This is the first time i've encountered this problem and i can't think of any reason why this is happening. After I rip the 16:9 dvd (i've tried both dvd shrink and decrypter) and view the rip with media player or windvd, the movie looks just like the dvd would on my tv, with black bars at the bottom and top. but when i prepare it to encode with xvid, whatever app i use to encode with stretches the image vertically to cover the top and bottom black bars. it does it in dvdx, dvd2avi, whatever. and the stats always still show the vid as being 720 x 480, which it is, but with bars missing for some reason so that the image stretches to fit 720 x 480. the majority of the time i either use dvdx and set crop to custom/selection so that i can crop the black bars and still keep the original aspect ratio. or i prepare to frameserve to another app with dvd2avi. but in both apps, the file is shown without the bars for some reason. i've tried everything. why is this happening?