W A R N I N G !

W A R N I N G !

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Semi-automatic" resizing via FFDShow (An update to "Playing 4:3 videos on a 5:4 screen")

Short summary: In resize filter of FFDShow, select Resize if... x<705 and y>396, for auto-resizing of some 4:3 videos while leaving the 16:9 videos untouched

This is just a small addition to the black bar removal trick which I have been using all along but disabled recently for some reason.

The additional part of the trick makes use of the "Resize if..." option at the resize filter. Basically you can set the criteria for resizing to take place.

But hey there isn't aspect ratio, so how is that going to help?

Here's the catch: Normally, 4:3 videos are captured in 640x480, or slightly lower quality ones at 512x384. (There's also 400x300 and 320x240 which will not work with the exact same numbers that I'm going to use but you can always customize. Anyway, watching 320x240 on a 17" or bigger screen calls for more drastic measures.) Also, DVD is 704x480 (or 704x576 or 720x480/720x576). We set the x and y values in a way that it'll hit the squarer videos and miss the sleeker ones. AFAIK, this trick will only work for 2 common resolutions next to each other (e.g. 640x480 and 512x384, or 704x480 and 640x480), so you choose which 2 you want. I recommend the second since we're in the age of better technology (where 4:3 isn't even being used anymore lol).

The common resolutions for widescreen are 640x360 (vs 640x480), 704x396 (vs 704x480/704x576), 1024x576 (which is either a HD derivative or SD upscaled), as well as the HD resolutions. You'd notice that widescreen tend to have higher resolutions, since it's for HD alright. As in the design, I know you can still show widescreen in SD broadcast, with the black bars.

So we have one point to tackle - the x value of 704 (or 720), that is the highest value for 4:3 videos. (1024x768 videos do exist, but they are obviously upscaled) For square, it's 704x480/704x576, and for wide, it's 704x396. If we set x<705 and y>396, it will resize the 4:3 videos that are 704 wide, but not the widescreen, since for a 704 wide widescreen, the height is 396, and hence the video will be spared from resize. Basically, there isn't a widescreen resolution that will fulfill x<705 and y>396 both at the same time, not with 1:1 PAR (pixel aspect ratio).

And as for 640x480, 640<705 and 480>396, hence it'll also be resized.

But for 512x384, 384<396 and hence the video doesn't meet the criteria.

What if you want to resize 640x480 and 512x384? Then it'd be x<641 and y>361. You do the maths to confirm. :)

So next time when you open a 4:3 video of 704x480 or 640x480, the video will be resized automatically. Save the troubles. And you don't have to disable it again when playing 16:9 videos.

You can modify this trick for use with widescreen monitors too, except this time reverse the signs for x and y, since now you're resizing the widescreen videos. Well, I'll leave it to you for that.

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