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When you started your project in Premiere Elements, which project settings did you select?
The pixel aspect ratio is a product of the project specs.
Open a new project and select DV Widescreen as your project settings.
If you've captured your video from this miniDV with Premiere Elements over a FireWire connection, when you Get Media, it should come in as 16:9.
My Basic Training tutorials will show you how to create a new project, in case this isn't clear.
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This ARTICLE has links for more background on PAR.
Now, in a few cases, PrE will miss the flag that sets PAR. If that is happening, one can use Interpret Footage to force PrE to see the correct PAR.
OK 2 main things in reply.
1) The PAR in GSpot for the original files is 1.067 (16:15).
2) The project is standard (not widescreen), however not surprisingly when i import one of the 1.067 (16:15) PAR files it still appears as 4:3 inside the widescreen project (black 'bars' on the side).
Given that, is it possible to re-aquire the files from the miniDV into widescreen (16:9 format)?
And.. if so, (if being operative word!) if i replace the original files, (in the same location, with the same name as the originals), what would happen in the original standard screen project (i'm guessing they are displayed as standard 4:3 even if they are widescreen - ie you still need a widsecreen project to see them wisedcreen)?
I only ask, as i realise now after a lot of editing that there may have been a chance to create a widescreen project and now i may be stuck either with 1) a standard project, or 2) having to redo all the edits (weeks worth)... hmmm.
Clutching even further at straws, i don;t suppose you can convert a standard screen project to widescreen (keeping all the edits, then doing as above..replacing the original files with 16:9 files to 'trick the project)? Wow wouldn;t that be fantastic..! hmm!
We can live in hope!
I am not clear whether you have a Widescreen (16:9) Project, or Standard (4:3).
If you have a Widescreen Project, and the PAR flag is not being read by PrE, I would go to the Project Panel, and try Interpret Footage on each of those files, forcing PrE to see them as Widescreen. Does that work?
If so, though you will need to Interpret Footage for each of you Clips in the Project Panel, it will save having to do other things, that might, or might not work for you.
As for changing an existing Project between Standard, and Widescreen, or vice versa, some users have had luck by hacking the PREL file (always work from a Copy, and NOT the original PREL file). If one creates both a Standard and a Widescreen Project, keepting them totally empty, and then were to open the resultant PREL in NotePad, or similar, they would see the XML code that defines the Project. Looking at each PREL, side-by-side, they would be able to see the differences between the two Project files. By doing a Copy/Paste of that defining info, one could alter an existing PREL. Note that they MUST replace all the lines of code from one, with the same lines (but different parameters) from the other. If one makes a mistake here, the PREL will likely never load. That is why I state that one should always work with a Copy, and NEVER the original PREL, as if a mistake is made, the result will probably never Open in PrE. If one is careful, and exacting, the PREL should be editable, and should work with the new parameters - just be careful, go slowly and always work with a Copy, in case something goes wrong.
There are reasons that PrE might miss, or misread a PAR flag, though with a Capture, most should not apply. Usually, PrE will get things 100% correct with a Capture, but if not, then Interpret Footage should fix things.
Besides the method above, another option for "saving" the edits in a mis-matched Project would be to download and install a Clipboard Extender, like ClipMate. With that utility, one would Open the mis-matched Project, do a Ctrl+A (Select All), then Ctrl+C (Copy). The Clipboard Extender will allow for this, but Clipboard, without the Extender, will not. Then, they would do a New Project, with the correct settings, make sure that the CTI (Current Time Indicator w/ the red Edit Line) is at 00;00;00;00, and hit Ctrl+V (Paste). That should get everything into the new, correctly defined Project.
Good luck, and hope that helps,