Full screen gaming while watching a movie

I have just upgraded my pc from an E8400 cpu with 8gb ram to an i5 3570k with 16gb ram.
I have a MSI Z77A GD65 motherboard and using that I ebayed myself another Gigabyte GTX470 SOC to run a SLI setup.

Nothing is overclocked yet, having heat issues in my new corsair 550D case which I will solve when the wife lets me spend again.............

Now, my old dual core with a single graphics card was awesome, overclocked and I never really had any issues with it until the other day. I found myself playing Anno 2070 fullscreen, and had the wife watching a movie via windows media player on my big tv.

Windows media player lets you choose a sound output device, so my home cinema got an output from my old motherboard's spdif socket. My game's sound output was via the speakers on my desk, set to low else I get shouted at!

Both screens are 1080p, and one had Anno 2070 set to fullscreen and the other playing movies in fullscreen. My dual core would play the game fine, but the movie got really jerky to the point you couldn't pay it close attention.

I upgraded my pc to a quad core, with another 8gb of ram and tried to play Anno 2070 and watch a movie at the same time to see how awesome my new setup would be. That was the plan, Anno 2070 was smoother but I had a black screen instead of a movie. I could hear the film, and if I alt tabbed out of the game the movie would appear again and disappear when I went back into the game.

All my drivers are up to date, I just got my first SSD (LOVE IT!!) and have a shiny new copy of windows 7 professional installed on it.

I have not had much luck with that lucid mvp rubbish, and have installed and reinstalled the drivers for that. Due to tearing in Skyrim and Deus Ex not as good as the first one Human Revolution, I swapped the SLI bridge over from one set of sockets to another.

Now, that is the back ground covered, my set up, new copy of Windows, latest drivers and a bit of messing around trying to get rid of tearing in games resulting in Lucid MVP hatred (another long term plan, but I think this is like my old power vr card, good in plan but rubbish so I think Lucid will fade away........)

Now my Question! Phew! What causes windows media player to go black whilst gaming full screen? I get a little bit of movie time, then it corupts and goes black.

I have tried a few things, but google power is failing me and I am scratching my head. I get a feeling that there is a conflict somewhere and before I just wipe my SSD to reinstall, I thought I would see if anyone else has dealt with this before..........
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  1. Hello,

    Have you tried using VLC media player? You could try installing that - and turning off Hardware acceleration.

    However - it will definitely give your CPU a performance hit, but i'm guessing it should work better. You could also try setting VLC's Affinity to use core 2 or 3 or both.

    But it kind of sounds like a driver issue. I know back in the day when dual screens were becoming popular - movies/games wouldn't be able to play on your secondary screen (would give a black screen). This was due to driver "problems".
  2. I use VLC player when I don't want to output sound through my home cinema, thanks for the suggestion, any are welcome!

    Skyrim, in full screen, is letting me watch a film in full screen. Skyrim is allowing the desk top to appear on the second monitor as well.

    Anno 2070 will not even let me see task manager on the second monitor, just black. I find it strange that on my dual core pc, Anno 2070 would allow a second desktop.
  3. Have you tried this ? :

    In MP - go to Tools -> Options

    Select Performance Tab

    Under DVD and video playback - can you try unchecking everything and trying it out again?
  4. Best answer
    You can also set VLC's default audio device - have you done that/tried it?

    Oh and this is just for 1 game - Anno 2070 that the picture doesn't work (on the second screen for the movie)?
  5. Chainzsaw, you got me rooting around in VLC and audio settings-output module-directx audio output lets me select s/pdif. Happy days! I'll play with that later.

    Skyrim and Deus Ex let me use the second desktop, Anno 2070 doesn't. I am downloading metro 2033 off steam right now, but steam is slow right now, so it will take ages.

    This is driving me up the wall. I started this by setting media player to full screen on second monitor then firing up anno 2070, and didn't notice the total lack of second desktop with anno 2070. I love pc's, but at times their quirks drive you up the wall!
  6. Every thing checked in WMP performance options, everything unchecked, no difference in anno 2070. I checked all the boxes earlier trying to solve it. As anno 2070 is the one game out of 3 playing up, I will pester ubisoft to get my moneys worth.

    I can't even uninstall the game due to the drm ubisoft decided to use.
  7. Best answer selected by awesome jethro.
  8. I noticed the game came out late 2011?

    I'm wondering if your GPU is just not powerful enough to drive both the game and a movie on a second screen...however I can't really confirm this at all.

    Yeah....other than that I don't know what else to try out, it could be a driver problem/ a program/game limitation.

    There's just so many combinations out there - hopefully someone with a similar set up might be able to help you out.
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