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March 22, 2007


Hugh "Nomad" Hancock

Thanks very much for the plug!

You should be able to take screenshots using VLC and the DivX version - VLC and WMV don't always play nicely, but DivX tends to work OK.


I'm not quite technical enough to tell you what the exact terminology for it is, but basically it's your video driver beaming the video you're trying to capture directly to your monitor, rather than going through the OS (where it could be print screened). For a fun demonstration, have your "blank" screenshot open in an imaging program, with the video being played in an open video player behind the blank portion of the screenshot. You should be able to see through your imaging program. I hope that makes sense. In any event, it has nothing to do with DRM. I believe, and don't quote me on this, that turning your hardware acceleration down will alleviate the problem.


Peeple.. really? It's not DRM? It sure works like DRM - i.e., stops me doing what I want to do - but what you describe is pretty much what I'm getting.

Oddly though, in my experience previously, it happens with some media players (e.g. WMP) and not others, which suggests to me that it's built into the player.

I'd love to know the answer to this.

ILL Robinson

Alice, if you want screengrabbies from WMP, turn down the "Video Acceleration" a notch or two under Options/Performance (tab). Then PRNTSCRN til your heart's content.

Great work by SC (again).

Seb Potter

Specifically it's the way that video hardware and does overlaying to render video. The video is sent directly to the graphics card memory without being written as a series of bitmaps into the Windows graphics subsystem. This makes processing video very fast, but means that screenshot systems that rely on Windows GDI to render out a portion of screen only know about a blank masking image.

Using hardware overlays is dependent upon your player app. In VLC you can turn it off entirely (Settings > Preferences > Video > Overlay Video Output) which makes for worse video playback, but allows you to take screenies.

To sort in in WMP, it's in Options > Performance > Advanced. You don't need to turn down hardware acceleration.

ILL Robinson

Good points, Seb. Though turning down the hardware accel is essentially telling Windows to bypass the overlay?

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