Minimise black bars setting messes up 4:3 videos
#1
Hi there, I have a simple requirement or so I thought. I want to remove the narrow black bars that appear at the top of all 16:9 videos. As far as I can see these should not appear - the videos are 1920x1080, the same as my TV screen and Kodi itself are set to. Plus the bars are only there when video is playing so I know it's the Kodi player that is doing it. It happens on all videos in that aspect ratio - my own video collection AND any streams I play through Kodi. So I googled the problem and most of the solutions suggested setting the 'minimise black bars' setting to 20%. This worked a treat (although it didn't explain why it was happening in the first place). However a lot of my video collection is old TV porgrammes, Sport and home movies in 4:3 aspect ratio. I much prefer to watch these with the sidebars displayed and thus preserving the aspect ratio - I hate the picture being stretched. Kodi does this out of the box but when I set the 'minimise black bars' setting to 20% this then stretches all my 4:3 videos to display as 16:9. I have looked everywhere for a solution online but it seems this combination of settings is not possible, or desired by many people. However surely it's not too much to ask - can anyone help with this? My own view is that the issue really is with the black bars showing on 16:9 videos, i.e. the original problem, I just don't see why these should not show correctly out of the box. They just need to be displayed pixel for pixel.

Please help if you can. It's much appreciated.
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#2
(2020-10-17, 19:10)asprinwizard Wrote: I just don't see why these should not show correctly out of the box. They just need to be displayed pixel for pixel.

They do show correctly, out of the box. It has to do with "aspect ratios". The 1920 x 1080 file (16:9 aspect ratio) may contain visible video information (the movie or tv show) that was produced at a 16:9 aspect ratio and will fill the screen pixel-perfectly.

Other 1920 x 1080 (16:9 aspect ratio) files may contain video information that was produced with a different aspect ratio, such as 2.35:1 (sometimes known as "letter-boxed"). When Kodi plays this in a pixel-perfect manner, there *will* be black bars at the top & bottom of the screen. Any attempt to eliminate the black bars will prevent pixel-perfect display and will stretch and / or crop the video.

It can seem complicated, but once understood it all makes sense. Search for aspect ratio in your favorite search engine and spend a few minutes/hours?
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#3
To quote myself in an earlier post regarding this subject...

The simple reason for those black bars is that 16:9 was chosen for HD content was that a 4:3 signal and ‘CinemaScope’ could both showed the FULL image at the right aspect ratio, although both sizes have black bars where there is no image, this is a ‘feature’ and not a ‘bug’

Zooming in, you are losing parts of the image, and possibly something that the director viewed importantly - or in your instance, stretching a 4:3 ratio

16:9 is a compromise, as with any screen ratio you go for, you will simply not please all of your video footage all of the time, watch the curtains in the cinema, not the red ones, the black ones that cover the sides of the screen.... especially between adverts, trailers and the feature. If you went with a TV with an aspect ratio that is similar to Cinemascope - you will still end up with black bars.

The TV is correctly showing the right image, as is Kodi - if you want someone to blame for the black bars - blame Hollywood for using too many aspect ratios - and if you are of a certain age - the guys who thought Pan and Scan was a good thing to do with movies from the 70s' - 90's.

The compromise here was done when we went to HDTV's were they had tio decise on an aspect ratio that showed all pre 90's TV footage, whilst at the same time show all Cinemascope movies.
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