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September 14th 2009 5:48 am

Does Windows 7 media center take your pc hostage?

I'm fairly happy with vista 64 but there is one thing that really bothers me and that is that my pc is virtually unusable while running media center. Let me explain, I have a dual monitor setup with the 2nd monitor being my 50" Pioneer Kuro via DVI-HDMI cable which I use to watch all my hd tv/movie downloads through media center. The thing is when running media center the mouse cursor disappears, this can be brought back by pressing the windows key but clicking on something then makes it disappear again with the focus going back to media center. It's really annoying and trying to get anything done on the pc while media center is playing a movie is a real chore. I'm sure anyone who has run media center on a 2nd monitor will have come accross this.

My question is does media center on windows 7 work the same way?

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17 replies

I can't really say as I don"t use dual monitors. But when I run Media Center Minimized while i brown with the Snap-To right or left it's fine. Generally I feel MC in 7 is Better then it was in Vista.
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Probably. In 7MC the mouse will disappear under MCE (don't know if this is because MCE is maximized or if it's the active application). Have you tried running 7MC in a window that's stretched to fill out the Kuro but not maximized?
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I'm running 3 monitors and I have experienced the same problems you are describing using Vista and Windows 7 RC. This seems to only happen when you are using Media Center in the full screen mode. It appears that Media Center likes to lock the mouse cursor inside Media Center if it's in focus. I don't know how to get around this so I just use VLC to watch most of my videos, it seems to work much better when in full screen mode.
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The mouse is still usable in the new Windows 7 Media Center... By default you can use either the mouse to navigate or use the arrow buttons, Enter, and Backspace. Also you can run it full screen view or just windowed...
Now whether or not your PC is powerful enough to handle the 50" TV connected to your rig is a whole other story.
Although upon startup of the actual application (ehshell.exe) it is really resource needy; after that it sits idle at about 10% of my CPU(which is a P4 @ 1.86Ghz and also an ATI X700 mobility handling my graphics). So all in all you should be better off than vistas media center. Good Luck. I hope i covered all the info you need!
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Thanks for the info although I think you miss-understand, I know I can use the mouse or keyboard to navigate within media center but I want to use the mouse on my pc monitor to do other things while media center plays a movie on my plasma. Media center does not like the focus being removed from it.

dalhectar, I will try your sugestion tomorrow as I'm home all day but the problem I foresee with running media center not maximised and stretched out is I may have to set this up every time, dragging the box to fit etc. I'll let you know how I get on.
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I just finished trying to run MC in a window on my kuro but its a no go, after stretching it out to fit the screen I closed it down and opened it again and it didn't retain its size. I would have to re-stretch it every time to fit the screen which is not on obviously.
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I had the EXACT same problem as the OP. Hacky solution: press the windows key on your keyboard. Now your mouse is free to move around both monitors! I found that out by accident. :)
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You are correct but as soon as you click on something the focus returns to MC and the mouse is gone.
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Try this. Resize WMC to fill the screen without maximized. Press Shift key, and while still pressed down, close WMC. That might work. Or you could try this:
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Switching to an extender is the cleanest solution.
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I have an xbox 360 as an extender but its limited codec support makes it next to useless.
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WMC is probably supposed to be used with 1 monitor. When it is in full screen it probably assumes it is the only thing being used.

Try media player classic or vlc in full screen and see what happens. Might work out for you.
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Change second screen to touchscreen. I bet that fixes the problem.
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what you are looking for is MCE Multi Mon.

It will not lock up your mouse and keyboard into just that one screen.

I am doing the same thing as the original poster and this is one solution that works.

and windows 7's media center still does the same thing vista does.


there's a little app you download and run and it should help a lot.

it's not the best solution, but does something!
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