Have a Video Wallpaper for Any Version of Windows

Sure, you are not actually going to get Dreamscene for your PC but it doesn’t matter if you’re going to get the same effect right? This is exactly what VLC Player can do for you. You might or might not have heard of this program but it is a free video player that eliminates the need to download many different codecs as it already recognizes a large number of them. VLC has a built-in feature that allows you to play videos as your wallpaper.

Dreamscene is only available for Windows Vista Ultimate users, but with this method, it can be made available for anyone with a copy of Windows or MacOS X Tiger. If you have a Mac, scroll down to the bottom of the page. Before we begin, please note that VLC is still not fully compatible with Windows Vista. Although this tutorial has worked for the majority of users who have tried it, it may not work for you. But before giving up, I recommend you view the updates I have made at the bottom of the post regarding problems and some of the comments I have made. Hope you enjoy this tutorial.

1) Download the latest version of VLC Player here.

2) Open your video file, right click, and choose wallpaper. You can find some great videos to use here:
Corbis Motion
Microsoft WMV HD

3) Next step

If you do not see the wallpaper option then proceed to:
Settings > Preferences > Video > Output Modules > Direct X.

Once you get here, check the Advanced Options box in the bottom right hand corner.
The advanced options will appear. Check Enable Wallpaper Mode. Now when you right click on your videos, you should be able to see a Wallpaper option.

If you want VideoLAN to behave like Dreamscene, you obviously do not want to see it in your taskbar since you will be running it for a long time. To get rid of its appearance in the taskbar:

4) Proceed to Settings > Preferences > Interface > Main Interfaces > wxWidgets


5) Then uncheck the box beside Taskbar

If you want to reach VLC, you can only get there by using Alt+Tab or Vista’s Flip3D. You can also choose to check the box beside systray so a VLC icon appears in your system tray.

6) Finally, you really wouldn’t want your background to disappear after a couple of seconds so we’d have to loop it. To do so, just click on Playlist in the navigation menu, and a list of settings will be provided. Thanks to Matt for reminding me that I have forgotten to include this.


VLC works on many other operating systems, so if you’ve tried this on another OS, please let me know if it worked, thanks.

The tutorial didn’t work for me!

Make sure you have the most updated version of everything: VLC, DirectX, and your Video Card Drivers. Most people can’t have the wallpaper displayed because of this.

Update: Mac Users:

I have a found a way to obtain the exact same feature on a version of MAC OS X Tiger. All you have to do is proceed to the following:

VLC > Preferences > Interface > Main Interface > Use as Desktop Background

Hope you guys enjoy this tutorial.

Known Issues:

There are a couple of known issues when trying to enable a video background with VLC. I have pasted here some of the comments I have made that answers most of the frequently asked questions regarding this tutorial.

Jay: After much research, it seems that VLC is still not fully-compatible with Windows Vista. Make sure you have the latest version of DirectX, VGA Card Driver, and VLC. After that, reset the Open GL, Direct 3D, and Overlay settings of your video card. If it still does not work, you either have to wait until the next release of VLC, or it just won’t work with your current video card because of the driver. The Vista wallpaper function does not work for me, but I have seen it in action on other PC.. I’ve repeated the steps in the tutorial and I’m pretty sure that I have not missed anything. Sorry this does not work for you.

Trevor: After using this for 15 minutes, at most, 14 MB of RAM was used. Although CPU usage does rise. I idle about 3-8 percent. With VLC, I would idle 5-14 percent. I wouldn’t say it’s too bad, but during gaming, it might not be a good idea to leave it on.

Marcus: Are you saying that it makes the video full screen, and when you move the window, it shows certain parts, but there’s absolutely nothing on your desktop? You can try repeating step 3, press Refresh List beside Name of Desired Display Device. Then open the drop down menu and select the appropriate device.

*This article may interest a few digg users.

Was I able to help you? If you still have a question, click here and I will get back to you with an answer.