Creating Full Screen Video

Windows Media Center will display currently-playing content in full-screen mode to occupy the entire Windows Media Center UI if the user either focuses on a Now Playing or Video inset and presses the OK/Enter button on the remote control or uses the mouse to click on one.

Displaying Full Screen

Programmatically, the UI can call the MediaExperience.GoToFullScreen method to move the playback to full-screen mode. (This does not size the Windows Media Center UI to full-screen, but rather sizes the content to the full Windows Media Center UI.)

If the user presses the Back button when the video content is in full-screen mode, Windows Media Center navigates back to the UI page and the content appears in the Now Playing or Video inset.

The Windows Media Center GoToFullscreen methods can use the physical display type and signal format to line up overscan regions. Windows Media Center also ensures that signals that match the output hardware get a clean pass-through, increasing video quality substantially. 

Applications should always use GoToFullscreen for full-screen video display rather than trying to display a large Video element in MCML.

Background Modes

Windows Media Center provides several automatic background modes that the application can display by using the MediaCenterEnvironment.BackgroundMode property.

For example, the application can display the standard Windows Media Center backgrounds (animated or static) or an ARGB color.

When audio is playing, the application can display a mosaic of the user's album art the standard Windows Media Center audio background.

When video is playing, the video can be displayed full screen, as a background watermark or masked in different ways.

For more information, see the BackgroundModes enumeration.


It is not possible to overlay anything other than a dialog box or a prompt over the Windows Media Center full-screen video experience. If you need to interact with the user, consider the following options:

Sample Explorer

  • MediaExperience > GoToFullScreen
  • MediaCenterEnvironment > Background Modes
  • MediaCenterEnvironment > Dialog
  • MediaCenterEnvironment > DialogNotification

See Also