Home » Ready for widescreen? How to manage aspect ratio in Video (16:9 vs. 4:3)?

Ready for widescreen? How to manage aspect ratio in Video (16:9 vs. 4:3)?

Today, the media display format that is most common to home and business applications is simply referred to as “widescreen.” For us, this means 16:9, which is now 78 percent wider than it is tall. As the name implies, widescreen brings wider, more beautiful images onto your TV and computer screens. Imagine if your 4:3 aspect ratio video is used to playback on a widescreen display device with 16:9 aspect ratio, what would happen? No doubt, it will significantly affect the visual effect of videos.

As far as you may know, many media players enable you to change the aspect ratio in real time. Yet the change is temporary. Next time you open it, you need to make changes again. How to alter video aspect ratio from 16:9 to 4:3 permanently for widescreen playback? You can check it out now if interested.

About Aspect Ratio: 16:9 & 4:3

Do you actually know the difference between aspect ratio 16:9 and 4:3? The aspect ratio refers to the proportions of the height and width of an image. It defines its overall shape, and it is usually shown as W:H (W is the width and H is the height). As you know, the most common aspect ratios are:

4:3 – normal
16:9 – widescreen

As you can see, each of these aspect ratios has several different associated resolutions. 4:3, for example, ranges from 320×240 to 2048×1536, while HD includes 1280×720 and 1920×1080. That’s because an aspect ratio is just a ratio, which means it’s a comparison of two numbers. Different resolutions can have the same aspect ratio if the ratio of an image’s width and height are the same.

Difference in Television Watching

Both the 4:3 aspect ratio and 16:9 aspect ratio remain popular today. A 4:3 aspect ratio will produce a more box-like picture, because the screen is only slightly wider than it is high. A 16:9 aspect ratio will produce a widescreen, or letterbox, picture. If you are watching only analog cable, a 4:3 aspect ratio is for you. Being that 16:9 is the standard aspect ratio of HD televisions, you will need a television that is compatible with the 16:9 aspect ratio in order to benefit from the high definition picture.

When you watch a 4:3 movie on a normal 16:9 widescreen TV, you will have some black bars at the right and left.

How to change video aspect ratio 16:9 to 4:3 for Widescreen?

To change the aspect ratio permanently, you need a video editor. Here I humbly recommend Pavtube Video Converter (Windows 10 supported), & Pavtube Video Converter for Mac (macOS High Sierra supported). This far-famed application lives up to its reputation to convert among HD and SD videos like AVCHD, MTS, MKV, MP4, MOV, FLV, AVI, WMV, etc. while allowing you to change video aspect ratio such as from 4:3 to 16:9, 3:2 to 16:9 and vice versa without sacrificing any resolution or quality.

Besides changing video output aspect ratio, you can also use the program to do other simple video editing work such as trimming or cutting video to remove unwanted parts or segments, cropping video to remove the black bars or unwanted area, splitting large video into small clips, merging separate video into one file, deinterlacing interlaced video into progressive form, flip or rotate video to change its displaying angel, etc. It also aids you to convert video resolutions, like convert 4K to 1080P, 1080P to 720P; convert frame rate, convert 30p to 24p and convert audio Bit Rate, convert audio to 320kbps/256/128, etc.

This paragraph below will show you how to change aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9 step by step. Check it out.

Step by Step to Change Video Output Aspect Ratio

1. Install the Pavtube Video Aspect Ratio Changer

Download the installation file for Pavtube Video Converter and install the software on your computer if you don’t already have it. It will take just a few minutes.

2. Add Your Video File to the Program

Click the "File" button and select your video. You can also drag and drop video files into Pavtube Video Converter right from the folder they're stored in.

3. Choose the Output Format for Your Video

Open the "Format" 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 desired format. Here, we choose to select one of the popular device compatible file formats "H.264 HD Video(*.mp4)" under "HD Video" main category.

Output one of the common file formats

4. Set Parameter as 16:9 Aspect Ratio

On the main interface, press "Edit" to enter video editor window. Switch to "Crop" tab. Then click on the Keep Ration lock, select 16:9 from the Operation Ratio box. After finished, click "OK" to confirm.

Change output video aspect ratio

Then click "Settings" button to custom video aspect ratio. Change the video size to "1920*1080 (16:9) aspect ratio". Click "OK". Then back to the main interface.

5. Launch Video Conversion

Now you need to choose the folder where the converted files will be saved. Just click the "Browse" button and specify a new folder in the dialog box that opens.

Click the "Convert" button to initiate the 4:3 aspect ratio video to 16:9 aspect ratio conversion.

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