Home Theater PC News – Your Source for Everything HTPC Related. I’ve been struggling to get my home theater PC really working correctly. Both Windows Media Player and BSPlayer have trouble working correctly. When I go full screen, they always go to the PC Monitor rather than to the big HDTV display.
Also, ATI Catalyst is really buggy with my Radeon 9800 Pro and an HDTV display. I tried to use the HDTV as the only display and the driver hard crashed a couple of times. Other problem is that there is overscan on the HDTV monitor and it took a while to figure out how to use the ATI Catalyst tool to reduce it. There is a way (which I’ll document soon) so it thinks a 1920×1080 display is really 1776×980 for me.
The big news is that the “InMatrix’s Zoom Player”:http://www.inmatrix.com/ is *the* answer for doing this play on the big screen. Even the free one works well. The UI is buried, but you basically tell it which monitor to use for full screen and the user interface lets you use keys rather than mouse clicks to make it go slow and fast which is what you want in a dark room.
If you want to do DVD playback then you have to get Zoom Player Professional for $30 and have a set of DVD decoders. You can get that for $15 from “Sonic”:http://estore.sonic.com/enu/cineplayer/dvd.asp?lang=enu. These are the decoders that are part of Cinepak.
Finally you need “FFDShow”:http://www.afterdawn.com/software/video_software/codecs_and_filters/ffdshow.cfm to handle just about every other format including xVid which is widely used for movies on the Internet.
So get Zoomplayer and read the FAQ to find out how to install and then click on the Configuration Icon and select Advanced Mode. Look for the Values and Tools and you should see an entry that says, Monitor to select for full screen. You need to know the monitor number from the ATI Catalyst entry. Normally your main monitor is #1 and your HDTV screen would be #2, so you’d select 2.