7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 4, 2008 1:03 PM by (pat_ford)

    converting 16:9 to 4:3

      Am assembling footage for a corporate video. The client has given me several DVDs. Some of these are 16:9 and some is 4:3.

      What is the best way to convert the 16:9 for use in a 4:3 video? The par dimension of the the 16:9 is 1.

      I am asking about resizing not DVD to AVI conversion. I have Super file converter as well as Premiere CS3.

      Thanks for any insight.
        • 1. Re: converting 16:9 to 4:3
          Jim_Simon Level 8
          If it came from a DVD, the PAR for the 16:9 stuff would have to be 1.2, not 1.

          To work with the 16:9 material, you can either scale it down and have it letterboxed, or have it full frame and cut off the sides. Which would you prefer?
          • 2. Re: converting 16:9 to 4:3
            Harm Millaard Level 7
            > The par dimension of the the 16:9 is 1.

            That is not possible. The DVD specs do not allow that.
            • 3. Re: converting 16:9 to 4:3
              Level 1
              Sorry guys, don't know where that par dimension came from. Perhaps I need to put the crack pipe down earlier.

              Here are some descriptors from Super file converter:
              Width : 720 pixels
              Height : 480
              Height : 480 pixels
              Pixel Aspect Ratio : 0.844
              Display Aspect ratio : 1.778
              Display Aspect ratio : 16/9

              Does that make it any clearer?

              Thanks guys.
              • 4. Re: converting 16:9 to 4:3
                Harm Millaard Level 7
                NTSC DVD 16x9 should be 720x480 with a PAR of 1.2
                • 5. Re: converting 16:9 to 4:3
                  Dan Isaacs Level 2
                  In any case, the process is something like this:

                  option #1 (cropping):

                  1.) Scale the video from 720x480 to 960x480
                  2.) Crop 120 pixels off of each side -> 720x480

                  option #2 (letterboxing):

                  1.) Deinterlace the video (if it's interlaced)
                  2.) Scale it to 720x360
                  3.) Pad the top and bottom with 60 pixels of black -> 720x480

                  It's interesting to note that 16x9 NTSC content assumes a perfect 2:1 aspect inside the 4:3 NTSC container when correct aspect ratio conversions are performed.
                  • 6. Re: converting 16:9 to 4:3
                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                    Simpler still, assuming you work in a 4:3 preset.


                    1. Turn off Scale to Frame Size in General Preferences before import of 16:9 clips.

                    2. Scale them until they fill the screen height.


                    1. Ignore the above and just import the clips.
                    • 7. Re: converting 16:9 to 4:3
                      Level 1
                      Thanks for your contributions, gentlemen.

                      One thing I did not tell you.the footage is usually made up of the content of what once was two 16x9 screens. Sometimes these are arranged vertically; sometimes they are arranged horizontally (stacked). Its the content of multiple screens in an exhibit.

                      So, this is what I have done. See if there is a problem.

                      I imported the footage (720x480) into Premiere. I interpreted the par to 1.2. I then scaled the video so that it all fit in the frame.

                      The down side to this, as someone mentioned, is that the video is much reduced in size, but all of the original footage is within the frame. And thus, the original composition is intact. For my purposes right nowI am loggingI think this is best.

                      Sound reasonable?

                      And have a great 4th weekend!!!