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Movies with black stripes up/bottom

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Hey there ! When I watch a movie on my laptop it has those black stripes in the up and bottom of the screen. The thing is to remove them and have a fullscreen , clear view of a movie ,keeping all the proportions in a place ( no stretching or anything). Now , on my PC it was the same thing until I've unknowingly downloaded some kind of codec or something. Since then ALL the movies were in fullscreen , not a single black stripe .Unfortunately I'm abroad at the moment and I'm not comming back in a long time ,so I have no access to my PC .
Please , someone has to know the name of a codec/program ,w/e that removes those stripes. I'm not much into computers and stuff but maybe this codec was converting the 4;3 and 16;9 proportion so every movie was played in a fullscreen . Anyway , as I said ,I'm a computer noob , but such a thing exists and I would be very grateful if anyone could help me out as so far I haven't found a solution to my problem .

Cheers guys ,thank u in advance.
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Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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Depending on how the movie has been encoded, the black bars may be intentional.

If you frame a widescreen picture for a 4:3 (ie non-widescreen) picture, the correct way to treat it is to letterbox it - black bars top and bottom. If you then play it on a 4:3 setup, it will look correct. If you play it in widescreen you'll end up with a floating picture in the middle of the screen.

However if your video was encoded in 16:9 format, playing it on any correctly set up widescreen TV will fill the screen automatically.

Professionally cut DVDs are in the format called Anamorphic. A DVD labeled as "Widescreen Anamorphic" (os similar) is one that offers the option to display a widescreen film as either a distorted horizontally squeezed image that fills the entire screen on a standard format television, or in the un-distorted widescreen letterbox format (with black areas on the top and bottom) by selecting the desired setting on the DVD's start-up menu. That is to say, the setting of the player affects what you see.
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