How do I setup my MediaPortal screen to appear on extended desktop? (1 Viewer)


New Member
April 9, 2007
Canada Canada
newbie here, 1st time posting. I am just starting in the Media Center stuff, and I wanted to know if there is a way to configure Media Portal to appear only on the extended desktop screen.

For example: I connect my tv to the pc. Then I use the Catalyst software of my ATI card to "extend" the Windows desktop to my TV, so that my mouse moves from one screen to the next. In that setup, I'd like to have Media Portal appear on my TV ONLY.

Is there a way to do this?

Thanks for the help!

TV-Server Version:
MediaPortal Version:
MediaPortal Skin: Aqua
Windows Version: XP SP2
CPU Type: AMD Barton 2500+, 1.6GHz
HDD: Seagate (120, 250 & 300G)
Memory: 512MB DDR333 168pins
Motherboard: ASUS A7V133
Motherboard Chipset: Via Appolo
Motherboard Bios: don't know
Video Card: ATI Radeon All-In-Wonder 9600 Pro 128megs
Video Card Driver: Catalyst 6.10
Sound Card: Creative Extigy
Sound Card AC3: no AC3
Sound Card Driver: don't know
Power Supply: Fortron Sparkle 400W
Remote: Extigy remote
TV - HTPC Connection: S-Video


MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • June 23, 2006
    Gold Coast
    I believe the short answer is 'No'. This is a limitation of DirectX.
    Simply put, DirectX can only run on your Primary desktop, so therefore your extended desktop is out for MP. You could switch your Primary display to be TV and I have seen discussions in here somewhere where people swap primary with extended prior to running MediaPortal (MP) and then switch them back when quitting Mediaportal. At least I think that is what they were doing. (I didn't pay a lot of attention as I didn't need it)

    Just remember that whatever you do, you can't have "MP always on top" if you want to use the other screen as MP will be on top and stealing the focus from you.

    hope this helps,

    Nick Name.


    New Member
    April 9, 2007
    Canada Canada
    Ok... this is a little bit more than my brain can comprehend at the moment.

    I guess the first answer was "it can't be done" and the second one was "it can be done". I'm not sure how that works.

    I know I can run, say, Winamp, on my secondary screen, and maximize it to get a full screen display on screen 2. Screen one will still display any other app.

    So, what's to say I can't maximize MP on my second screen?

    I guess I'll have to go with answer number two, Bob. However, since I'm a newbie, I'm not too keen on modifying anything I just got without understanding it. That said, the files proposed in the second answer sound a little unstable and buggy, and also not easily configurable. Maybe worth the stretch if I can't find any other way. Otherwise, I'll just set up some other way of doing it.

    Thanks for the input (any further options are greatly welcome).



    MP Donator
  • Premium Supporter
  • June 23, 2006
    Gold Coast
    Hi Couzin2000,

    I'll assume you know little about PC/Windows... So I'll try to put it as simply as possible, please don't be offended, we all started at the beginning...

    The way Windows can display pretty graphics (I.e. Games & Mediaportal) is by using a 'layer' of software called DirectX. This enables programmers to write games, etc (relatively) simply without having to care about what hardware (graphic card, sound card, network card, etc) each user has.
    As long as the hardware works with DirectX, it will work with the (Direct X) game/Mediaportal.
    In the bad old days, games had to written to work with every type of hardware which is a major pain, especially for new hardware.
    Anyway, Direct X 'prettiness' can only display on the primary display. This is the screen that has green Start button on the lower left (usually) of the screen.
    To make it display on the other screen, you need to make that the primary screen. This can be done through the Control Panel->Display Properties->Settings.
    It can also be done 'automatically' with the software mentioned by Cheezey above.

    Just remember that when learning Windows (XP), learn how to use System Restore. This will enable you 'roll back' your computer to how it was before you changed something. Many people turn this functionality off but for a 'newbie', it can be life, well PC, saving.
    System Restore is easy to use and can be found under Start (button)->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->System Restore.
    I have my HTPC set to create a Restore Point at every boot. That way, if my HTPC doesn't work today, I just roll it back to yesterday's settings. Simple :)

    I hope that helps,

    Nick Name.

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