16x9 and 4x3 confusion

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by musique, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    I've shot and edited an HD video in FCP 7. The frame size in the video browser says that it's 1280 x 720, 29.97 fps, Apple ProRes 422. When I use the share command to create an "Apple TV" video I have an m4v file created. Playing that file in QuickTime Pro player (7.6.9) it plays in all of its wide-screen glory.

    However, when I get information about the file in QT, the format says "H.264, 960 x 720 (1280 x 720), Millions AAC, Stereo (L R), 44.100 kHz" and "FPS 29.97."

    What I don't understand is why it gives both 960 x 720, which is 4 x 3, and then 1280 x 720 in parenthesis.

    Today I downloaded an evaluation copy of Video Converter for Mac and used this video to test it doing a conversion from m4v to wmv. The program did the conversion, but it plays as 4 x 3. In fact, even simply viewing it in Video Converter (before any conversion) the software displays it this way (4x3). QT displays it correctly.

    Can anyone provide some answers?

    Thank you.
  2. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    Welcome to the wonderful world of Pixel Aspect Ratios.

    Is your footage from a DVCProHD camera?
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    You must be dubious of a no-name video converter that converts videos to .wmv. This is a proprietary video format from Microsoft. Microsoft explicitly endorses software from only one developer for dealing with .wmv on the Mac. That developer is Telestream. Its line of Flip4Mac QuickTime codecs is the only software that properly handles .wmv. Only Flip4Mac WMV Studio Pro HD supports high-definition .wmv. It will set you back $179 plus the fee for QuickTime Pro. Video Converter for Mac Ultimate at $59 sounds like a deal that is too good to be true.
  4. musique thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    Thank you for the replies. The footage is from a Panasonic AVCHD camera (AG-HMC40).

    I knew a little about pixel aspect ratios, but assumed (bad assumption) that the software would handle it correctly.

    Much of my world is a Windows environment. I had hoped that enough of the users had downloaded QT for Windows, but it turns out not to be the case. I also didn't know that the WMV format was only licensed to Flip4Mac.

    So, Flip4Mac WMV Studio Pro HD should handle the conversion? Hmm. Maybe it's time to bite the bullet and go for it. (I think I paid at some point the Telestream folks for Flip4Mac Studio and I purchased QT Pro too a while back.)

    Thank you again for the assistance.
  5. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
  6. RickyB macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2007
    I think it's because 960x720 can be 16 x 9 if the pixels are not square. Since most monitors use square pixels, this would be 1280 x 720 on these monitors to get the correct resolution, but interpolation would need to be used.

    I think.
  7. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    For starters the CCD captures it as 4:3 due to the cameras low tech handling of HD. Then it spits it out at 16:9.
    Sorry Im dumbing it down.
    Just relaying old argument we had during purchase of Sony XDCAM years ago.
    They claimed HD resolution with the damn thing recorded 4:3 at 1440x1080.
    All moot now since we moved to 4K using RED.
  8. smokescreen76 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2010
    As the others have said - it's all down to pixel aspect ratios, how cameras capture the data, how codecs record the data and how your player views the data.

    Unfortunately there are so many permutations and inconsistencies it is almost impossible to sum it all in one little rule in this post

    If you are Mac based but you have to supply video to PC clients I would definitely recommend getting flip4mac. The most expensive version will cover you for all eventualities.

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