Laptop DVD playback is blank on second screen

brandonkirsch used Ask the Experts™
I'm using the InterVideo WinDVD codec (Is that the right term?) on my Dell Inspiron 5100 on a Radeon 7500 (32MB).  When I use dual monitors and "extend my desktop to this screen" I can't watch DVDs on the second screen.  I can drag Windows Media Player (8) to the second screen/TV but when I do I only see a black screen.  All of WMP shows up, I can use the buttons, but the playback area is blank.  If I split the window so half is on my laptop's LCD and half is on the screen/TV and I can see the the part that's on the LCD but the other part is still black.  I can (with a bit of struggle) get my LCD and second screen to display the same image (so Windows thinks it's only using one screen) and then the DVD playback works.  This isn't convenient because I'd like to work on my LCD (higher res) while watching a DVD on the external CRT.  My friend has a Gateway laptop with a Radeon 9000 and he can't get the DVD to show up at all on the second screen no matter what.  Any ideas?

Dell Inspiron 5100
Radeon 7500 / 32 MB
640 mb/RAM (64mb swap)
XP Pro SP1 (not "a")
DirectX 9a
LCD res 1400x1050
CRT res 800x600

(The problem also happens if I use WinDVD's native player)
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Welcome to world of Macrovison protection, there are two ways around this problem.

Firstly you can set your second screen to be the primary display within the ati control panel>Displays and then it will be blank of the laptops TFT and visable on the second screen.


You can use a program called DVD X Ghost which will remove all the problems of region coding and macrovison protect from Software DVD Players.
Get it from here

It works very well for me and saves the problems of flashing the DVD drives firmware with a hacked version to remove the region coding as this can go wrong sometimes. It allows me to play region 1 DVD's on a locked Region 2 player. The only thing you will find that it takes a few extra seconds to start the playback while DVD X Ghost solves the region problems for you. Other than that it is the best $39.99 I have ever spent.

Before you ask I have no affiliation with the company at all. ;)


I figured it was some type of protection, but it's pretty lame.  Unfortunately I'm a stickler for system performance and I don't have ATI's control panel (or it's 3-4 .exe's that load at boot) installed.  I'll take a look into the X Ghost software but 40 bucks isn't something your stereotypical college student can afford.  :-\


I accepted your answer just because you used the word "Macrovision" and it immediately cured my I-don't-know-what-to-type-into-Google woes.  Macrovision just scrambles the video out signal, this is done at a software/driver level as it doesn't work on VGA-out to a CRT screen.  XGhost doesn't fix this problem because it isn't a Macrovision protection thing.

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