMPC, VLC, etc. In the end I also want to produce DVDs, and I want to know all the problems, so I can send to the most vanilla programmes with success.

My problem seems to have nothing to do with the actual player. Although some players will play it correctly after "correction"....SOMETHING is trying to "correct" the video as soon as it's loaded.

I still want to know what is altering the video, even on the fly from an actual DVD, so I can work out how to deal with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #4

Win7 Ultimate x64

Sometimes I also will get the message "This video has been changed to fit your TV screen". Unfortunately there is nothing that you can do to alter this change. It is done by the producers of the dvd.

The following weblink will help explain aspect ratio but if I remember correctly it does not address the message in question

This weblink seems to be more particular to your question

I hope this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Oh OK. Thanks. So the DVD makers assume that your screen will be 16:9 and adjust 4:3 movies to suit.That is about as shallow and stupid as I have seen for a while.

I will read those links, but I am going to try other players, because as I said, WMPlayer for one manages to overcome it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Interesting: talks of the conventional way to deal with fitting widescreen onto old TV formats. This is the other way around and they should just leave the DVD be. I can't believe that many people would prefer to see great wide stuff, rather than put up with the odd 4:3 movie on a wide screen. Mind you we all love crappy fast food etc...bigger must be better.

But the commercial TV people don't do, or at least not in Australia.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2012   #7

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2

The two best ways to get a good bar fight going were to either insult someone's girlfriend or start a "Letterbox" vs "Pan & Scan" debate. Back in the CRT days of TV (some) people would scream bloody murder if their movie had black bars at the top and bottom. Some movies in the "Letterbox" format even came with a short reassuring messaging at the beginning explaining why it was better, and that you actually got to see the whole movie that way.

Since widescreens have taken over (and it hasn't really been that long), I would bet that any DVDs you find today in the "Pan & Scan" format have been in the bin at the store for a while.

You should be able to modify the aspect ratio in WMC to see the movie without stretching, though in this case you will now get black bars on the sides. Like C32C3 mentioned, the problem started with the way the material was encoded, not with WMP or WMC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Thanks for the reply.

It's not pan and scan that I am getting. That's the silly thing. But I take your point: there will always be two schools of thought. Surely people did not want to see the entire scene, at the expense of tall skinny figures! I mean I have seen that when they used to show the titles and credits at squashed format. But yes you did lose a considerable portion of the scene, so I can at least understand the "other" POV..

However, when you are talking about fat wide people vs a black band or I cannot see _any_ choice.

I have read about altering the AR in WMC, but they all talk of right clicking and getting options, as distinct from using Tasks Settings etc. I do not get that right click ability, so I can't fix it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Well guess what! I am seeing requests all over the place to make 4:3 videos match the screen width. I don't know if they realise what the result will look like, or if they that it will somehow magically fill the screen without distortion, but the requests are there in quite respectable numbers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 What alters DVD aspect ratio "to fit screen"

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