How to Change the Original Resolution Height & Width of a WMV Video File

by Theodora Pennypacker

WMV is a proprietary digital video compression format owned and regulated by Microsoft and WMV files are compatible with an array of Microsoft applications. For instance, WMV files can be previewed in Microsoft's Windows Media Player and edited with Windows Movie Maker. These two programs are also capable of adjusting the resolution of WMV files. Resolution basically indicates how many pixels are displayed within a given area. A video's resolution can be manipulated in another program. While Windows Media Player can modify the viewing size of a WMV file during playback, Windows Movie Maker can publish a version of the file with a different resolution.

Change the Viewing Size of a WMV File

Download and install Windows Media Player. The free application is available directly from Microsoft's product site.

Run Windows Media Player. Open the media player, go to "File" and select "Open." In the file selection dialog window, navigate to the saved location of your WMV file. Double click on the file name and it will be loaded into the media player.

Adjust the WMV file viewing size. Right click on the video viewing area and select "Video Size." By default, the video will be viewed at 100%. To reduce the video size by half, choose "50%." To double the video size, choose "200%."

Change the Resolution of a WMV File

Launch Windows Movie Maker. The video creation and editing program is installed on all PCs running Microsoft Windows Vista, XP and ME.

Import your WMV file into Windows Movie Maker. Go to "File" and select "Import Media Items." In the file selection dialog window, navigate to the saved location of your WMV file. Double click on the file name and it will be loaded into the Windows Movie Maker program interface.

Prepare a new version of your WMV file. Drag your WMV file into the Windows Movie Maker clip timeline. Select "Publish Movie" and choose the location where you want to save the adjusted WMV file. Click "Next." Name the new file accordingly in the "File Name" field and target its saving location in the "Publish to" field. Click "Next."

Change the resolution of your new WMV file. Under the "Choose the Settings for your Movie" menu, select the "More Settings" option. Open the dropdown menu to examine all of the possible export settings. When any publishing profile is selected, you can view its display size in the "Movie Settings" pane. For example, the "Windows Media DVD Quality (3.0 Mbps)" selection will publish a WMV file that is 720 x 480, while "Windows Media Low Bandwidth (117 kbps)" will publish a WMV file that is 320 x 240. Click on your desired setting and hit the "Publish" button.

Retrieve your new WMV file. When the publishing status bar reaches 100%, your new WMV file will be ready for use. It can be opened in Windows Media Player, or used in Windows Movie Maker or Windows DVD Maker. It can also be uploaded to a Microsoft Zune portable media player or published on an online video sharing service.

About the Author

Based in New York City, I am an online video producer who has more than five years of experience working in digital media. I specialize in video compression and distribution, video software, online video sharing and portable device use. I received my B.A. in Film Studies in 2005 from Vassar College.