Filling YouTube’s Wider Screen — in HD
With YouTube finally joining the present with a widescreen video player, a question remains: how do I get my upload to fill it? You'd think by simply uploading a rendered widescreen 16:9 video file it would be automatic, right? Wrong. I tried encoding a file in 640 x 480 resolution (the DVD setting in Vegas) and I ended up with a squished, pillarboxed (black bars on the right and left) video. Yuck.
A little poking around on the web told me to encode at 1280 x 720, an HD resolution. It worked! Use this setting in whatever editor you use and set frame rate to 30 and pixel aspect ratio to 1.0 (square)--done! Now your cool video will fill the entire YouTube video player, the way it was meant to be filled. As an added bonus, if you are shooting in high-def (which is super cheap these days) your movie will be given the "watch in HD" option on the lower right, just outside the frame. Click on it! The results are really spectacular if you shot and posted correctly.