WMP Aspect Ratio w/ Streaming Video

Discussion in 'Windows Media Player' started by Howard Knight, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. Hello,

    I'm trying to watch NASA "HD" with WMP (see this link:
    http://www.nasa.gov/55644main_NASATV_Windows.asx). Problem is, the aspect
    ratio is wrong. If you click "File->Properties" it shows 720x480 resolution.
    However, it's playing it at 640x480 and the video is squished horizontally.

    I'm using WMP 11.0.6002.18311.

    Any suggestions?

    Howard Knight, Apr 30, 2011
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  2. Howard Knight

    VanguardLH Guest

    When played in WMP11, I get 720x480. Maybe you configured WMP to squash
    a video to the current/stored window size of WMP instead of making WMP
    resize to the video's size.

    Look under the View -> Video Size menu. Which option do you have
    selected? Perhaps the "Fit Video to Player on Resize"? I have that one
    deselected and instead have "Fit Player to Video on Start" selected.
    VanguardLH, May 1, 2011
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  3. There's a way to configure it to squash the video?
    The only thing I have checked is "100%". I tried checking the other things,
    quitting and restarting. No matter what is checked or unchecked, the video
    aspect ratio is 4:3.

    Howard Knight, May 1, 2011
  4. Howard Knight

    VanguardLH Guest

    Well, you already [indirectly] said the video was recorded at that
    aspect ratio. You said you looked at the File -> Properties menu. What
    does it show there for the aspect ratio?

    Try the following. Start playing the video. Make sure WMP's window is
    larger than the video so you have a border around it (default is black
    but you can change the color under Tools -> Options -> Performance ->
    Advanced). While the video is playing, drag an *edge* of WMP's window.
    Not a corner but an edge. Drag the top or bottom window edge to reduce
    the size of WMP's window. Reduce the height of WMP's window so not only
    do you eliminate any border around the video but you also have a window
    that is smaller than the current height of the video. Does the video
    automatically resize horizontally to maintain the 4:3 aspect ratio?
    With a reduced height, the video should reduce width to maintain the
    aspect ration. Now drag the left or right edges of WMP's window (to
    eliminate any border so the window is smaller than the video). Does the
    video's height reduce to maintain the aspect ratio?

    What's the resolution for your screen? Is it larger than the video's
    size (plus the window for WMP)?
    VanguardLH, May 1, 2011
  5. Again, the resolution is 720x480...That [indirectly] indicates 3:2 aspect
    ratio. The video is played at 4:3 (640x480).
    It says, "Unknown".
    _Nothing_ I've tried playes the video in the proper (3:2) aspect ratio.

    Please, go check the video again and let us know if you see the same thing.

    Howard Knight, May 2, 2011
  6. Howard Knight

    VanguardLH Guest

    And, again, the aspect ration of the *recording* was 4:3.
    When I play the video, it shows as "4:3". The following is what I see
    under File -> Properties when playing this video in WMP 11 on Win XP:

    Length: 2:00:00
    Bit rate: 696 Kbps
    Media type: Picture
    Video size: 720 x 480
    Aspect ratio: 4:3
    Audio codec: Windows Media Audio 9.2
    96 kbps, 48 kHz, stereo (A/V) 1-pass CBR
    Video codec: VC-1
    Advanced Profile (WVC1)
    Location: http://www.nasa.gov/55644main_NASATV_Windows.asx

    For info on the VC-1 (WVC1) codec, see:

    I have to wonder if the codecs you installed are corrupted or deficient.
    You only install codecs from known sources, correct? You NEVER just
    install them because some site wants you download whatever codec (which
    contains code) on your host, correct? You configured WMP to *never*
    automatically download codecs, right? When a site says it needs a
    codec, one, you decide if you will use it on another site and, two,
    decide if you absolutely need a proprietary codec at just the one site.
    Rather than get whatever code they want to shove on your host, and if
    you choose to install the codec, you should be going to the author's
    site to obtain the codec, not get whatever a site wants to shove onto
    your host.

    At this point, I'd uninstall WMP and reinstall it. At one time, some
    codecs came separately of WMP and you found the download at Microsoft's
    site (I think that was WMP 9, or earlier) but now WMP comes with the
    codecs included in the install (except for oddball ones or those
    Microsoft doesn't want to support).

    To uninstall, go into the Add/Remove Programs applet. Also uninstall
    Quicktime (real or alternative versions) and Real players as those will
    replace some codecs and usually try to steal the filetype associations.
    Then reinstall just WMP 11 from:


    If you don't want to do the uninstall and reinstall, you could try
    stepping atop the current codec(s) by installing just the codecs from:


    You do so at your own risk. I don't the trustworthiness of this site or
    the sources of the code they provide for download.

    You never mentioned WHICH version of Windows you use. Since you
    mentioned WMP 11, I assumed you are using Windows XP (home, pro, etc)
    and whether the 32- or 64-bit version.
    VanguardLH, May 2, 2011
  7. That may be true (not sure why it shows "Unknown" on my machine. I will
    email NASA to see if they can broadcast it at the proper aspect ratio (as it
    turns it, it should be 16:9). I was hoping that WMP could display it at a
    given aspect ratio like many other media players do. Alas, it is becoming
    clear that it's not possible.
    Mine shows the same except it says "Unknown" for the aspect ratio.

    I have not installed any third part codec packs. I'm running 32-bit Vista
    Home Premium on a laptop. I've installed the latest updates, blah blah.

    I'll check WMP 12 to see if it has an aspect ratio setting. Also, I'll try
    to contact NASA about their stream.

    Howard Knight, May 2, 2011
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