General configuration / usage question

Jun 25, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Hello, thanks very much for the software, I have been playing with it for a day or so now, and have it working on a Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit HTPC, using an old Palm TX handheld running PalmOrb and connected via USB. It took a lot of flaffing to get it working, but I seem to have success.

I have been using a Silverstone VFD via a parralel port connection for a while, running either FrontView or LCD Writer.

My Palm allows me four lines of 20 character text though, the Silverstone just 2 lines. So I would like to move to the Palm, its also a better quality, backlit display.

However, after all the above background ramblings, my question is....

Can I configure the display to change when the media stops playing, and when I exit the Media Center app?

For example, if I watch a recorded tv show, once the show has stopped and I go back to the main Start Menu, the MediaName, TrackTime, MediaTime info is still displayed.
But I would prefer it to either go blank or to revert to a different line of text, or even just say 'stopped' or 'ended'.
Also, once I exit the Media Center App, I would like the Status to change from Saying Media Center to something else eg, Windows 7 HTPC or MCE closed.

Is any of this possible?



Jun 26, 2011 at 2:05 AM

Hi Lisa,

        Thanks for trying out the software.  I assume you are using release 6126? The reason that the display doesn't change back at the end of a recording is that Media Center still has the session open (and it probably appears in Now Playing on the main Media Center screen). You can prove this by pressing the stop button. The only way I can think off to put something else on the display is to use actions in LCDSmartie and define different screens dependant on other tags (e.g. Status or Play). Unless you haven't tried function 1 in release 6126 which works slightly differently to previous releases.

As for detecting that Media Center is not running, I thought this would be simple using one of the other dll's to check process status but they don't work in Win7 x64 and I don't have a 32 bit win7 machine I can try it on. You could try the "active" dll if you like you will find it at I tried it but it wouldn't work on win7 x64. The problem is that you can't get the details of a 64 bit proces from a 32 bit app using normal means. I have found a workaround and will include this in the next release (if MC is not running then I'll set the display to "Windows 7 HTPC" as you suggest. I'll also make the detect function available so it can be used in actions). I'm planning to make this release in the next few days.

Hope this helps,


Jun 26, 2011 at 2:08 AM
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Jun 26, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Thanks very much for the response, and for working on a new release, that's really good news!

I am using release 6126, and I have now got the 'active.dll' which works great on my system, thanks for pointing that out to me.

My screen is now set up like this:

$Time(hh:nn ' ' d mm yyyy)

The third line, Track Time / Media Time is really useful, but it does just stay stuck on whatever it was last displaying,
Pressing stop doesn't change it (once the media has already stopped),
And it remains displayed even once I have exited the Media Center App (eg., 0:35:35 - 0:35:35)

Like you suggest, there may be a way of using LCD Smartie to alter this, I need a function which recognises the stop press, or that playback has ended and then changes the third line of the display to either blank, or to 'no media playback' or similar, it may not be possible, I'll do some research though.

Thanks again for the software.


Jun 27, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Hi Lisa,

          I've uploaded v0.9.10.1 (change set 6279) which has an improved function 1 you might like to try. Your use of function 1 above should be function 4 to get the value of the status tag.

I've also included function 20 which checks if a process is running.

if you use function 4 for the Tracktime/Media time it will always display these. Try using function 2. e.g. try changing your set up to:

$Time(hh:nn ' ' d mm yyyy)
$dll(MCE_dll,20,ehshell.exe,Media Centre Active)

Hope this helps,


Jun 27, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Thanks Dave, that seems to be working brilliantly now! :-)