Ask Alison: Aspect Ratio Problems


Maybe this is more a technical question but why does Videbox distort HD videos rather than just letterbox them or just post them with the 16:9 aspect ratio?


Hi jfro21,

I had to call in a little help from the content encoding team on this one. In a nutshell, they told me that we actually don’t distort the video. Some studios (Sin City, for example) shoot their video in standard definition and then use a post-production filter that makes the video play in 16:9. So when you play it on your HDTV, it looks like widescreen format, but the actual video footage on the DVD is not widescreen.

So when we rip those DVDs and encode them, we rip what is actually on the DVD, which in this case is not a 16:9 video. In order to fix this, we have to crop these titles. The squished ones occasionally slip through, unfortunately. We have, however, decided to pull anything we identify as having the aspect ratio problem out of the queue for the moment until we find a permanent fix for the problem. So hopefully, you won’t be seeing it very often in the future.


If you have any questions for me, drop me a line at!

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4 Responses to “Ask Alison: Aspect Ratio Problems”

  1. irhamsrevenge Says:

    Wow, porn sure is technical…it’s come a long way from super-8 Tijuana stag films.

  2. jfro21 Says:

    Thank you for the explanation and the proposed measures to help! Much, much appreciated. There are some clips of beautiful women that are unfortunately distorted. Since I asked that question I have also discovered the “KM Player”, a free video playing software for the PC that allows one to adjust the aspect ratio. Unfortunately it doesn’t “know” what the true aspect ratio is, so I have to go through some menus when I come across a clip in need to adjustment.

    Here’s to a future of undistorted clips!!

  3. Luke Wilson Says:

    Even the free Kates Video Joiner can change aspect ratios and you dont even need to join. Just change the aspect ratio output and hit go. Its free is why i mention it.

  4. simon Says:

    I have a question . . .

    why are you restricting bandwidth usage to UK customers? Im getting sick and tired of it. As soon as I flick on my proxy server in the US, I get close to my ful http speed. If I keep it of, I am lucky to get 10k/sec

    Safe to say I will not be renewing my subscription until such times you guys get this sorted