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Is there a program that will allow me to use a PC, a projector and perhaps a dedicated sound output device to show films, while making sure that the audience only sees (and perhaps only hears) what I choose to show.

The software would ensure that my desktop never appears on the projector screen either before or after the film or in between films, and that the user interface of the software itself also never appears. I imagine it might let me choose a colour or image to project when when no film is playing.

I'm particularly interested in anything free or cheap that could be used for informal volunteer run events.

I'd be interested in software for any OS that is either widely used by consumers (e.g. Windows) or freely available (e.g. FreeBSD). Multi-platform is even better.

I have searched for this in the past, and only found systems for cinemas that cost thousands of pounds and I think are supplied with software and hardware together, and software designed specifically for church worship that seems go most of the way to meeting these requirements.

A friend has added this comment on facebook, which suggests to me that the software I'm looking for doesn't exist:

When we've done film nights at [venue deleted] the guy has a way of freezing the screen when the background slide is on it, then we load up the next film, press play and he unfreezes. I don't know how he does it! But it's not a special bit of software it's a button on his remote I think, so I guess it's the projector. It does mean you get a few seconds of the VLC player icons disappearing at the start but you can get round this by adding 5 seconds of the background slide to the start and end of all clips. Though I can never be bothered.

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    This sounds more like a matter of window manager or desktop environment configuration, and perhaps of video player integration in the DE, rather than additional software that you'd tack on top of that. I assume the PC has two displays, its own monitor and the projector, right? Ditto for the sound with e.g. Alsa or Pulseaudio configuration on a Linux system. – Gilles Mar 12 '14 at 10:36
  • You could probably do this in a well set up PowerPoint slideshow – Huey Jun 14 '15 at 3:06

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