fbpx Skip to Content

What are Those Black Bars in My Video?

LIGHTS. CAMERA. ANSWERS. 

Black bars on videos are common when you move from one aspect ratio to another. 

Video Transcript

Welcome back to another episode of Lights. Camera. Answers. I'm James and today we're going to be talking about aspect ratios or a question that we get a lot is "what are the black bars that are in my video?" What do they mean or what why are they there?

So to start I'll start with the typical aspect ratio is 16x9. So that takes up the entirety of a typical monitor that's used today and this contrasts from back in the old days it used to be 4x3. That would be like a standard definition television which is why whenever you see old tv shows on a modern tv you see the black bars on the side of the screen. Now in cinema or in films or movies that you go to the theater and see oftentimes they're actually wider than 16x9, which is why whenever those are displayed on a 16x9 monitor you see bars on the top and on the bottom. So with film, that whenever video is played with that aspect ratio it evokes a more cinematic or filmic or emotional feeling. So even with 16x9 videos sometimes we'll play around with a wide screen aspect ratio. Now in today's age we also deal with vertical aspect ratios. So that is typically used for phone-specific content, because we're on our phones so often and a phone is typically held vertically and it's a vertical screen. You scroll up and down and see a vertical video. That could be full screen on your phone and you see the entirety of your phone. Now when that's on a 16x9 monitor it looks really skinny, but again on a phone it's taking up the entirety of the screen there.

So this is just some information about aspect ratios really in a video. You can go whichever route you think works best or whatever topic you're talking on.

And for more topics like this check out our other Lights. Camera. Answers. videos on our social media, twitter, facebook, youtube, and until then I'll see you next time.

Return to Blog