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I want to change the video aspect ratio from 16:9 to 4:3.

Have you got a command line to write down?

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It would help to know which video player you are using. – Grumbel Sep 15 '09 at 15:57

For mplayer:

mplayer -aspect 16:9

For VLC:

vlc --aspect-ratio 16:9

For Xine (seem to be limited to predefined values):

xine --aspect-ratio <mode>   Set aspect ratio of video output. Modes are:
                             'auto', 'square', '4:3', 'anamorphic', 'dvb'.
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