How to Export Widescreen Anamorphic for You Tube in Quicktime

We put up some videos, professionally shot, on YouTube. Using Final Cut Express, we made clips, added titles, etc to enable the upload of individual songs from our concert DVD.

In Final Cut, the Anamorphic tag was checked when we opened the clips; making a DVD for NTSC TV sets requires this. We exported the videos at “Current Size,”which was 853×480 and they played fine in Quicktime on my computer, but after uploading to YouTube they played back pillar-boxed and stretched vertically.

YouTube has a 16:9 player, and we thought the dimensions should work, but no.

Solution? After trying various things, we unchecked the Anamorphic tag in the Browser in Final Cut. We then exported through Quicktime; we selected “Custom Size” (using YouTube’s recommended size of 640×360), with “preserve aspect ratio” unchecked, and “deinterlace video” checked.

Quicktime reshaped the pixels and set it to an output resolution that YouTube recognizes as 16:9.

Ahh – we just found another way to fix the files we output at “Current Resolution” with Anamorphic checked… Using QTAmateur, we batch-exported the 853×480 files using the same settings above and they work ok… and the export went relatively fast. The problem with this, vs encoding out of Final Cut, is that the video is double-encoded, leading to a degradation in quality.


  1. Ethan says

    As far as I can tell, uploading at 853×480 doesn’t trigger the HD threshold, and it gets sampled all the way back down to 480×270, which is pretty harsh. Have you figured anything out with this?

    They do the browser HD playback with a 854×480 box, does it help to round up to 854? (I’m doing rendered videos, so no skin off my back to render an extra column of pixels, but 1280×480 is a little intensive for my software) Sigh…

  2. Ethan says

    I just noticed your other post about upsampling to 1280×720 from my 480p video… kind of ugly, but I guess if that’s how they want to play it :(

    • says

      I think you really need the 854 wide to get HD at the aspect ratio of the player.. even if it means resampling

      Adding the row of pixels might work, or just resampling to 854×480… I think the HD is triggered by the threshold, you’re right.

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