I have a video of dimensions 960 x 720 (aspect ratio 4:3) and I have a display of 1920 x 1080 (aspect ratio 16:9). I want the video stretched -- with no respect given to its original aspect ratio -- such that it fills the entire display. Note that I do not mean to crop the video.

How could this be done from the command line for individual videos (i.e. not as a general setting for all videos played)?

2 Answers 2


VLC Aspect Ratio

By selecting the correct aspect ratio, a video that would normally have black bars either at the sides or top&bottom may appear to be a video that can fit your screen.

Most modern wide screen laptop computers have a 16:9 aspect ratio, this might not be the case for you.

Original Aspect Ratio

Video on Original Aspect Ratio


  1. Open Video
  2. Pause Video
  3. Double Click video to go into full screen
  4. Righ Click video to open menu VLC MENU
  5. Go into Video -> Aspect Ratio
  6. Select your aspect ratio. 16:9 for me.
  7. Play and enjoy : enter image description here

Remember your aspect ratio may be different from mine. If your computer screen is not 16:9 try some other values until you get the right one.

Un-stretch Video

To watch videos on their original aspect ratio (without stretching) but covering the entire screen follow the steps above but select the correct aspect ratio under Video -> Crop.

Default must be kept under Aspect Ratio for this to work or nothing will need to be cropped.

Return to defaults

Return all values you changed to default.

Command Line VLC

Use command vlc --aspect-ratio 16:9 -L -f /directory/to/file/filename. Change the aspect ratio value to your screen's aspect ratio and it should play full screen without borders. See VLC command line help for more options.

  • 1
    and now from the command line? ;) Jan 17, 2016 at 17:12
  • Good answer +1, you should leave @incBrain a comment using the @ to get there attention and tell them you add the request, it will likely get you a +1.
    – Mark Kirby
    Jan 17, 2016 at 18:42
  • 2
    @incBrain Added the command line alternative. Thanx for the recommendation markkirby
    – Torrien
    Jan 17, 2016 at 18:48
  • @Torrien thank you for the nice answer dude. +1 Jan 17, 2016 at 22:29
  • @incBrain Remember to select it as the right answer. Check Mark bellow the up or down vote options.
    – Torrien
    Jan 17, 2016 at 23:08


You can cycle through the different aspect ratios with A.

While you didn't want to crop the video this can be done with C, cycling through audio tracks is B and subtitles is… V.

You can find the complete list of shortcuts in the VLC settings menu.

  • Super, thanks for that helpful extra information.
    – d3pd
    Jan 20, 2016 at 11:21

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