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Hide Windows Desktop on a One Display System


If you have a Tower Desktop PC for a show computer and it does not have its own separate computer monitior for application control, you will encounter the problem of how to hide the Windows Desktop from the audience. In this case, you are using the same display to run the VideoMill program windows and to show your videos.

For this solution we'll assume your show will consist of playing three videos sequentially with a VideoMill automation Script.

Note: If your show computer is a notebook computer, you won't encounter this problem because the notebook display will be your program control display (Primary display) and the main venue display will be your Secondary.1 display.

Windows Desktop on Theater Display
Windows Desktop on Theater Display

General Program Settings

These are general setup steps.

Create a Background Screen Media Item

The first step is to make a Background Screen Media Item that will be used to black-out the display (cover over the windows desktop icons, etc). Go to Edit Media Item > New Background Screen. When this Media Item is played it will create a Full Screen Media Screen. The default is a black/blue gradient background. You can set the background to the Windows Desktop Color in the Screen Layout panel.

To Hide the Windows Desktop

Now to hide the Windows Desktop on the display, all you have to do is Load the Background Screen Media Item. The Background Screen will fill the entire display and the VideoMill program windows will be hidden behind the Background Screen Media Screen.

To Exit Background Screen mode

To get back to the VideoMill program window, simply mouse-click on the Background Screen Media Screen, then use the keyboard Escape key (ESC) to make the Media Screen exit from Full Screen mode. Or use keyboard Alt+Tab to bring up the Windows Task Switcher to select the VideoMill program window.

Running Automation

If you want to play multiple videos in sequence (a playlist), can use the script structure in Listing 1. The first step loads the Background Screen. It will stay loaded behind the other videos that play. So when a video finishes playing and its media screen is unloaded, the background screen will show for an instant (rather than the Windows Desktop) before the next video starts playing.

You can add time Delay steps to the script as desired. The Script could also be started via the the Scheduler.

Listing 1. Show Script

Script: Matinee Videos
1. Load (Background Screen)
2. Play (Pre-Show Short)
3. UnLoad (Pre-Show Short)
4. Play (Movie Feature)
5. UnLoad (Movie Feature)
6. Play (Post Show Ads)
7. UnLoad (Post Show Ads)