[ubuntu-uk] DVD & Xvid playback with zoom/crop facility?

Andrew Oakley andrew at aoakley.com
Mon Sep 15 21:34:42 BST 2008

I'm looking for DVD & Xvid playback software with a zoom function, under 
Ubuntu 8.04. At minimum, the ability to zoom in to a 16:9 video which 
has been recorded as a 4:3 aspect ratio with black bars at the top & 
bottom ("letterbox"). Ideally, the ability to zoom smoothly in small 
increments to whatever level I wish.

VLC has this ability (it calls it "crop") but unfortunately its DVD 
playback ability is very poor - doesn't seem to be able to cope with 
moving forward/backwards through the DVD nor navigating to chapters.

MPlayer, Totem and Xine do not appear to have this facility at all, 
although they do play back DVDs very well.

Has anyone got any alternative suggestions, or config advice to fix the 

I recorded a whole bunch of widescreen programmes from Sky+ onto my DVD 
video recorder, for playback on holiday abroad, only to discover they'd 
been recorded in letterbox format. Since I have a widescreen laptop, 
this meant not only black bars at the top & bottom (letterbox) but also 
black bars at the sides (padding 4:3 to 16:9). This drove me nuts!

Andrew Oakley

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