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My widescreen TV is connected to my laptop with a VGA cable, so the TV is seen as a second monitor. The widescreen TV's screen resolution is 1024x768, so when I play a video it appears to be horizontaly stretched with black bars on top and bottom. This can be fixed by forcing the aspect ratio of video players.

Forcing Aspect Ratio


open ~/.mplayer/config


Another method for MPLayer would be to tell mplayer what the aspect ratio of the actual screen is:

open ~/.mplayer/config


Added bonus: if the video-file is in 4:3, it won't be stretched, but it will have black bars left/right.

Totem (GNOME Movie Player)

open gconf-editor, the GNOME configuration editor
go to /system/gstreamer/xx/default/
set videosink to

xvimagesink pixel-aspect-ratio=4/3


go to Settings > Preferences > Video
scroll down to "source aspect ratio" and type 4:3 in the box,

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Last modified: Fri, 05 Sep 2008 23:34:00 +0000 Hits: 1,279