Desktop Movie plays videos as video wallpapers on the desktop

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 20, 2015

Remember Dreamscene, the Windows Vista Ultimate extra that allowed you to use videos as the desktop background instead of static images?

It never really took off and Microsoft removed it more or less quickly from future versions of the Windows operating system (even though you could re-enable it with programs).

Desktop Movie is a free program for the Windows operating system that brings Dreamscene back. Unlike Dreamscene, it is not limited to Windows Vista Ultimate or the video formats that Vista's Dreamscene supported.

Apart from that, it ships with a number of extra features that you may find very useful.

The program itself is portable and can be run from any location on the system. It will make modifications to the Windows Registry on first start if the system is Windows 8 or 10 which enables the overlay mixer for all applications again on those systems.

The program opens a file browser on consecutive visits that you use to pick a supported video file from the system.

Once you have made that selection, it begins to play the video automatically by replacing the current desktop wallpaper with it.

A right-click on the program icon in the system tray area displays a list of options that give you control over certain features.

You may use it to change the monitor the video is played on for instance, or change the format from letterbox to stretched or cropped instead.

You may add videos to a playlist which are then played one after the other or shuffled if you select that option. This is quite useful especially when you are selecting short playing video files as you would otherwise have to load another video frequently if you want videos to play continuously on the desktop.

Playlist files can be saved and loaded again instead of selecting an individual video file on start or by enabling the restore playlist option.

There is also an option to open a video control window which enables you to change the volume of the video file and to use a slider to move forward or backward.


Desktop Movie suffers from the same issue that Microsoft's Dreamscene Vista extra suffered from: there are barely any use cases where one would want to use it.

While it looks impressive and certainly has a wow-effect when you play a video on the screen this way, as it is fully borderless, it is simpler to run a media player in full screen instead which offers nearly the same experience especially since most offer a fullscreen mode as well (VLC Media Player does for example).

software image
Author Rating
4.5 based on 3 votes
Software Name
Desktop Movie
Operating System
Landing Page

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Shuren said on January 24, 2016 at 10:27 am

    i wish that you make it work on windows 8.1 start screen when we set to use desktop wallpaper the start screen background looks black

  2. Kasey said on October 21, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    You made my day with this! Dreamscene is one of my favorite features of Windows I’ve ever come across. Really excited to get home and give this a try.

    BTW, Dreamscene is still in the code for Windows 7 (maybe just the Ultimate) and you could edit the registry in order to activate it. It was just disabled.

  3. Velocity.Wave said on October 21, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    I actually think for aesthetics purposes, this would be pretty awesome and am going to give it a try!

    For example, I used Adobe Premiere to edit together many of my favorite Sci-Fi movie scenes, mixed with some of my favorite actual NASA videos. So having that running in the background would just simply be cool.

    I can also see this having very good use for public information terminals.

    The terminals could have some interesting videos running, and might actually entice people to use/interact the terminal more frequently.

  4. Falcosoft said on October 21, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I’m the author of Desktop Movie. Just a few remarks:

    1. Original purpose: It was written for a school I was working at and it was used to show the school’s ads/logo during and between public presentations.

    2. Because of the original purpose it is more optimized (more lightweight using smaller footprint on the host system) for this task than general purpose video players. Despite more advanced D3D based video rendering methods (VMR/EVR) hardware video overlay is still the fastest.

    3. Compared to VLC its biggest advantage is that it restores the wallpaper when it is closed and it actually works under Windows 8+. (On Windows 8+ VLC fullscreen mode only works in D3D mode that hides the desktop icons).

    4. Just a little correction regarding ‘…enables the overlay mixer for all applications again on those systems.’ :
    As you may have noticed Desktop Movie does not require administrator rights so it cannot make system wide modifications. The mentioned patch is only user/application wide.

    Best Regards:
    Zoltán Bacskó

    1. Ivy Stryker said on October 13, 2017 at 11:20 am

      As someone who uses a looping video of the ocean on his tv computers, I thank you. VLC has been a hassle for this.

    2. Fell said on December 8, 2015 at 6:21 am

      I’m getting a black background. tried Stretched, Letterbox and Cropeed, nothing..

  5. Rosstafarian said on October 21, 2015 at 2:23 am

    VLC has had this feature for ages, under Video -> Set as wallpaper

  6. Shadess said on October 20, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I don’t use BSPlayer anymore but I think it had this functionality for a long time too.

  7. Tom Hawack said on October 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Dreamscene’s experience demonstrated once again that the ability to perform a task leads to nowhere if the concept is not valid. It seems odd to me that an application such as Desktop Movie aims to repeat the mistake : where is the point of viewing a video on a full-desktop full-screen when any video player will do it as well. Same as having two stairs, one for going up and the other for going down : feasible but closer to surrealism than to plain good sense!

    Maybe, occasionally, to show off with visitors when starting Windows and having the video in place of the wallpaper… rather kiddish :)

    1. JohnMWhite said on October 21, 2015 at 5:08 am

      I think the whole point was to have the Matrix code moving on the desktop because it looks cool. I doubt there was meant to be much more utility to it than that. There were nice waterfalls and stuff too, but all I recall from the Vista experience was how obnoxiously picky it was about the file format, frame-rate, etc.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 20, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      Tom I agree, it was a rather weak extra for Windows Vista Ultimate, especially since it was one of the few that were exclusive for the operating system. I cannot really think of many situations where you’d want to use it, other than having a video run in the background without a window. That may be useful if you want the video to be fullscreen but want to work with other windows at the same time.

      1. Tom Hawack said on October 20, 2015 at 9:29 pm

        The ability to have a video running free of its dependency to a window is a point worth perhaps to be reminded, moreover that it’s the only possible advantage I start to conceive. I hadn’t really realized the implications. I could imagine some situations where this specificity is pertinent, more with streaming video like following a sport event or the first foot (scheduled to be followed by the second) of man on Mars where you may wish to have the event accessible at all times running in the background, feasible with a video player but on the desk brings a touch of freedom… I don’t know too much, but after all besides surrealism and good sense remains a place for subjective/emotional feelings…
        I’m talkative but the concept (video on desktop) just opened several synapses which had fallen asleep, obviously :)

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.