Question What am I missing please?


Well-known Member
I've just had an old VHS video tape ripped to MP4 format. The material on the tape was recorded in 16:9 format, but when playing the resultant MP4 file that I received from the cpmpany doing the work, everything is squished. If I manually set the aspect ratio to 16:9 using, for example, VLC, playback is correct. I've tried a couple of pieces of software on my Mac to try and convert the recording to give it its correct aspect ratio on playback, and although I can get output in 16:9 format, the picture is still squished. Does anyone have any ideas how I can fix this please? I'm waiting for the company that did the conversion to come back with a solution, but that may well end-up with me having to return the tape to them again for a second go. Apparently, they set their video equipment to handle 4:3 material, and had they set it to 16:9 then this issue probably would not have arisen so they tell me.

I don't have the original tape back from them yet -- it's en route, hopefully, but as it's the only copy, assuming that I do get it back I'd rather hang-on to it than have to trust it to RM for a second time. The company reckons that it's fixed the issue using an MP4 copy of the tape that they still have, but they reckon that they had to go to 1080p resolution to fix it. That doesn't quite make sense to me, but as I haven't seen the replacement MP4 file I can't comment.

In theory, I know that I should wait for the company to fix things, but I have family coming over this weekend and I was hoping to give them a copy to take away. As they're not techno-savvy I want to be able to give them something that plays back correctly without any messing around.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

Cheers, Clem


Active Member
Sounds like the murky world of SAR, PAR and DAR. You ought to be able to fix this at container level without having to transcode. You’ll need to search for some Mac tools and might have to use some commandline if there’s no GUI tool. Try to get the media info from your MP4 to see what it says.
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