My source video is MPEG-2, 720x576, DAR=16:9. Using FFmpeg and the h264_nvenc encoder, I convert it to H.264. The problem: The output AR is strange/wrong/incosistent. Command line:

>ffmpeg -i "d:\in.mpg" -aspect 16:9 -c:v h264_nvenc -c:a copy -t 15 "d:\out.mp4"
ffmpeg version N-83280-gcba4f0e Copyright (c) 2000-2017 the FFmpeg developers
  built with gcc 5.4.0 (GCC)
  configuration: --disable-static --enable-shared --enable-gpl --enable-version3 --enable-cuda --enable-cuvid --enable-d3d11va --enable-dxva2 --enable-libmfx --enable-nvenc --enable-avisynth --enable-bzlib --enable-fontconfig --enable-frei0r --enable-gnutls --enable-iconv --enable-libass --enable-libbluray --enable-libbs2b --enable-libcaca --enable-libfreetype --enable-libgme --enable-libgsm --enable-libilbc --enable-libmodplug --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-libopenh264 --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libopus --enable-librtmp --enable-libsnappy --enable-libsoxr --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libtwolame --enable-libvidstab --enable-libvo-amrwbenc --enable-libvorbis --enable-libvpx --enable-libwavpack --enable-libwebp --enable-libx264 --enable-libx265 --enable-libxavs --enable-libxvid --enable-libzimg --enable-lzma --enable-decklink --enable-zlib
  libavutil      55. 45.100 / 55. 45.100
  libavcodec     57. 75.100 / 57. 75.100
  libavformat    57. 65.100 / 57. 65.100
  libavdevice    57.  2.100 / 57.  2.100
  libavfilter     6. 71.100 /  6. 71.100
  libswscale      4.  3.101 /  4.  3.101
  libswresample   2.  4.100 /  2.  4.100
  libpostproc    54.  2.100 / 54.  2.100
[mpeg @ 000000000223ab20] start time for stream 0 is not set in estimate_timings_from_pts
Input #0, mpeg, from 'd:\in.mpg':
  Duration: 02:59:33.92, start: 0.500000, bitrate: 3401 kb/s
    Stream #0:0[0x1bf]: Data: dvd_nav_packet
    Stream #0:1[0x1c0]: Audio: mp2, 48000 Hz, stereo, s16p, 192 kb/s
    Stream #0:2[0x1e0]: Video: mpeg2video (Main), yuv420p(tv, top first), 720x576 [SAR 64:45 DAR 16:9], 25 fps, 25 tbr, 90k tbn, 50 tbc
File 'd:\out.mp4' already exists. Overwrite ? [y/N] y
Output #0, mp4, to 'd:\out.mp4':
    encoder         : Lavf57.65.100
    Stream #0:0: Video: h264 (h264_nvenc) (Main) ([33][0][0][0] / 0x0021), yuv420p, 720x576 [SAR 64:45 DAR 16:9], q=-1--1, 2000 kb/s, 25 fps, 12800 tbn, 25 tbc
      encoder         : Lavc57.75.100 h264_nvenc
    Side data:
      cpb: bitrate max/min/avg: 0/0/2000000 buffer size: 4000000 vbv_delay: -1
    Stream #0:1: Audio: mp2 (i[0][0][0] / 0x0069), 48000 Hz, stereo, s16p, 192 kb/s
Stream mapping:
  Stream #0:2 -> #0:0 (mpeg2video (native) -> h264 (h264_nvenc))
  Stream #0:1 -> #0:1 (copy)
Press [q] to stop, [?] for help
frame=  375 fps=0.0 q=22.0 Lsize=    4122kB time=00:00:14.97 bitrate=2254.9kbits/s dup=19 drop=0 speed=28.9x
video:3762kB audio:352kB subtitle:0kB other streams:0kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead: 0.208697%

For the output video stream, it says "[SAR 64:45 DAR 16:9]", however, if I analyze the resulting out.mp4, it says:

Stream #0:0(und): Video: h264 (Main) (avc1 / 0x31637661), yuv420p, 720x576 [SAR 16:11 DAR 20:11], 2054 kb/s, SAR 64:45 DAR 16:9, 25 fps, 25 tbr, 12800 tbn, 50 tbc (default)

The values after the square brackets are correct, but inside the brackets, I don't know why it uses these DAR/SAR values. Depending on which values are used (container or stream AR) by the player later, the result can be wrong. It doesn't matter if "-aspect 16:9" is used or not.

If I use libx264 instead of h264_nvenc, the output AR is correct, so I think it's an encoder issue. I was using the latest build, but before, I've used official releases 3.2 and 3.2.2

I'm surprised I didn't find the same issue reported anywhere yet, so before reporting this as a bug, I'd like to ask for your opinion if I'm doing something wrong. Thanks.

  • Was the behavior different with older builds (such as the release versions)?
    – llogan
    Feb 1, 2017 at 17:49
  • No, that's why I've tried the latest build to see if it might have been fixed meanwhile.
    – user674865
    Feb 1, 2017 at 18:24
  • If you add -vf setdar=16:9, does that avoid the problem?
    – Gyan
    Feb 1, 2017 at 19:39
  • Thanks for the hint. No, it doesn't change the result. Even if I specify "-aspect 4:3", the stream DAR is 20:11.However, if I specify "-vf setdar=4:3", the resulting stream DAR is 15:11. Probably it takes the input DAR into account, but I think if 16:9 is the explicit target DAR, there must not be a deviation from it.
    – user674865
    Feb 1, 2017 at 20:46
  • Interesting: If I prepend the scale filter, the AR set is being set correctly. But this only works if I really change the size, i.e. if I set the destination size equal to the input size 720x576, setting the DAR does not have an effect.
    – user674865
    Feb 1, 2017 at 21:20

1 Answer 1


If I understand the question properly, you're trying to scale the image and it's coming out different than what you specified.

I've found this solution posted somewhere (don't remember where) that works for me.

-vf "scale=854:480:flags=lanczos,setsar=1/1"

This sets the scaling method, and it resets the sar/dar 'stuff'.

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