I posted this as its own thread, but I've only gotten a few views and no replies. I figured I'd post it here to try my luck. In the meantime, I've been checking out the MediaPortal website and like what I see. While I enjoyed MCE when it worked, I must eventually accept the fact that it is no longer being maintained. I have no intention of switching to Vista or VMC at this point.
I've searched every possible thread on AVSForum as well as Google with regard to this issue. From what I've been able to gather, most everyone experiencing this issue is using an ATI/AMD video card. As a result, I purchased an nVidia card just for this purpose, and the problem still persists.
On a clean install of Windows MCE 2005, I've installed the latest Catalyst drivers as well as drivers for all other hardware. When I launch the Media Center application (ehshell.exe), I almost always get a black screen on my LCD monitor.
Very occasionally, when I come out of a reboot, I can get the application to display on the LCD. However, my end goal is to display the application on my CRT TV, which is connected through the S-Video port on my secondary video card (my primary video card is mobo-integrated and has no s-video out). Out of everything I've tried below, I've not been successful once in getting the application to display on the TV:
1. ALT+ENTER to switch between windowed and full-screen.
2. ALT+TAB or launching Task Manager to put the MCE application in the background.
3. Connecting the TV through a Radeon HD 3450 card.
4. Connecting the TV through an nVidia GeForce 7200 GS card.
5. Installing older Catalyst drivers.
6. After getting the app to display on my LCD, "dragging" it to the third monitor (TV).
7. Running the app in Compatibility mode with various settings enabled/disabled.
I'm sure there are lots more, I just can't think of them now. As I said earlier, I'm running a GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard and using the s-video out of a PCIe card (tried both ATI and nVidia).
The interesting thing is that, if I run the MCE app from the command prompt with the /gdi switch (c:\\windows\\ehome\\ehshell.exe /gdi), I can see the MCE app on the TV perfectly. However, the /gdi switch does not let me watch any video. From what I've found on Google, "the GDI graphics mode simulates a low-fidelity graphics environment that does not support DirectX graphics mode."
So, based on that, I'm inclined to think the problem has to do with MCE 2005 not being compatible with newer hardware/drivers. I tried installing an nVidia driver from 2006 which was confirmed to work with MCE 2005, but I couldn't even get a picture on my TV from the s-video out due to the driver not being compatible with the new video card.
I really, really want to have MCE work. I know other solutions exist, but I've invested so much time and effort in this. I wish I could throw in my old AGP card which I know works with MCE, but that's not possible with this motherboard.
I will attach some screenshots soon, but in the meantime, I'd appreciate any and all input you all can provide me. Thank you.