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Playing videos on Dual monitor setup

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Last Modified: 2013-12-07
A client of mine has a HP desktop machine with integrated ATI graphics and a dual monitor setup. The machine is relatively new (Core 2 proc and 2 gb of RAM, XP Pro). The problem is playing videos with Windows Media Player. He has the latest drivers and Media player version, but he still can only play videos on one screen. The other  shows no video, only audio. This is a major hassle for him; occasionally when the video attempts to play on the wrong screen the whole machine locks. Is there a solution to this problem or is it just shoddy driver design?
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couple things to try:

try reducing video acceleration in Windows Media Player, (Tools > Options > Performance)

try using windows media player classic to see if that works http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Media_Player_Classic.htm

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Unlike some of the older versions, newer (since Win98 I think) Windows Media Player versions only support one instance of the program running at a time.

When user tries to start second instance of the video in the other screen Windows Media Player will usually crash or lock-up either just itself or the whole machine.

The only way you will [reliably] get Windows Media Player going on two screens simultaneously is to have the screens set to be exact copies of each other.
[Such that mouse movement occurs on both at the same time.]

What the user wants to do is possible but not with Windows Media Player.



The gentlemen doesn't want to play the video on both screens at the same time; he merely wants WMP to work on either screen. Sorry for not being clear.

Grab K-Lite Mega codec here:

Now, set the Media Player Classic as default player. Open Media Player Classic Option menu (or press O)
Navigate to Playback/Output
Set DirectShow Video as VMR9 (renderless), also RealMedia and QuickTime video on DirectX9 too.
Restart your Media Player Classic.

You can now drag your media player to another screen as it supposed to be.

The problem with Microsoft Media player is that it doesn't support Microsoft's own VMR9 rendering engine.

And, you need VMR9 rendering engine to move video screen across monitor.

Use this link if you don't want to install all those free codecs, and only need to use a player.
Benallen, you need media player classic as prd00 and I have been saying.


So there is no way to do this within standard Windows Media Player? Thanks. I will try Classic
Top Expert 2012

I think the limitation you are seeing is that video overlays, which are used for movies, only work on the display designated as primary.  This has been the case for a long time.

Agreed. You need VMR9 to run video on multiple monitor. And Windows Media Player cannot utilize VMR9 engine. Besides, Windows Media Player is much faster and has more feature than the standard one, plus consume less memory.

A workaround to consider
You could replace the monitor with a TV flat screen. Works very nice
What cabling do you have the second monitor connected  with?
 if it can act as a TV use the s-video out
since>>The other  shows no video, only audio<<
does your video card support TV out? from the video card itself?

Try using clone mode instead,
r/click the desktop properties advanced video card fullscreen on to the secondary screen
I have a TV connected to my system so may not be the same as what you have 2 monitors, but using clone mode I can play a video in WMP on my desktop in a small screen but full screen on the secondary screen TV.

S-Video connector will reduce image quality to the level of unreadable. If you don't use secondary monitor anything else, this can be considered. You can still use your secondary monitor as dual mode too. But this method will cover every single pixel on his secondary screen, as Windows will use secondary screen as full video screen whenever overlay is used.
The only caveat in this, that you will NEED to play the movie on BOTH screen. You must keep your WMP play your movie on primary screen, and with its window visible (ie, you can't minimize it, or let it run on the background overlapped by your word processor for example). Otherwise your secondary screen will only show as black. And you can only play ONE video at one time.

Anyway, for information, I have found some info on AVS, noting that MCE able to use VMR rendering engine. If you are using Windows MCE, you can enable at Tools-Options-Performance. Enable Video Mixing Rendering.

I use s-video out to my 68 cm  flat screen TV with great results, same picture quality using rca cables, running Nvidia gforce 6600gt with Tv out. Any meia player including even videos on web pages
I was referring to replacing the secondary monitor with a flat screen TV . Monitors dont have the cabling for s-video.

Yes, the videos, but you can't read the web pages clearly, can you?


Unfortunately, using a flat screen TV as his secondary monitor isn't an option.  Thanks for the help; I will try Windows Media Player Classic


Again, I don't want to clone the image; my client is an older gentlemen and computer use doesn't come easily for him. He gets videos and such fairly often in his email and I am merely trying to make it more convenient for him. It sounds like the simplest solution is just to always play the videos on the primary monitor. Is there a way to make WMP always open on the primary monitor? It frequently doesn't.  Thanks

Since you are using two screens dual,
 the only way to have WMP on single display is to use single display otherwise it will span or appear on the secondary, if all is functioning right WMP should appear on the desktop  main then you drag it over to the secondary.
go into the display properties and use the default desktop untick extend my desktop onto the secondary screen.
This is the nature or dual /cline modes etc whatever is displayed on the main desktop is also displayed on the secondary.
>>attempts to play on the wrong screen the whole machine locks << could be lack of ram also wrong display settings.
Did you take a look at this guide I posted earler it covers multiple displays
I think, he means that he want to read mail, and play the video on the second screen to keep his main email window uncluttered. Am I correct?
In this way, there is no way you using clone. And, yes. There is no way of using Windows Media Player, unless as I noted, you are using Windows MCE. In this case, you can turn on Video Mixing Renderer at option menu.
But the safest bet, is Media Player Classic. You can always drag it everywhere, and it is very fast, takes less RAM, and easier to play. No useless gimmicks like WMP does.

And yes. When you try to drag WMP to another screen, the machine will occasionally locks. Screen overlay is not designed for multiple screen, as I stated multiple times, you need VMR. I was using 3 monitor setup, and WMP didn't even play video at all, in any screen. That was when I knew MPC.

@merete: I think he already gone past that guide, if he can setup his screen like that. I think the question is not how to to enable or use dual screen, but to move the video to secondary screen while keeping the primary screen free to use.

prd00 please let Benallen respond and comment on behalf of himself.
 If you must contribute please keep your ideas pointed for prd00 that may assist him.
 too many personal comments and guess work on " behalf "  of the asker just confuses the issue.
I wondered who was the asker then lol.

Well, just stated the fact that he mentioned numerous times that he already did that, and refuse your idea, twice. So that we can move on to the next step.
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