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YXY - Aspect Ratio Control for Software DVD Players

(Version 1.6, Updated 11/20/2000) by Jim Ferguson

New in Version 1.6  This version adds two new features since the 1.5 version:

  • You can now specify a particular YXY settings file to use, either by opening it with the File menu, or by specifying it on the command line
  • Additional code to disable new versions of the "PCFriendly" virus software

Jim Ferguson, a fellow enthusiast, developed this simple but supercool little VB app to provide aspect ratio control for a software DVD player, such as WinDVD.    If you have an HTPC, this is a MUST-HAVE.  Best of all it's FREE! 

YXY article at
Stereophile Guide to
Home Theater

Pat Megenity reviews the YXY aspect ratio controller.

Read it here...

"YXY is a free aspect ratio controller program that I use with Intervideo's WinDVD DVD Player. With YXY you can position the WinDVD window to precise locations on the screen, and save those locations for future use. The program should work with other software DVD players as well, or other applications such as software TV players. My primary testing has been done with WinDVD however.

The main benefit of this tool is if you have a front projection system, you can leave your projector memory set up for anamorphic sources (i.e. vertically squeezed.) When playing non-anamorphic DVD's you can simply size the window of the DVD player 33% taller than normal. It will then look like an anamorphic DVD to your projector. Similarly you can shrink a 4:3 shaped movie to take up the center portion of the 16:9 screen shape.

In addition the program can be used to save a variety of custom settings. The settings that I use handle:

  • 1.66:1 movies that take the full height of the screen, but have small bars on the sides
  • 1.37:1 full-screen material positioned to the left or to the right within the 16:9 anamorphic window, to avoid burning in the image
  • 2.35:1 movies positioned at the top or bottom of the screen, to avoid burning in the image
  • Slightly expand the window of some underscanned movies
  • Reposition the window of some non-anamorphic letterboxed movies which have their subtitles beneath the image
  • Crop full-frame unmatted movies back to their correct aspect ratio. Instead of just taking a "slice out of the middle" I can take the top portion of the image for those movies that are shot with the common-top-line method, where most of the unmatting is done at the bottom.

YXY Main Window
Main YXY Window
(Click to enlarge)

Other program features include:

  • Resize the application window larger than the actual screen without requiring a virtual window program such as WinSpace.
  • Automatic blanking calculation (to hide the DVD player caption and borders) with custom overrides
  • Orbiting (move the window around on the screen in small increments to avoid screen burn-in)
  • Button repeat function for easy interactive screen positioning. Just hold the Moving and Sizing buttons down, and after a short delay, the action will repeat until the button is released.
  • Proportionally move the window up, down, left, and right; proportionally shrink or expand the window height and width, separately, or together
  • Command line startup options to select a particular setting
  • Global hotkey support for selecting settings. Works even when the YXY window is hidden or in the background.
  • Playlist feature lets you associate particular DVD's or other titles with a specific setting
  • When a DVD is inserted that is on the PlayList, automatically switch to the correct aspect ratio
  • When an unknown DVD is inserted, automatically add it to the PlayList using default settings
  • Ability to disable the PC Friendly DVD-ROM program from launching when loading a DVD.

New in Version 1.5

This update includes a variety of enhancements and bug fixes that have been reported since the last version in February, 2000. Highlights include:

  • Taskbar icon menu to select settings and YXY visibility
  • Startup mode option for "Normal", "Minimized" or "Hidden"
  • "Lock Position" option to keep your DVD player in one spot. This fixes a problem in the previous version where the application would resize itself when selecting a chapter or when changing from anamorphic to non-anamorphic mode.
    Blanking is cleared if the player shuts down (only available when "Lock Position" is selected)
  • New hotkey for "reapply current setting"
  • More reliably respond to "select YXY" and "select application" hotkey
  • Direct editing of window position parameters
  • Setting list is sorted
  • Setting name is displayed in caption
  • The ability to auto-launch an application when a DVD is inserted, or on startup if a DVD is in the drive
  • Mouse cursor indicates when the mouse is over the YXY-blanked area, making it easy to select context items


In order to work, this program requires the VB6 runtime files. You may already have the required support files on your system. Search your \windows\system directory for the file MSVBVM60.DLL. If you have it, the program should run and you only need to download the very smalled ZIP'ed executable and its supporting DLL. If you do not have these files you can run the larger setup program that installs the program as well as the required support files.

The program itself does not create any registry entries, nor register any components. It saves all its settings in a two small data files and a settings file created in the same directory as the program.

About YXY

This program is free for any non-commercial use.

YXY is a hobby that got out of hand. I wrote a quick hack version so that I could view non-anamorphic DVD's on my front projection system by stretching the DVD player window taller than the screen. Based on feedback from the folks on the AVS Forum, the program "just grew" with many new and useful features. Several key technical breakthroughs were only possible with the excellent technical assistance of AVS Forum member Andrew Chilvers, who provided code to handle window sizing and global hotkey support. Any typos, bugs, or other problems with YXY itself, are my fault. I'd love to hear from you of any problems you have so that I can correct them. As always suggestions are welcome as well.

--Jim Ferguson"