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If you have Premiere Elements 12 set for 1280 x 720 720p30 project, then, if you please look at the following choices of export
If you want QuickTime
with Presets = NTSC DV 16:9
then under the Advanced Button/Video Tab of that preset, change the Export Setting to look like
I think that you were going in the right direction, but did not get all the necessary settings in place. Please compare my settings with what you were trying.
This will give you your 720p as H.264.mov.
You could also consider
with Presets = MP4 - HD 720p24
and then under the Advanced Button/Video Tab of the preset change the Export Settings to look like
You could change the Bitrate Encoding to VBR, 2 Pass and other, but for now leave as is.
This will give you your 720p30 file as AVCHD.mp4.
Please review and then let us know if this worked for you.
I think I found an answer. This video happened to fit my situation to a tee. It had me use "H.264" which was what I already was using. I think the game changer may have been to select "square pixel" as opposed to "D1/DV NTSC Widescreen"? Seems counter intuitive but it did work and my videos now fill up my whole screen.
Thanks! Looks like you just beat me to posting my answer. And you chose "square pixels" as well.
Thank you for the follow up.
Very attractive YouTube video on Premiere Elements 9.0/9.0.1. But, I would ask you to reconsider when you get to the part where you preface your Exporting section with "the first thing" and you target Edit Menu/Project Settings/General. By that time, it is "after the fact".
Please consider the New Project dialog set up in the scenario and setting the project preset there to match the properties of your source media. What you set there will then be reflected in the Edit Menu/Project Settings/General readouts.
Add On...That Dl/DV NTSC Widescree would be appropriate for interlaced video; whereas what you have is progressive video.