Windows 7 includes DVD creating software called Windows DVD Maker. It is by far one of the easiest programs to create a DVD with. If you wanted any easier, you’d have to use iDVD on a Mac.

The software works wonderfully save for one thing – it doesn’t always handle widescreen formats properly. In some instances you may encounter the situation where a burned DVD is forced to 4:3 aspect instead of 16:9.

There are two things you can do to combat this:

Purposely set Windows DVD Maker to output in 16:9

Do this by starting a new project, then clicking Options at lower left:

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Click on the DVD-Video tab, then tick the option for 16:9.

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Import your video into Windows Live Movie Maker, export as 16:9 widescreen

If the 16:9 option is checked and the burned DVD still forces a 4:3 aspect, the freely available Windows Live Movie Maker can reformat your video to "proper" 16:9 that Windows DVD Maker will burn properly as widescreen.

Note: The conversion process does take time depending on the length and export quality of your video.

First, import your video into Windows Live Movie Maker:

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Click the View tab, then click the Aspect Ratio button and select Widescreen.

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Choose to Save movie and select Widescreen (480p).

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The exported file will import properly in Windows DVD Maker as a 16:9 widescreen video and burn to DVD properly as well.

Notes on formats:

Widescreen 480p is fine for most video; it uses a standard 720×480 output. High-definition 720p uses 1280×720 and High-definition 1080p uses 1920×1080.