I have a 1080p monitor.
Let me start with the behavior of Media Player Classic, which does exactly what I want.
If I play a small-sized video, let's say 480p, MPC opens a 480p window.
If I play a 1080p video, MPC opens a window that is almost but not quite 1080p. It automatically reduces/scales back the window a bit to take into account my Windows taskbar, the MPC header & button controls at bottom, etc. Thus, I can see the MPC play/pause and other video controls at the bottom of the screen.
Now to VLC.
If I play a small-sized video, e.g. 480p, VLC opens a 480p window.
If I play a 1080p video, VLC opens where the video part itself is 1080p, but because of the Windows taskbar & the VLC header & footer, I can't see the Play/Pause button at bottom of the screen. I have to manually resize the video to get it to actually fit in the screen where I can see these controls. It gets tedious to have to do this every time I play a 1080p video. I wish VLC would slightly scale/reduce the video like MPC does so I don't have to manually adjust it every time.
The only control I can find under Tools/Preferences to try to fix this is on the Interface screen: there is a box called "Resize interface to video size". It's currently checked. If I uncheck this, it does pretty much just what I want with the 1080p video. But the 480p video now opens to the same mostly full-size screen, which is now much bigger than the native resolution of the video, and is thus somewhat blurry because it's trying to play the video much bigger than its native size.
I'm looking for a way to make VLC behave like MPC and open smaller videos at their native size, but scale back videos bigger than my monitor (when the VLC borders & Windows taskbar is taken into account).
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I do not think you can have it both ways.
An alternative to your 'solution' is to leave that setting checked and select 'full screen interface' from the view menu. That setting is retained (well it is for me) when you close down but videos with a lower vertical resolution than 1080 will fill the vertical.
Methinks the issue is more with Windows itself and how it handles larger windows with the title bar/border and the minimise/maximise controls being the culprit. This 'fix' actually removes the title bar so the screen is automatically filled.
I tried the 'full screen interface', but this makes 480p videos open in a full screen (just like unchecking the box for 'Resize interface to video size'), which like I said before, just enlarges them so they can be blurry / distorted. So this isn't a good solution as far as I am concerned.
You said the issue is more with Windows itself, but somehow MPC is able to handle this in a good way (as far as I am concerned). So it's not just an unsolvable limitation in Windows. VLC is doing something differently than MPC, and I prefer the latter behavior.
I like some features of VLC better and other features of MPC better. I wish I could magically merge the best of both of these players into one.
Im not clear here. I use/prefer MPC (XP Ha! Ha!) When I click/open vids, MPC opens it at whatever rez it is. I double click on the screen/window & it goes to full screen with MPC's tool bar hidden, move curser to bottom of screen & toolbar appears. I tried VLC first but did not/do not like it.
Am I missing some thing here? (I am 72 yrs old)
-c-Cranky Old Man
Well I am not 72 but slowly getting there
Taking a closer look at the behaviour of VLC it does appear to ignore the taskbar and fills the screen with part of its active window for 1080 pixel vids on an 1080 monitor behind the taskbar.
Another partial fix is to automatically hide the taskbar. I said 'partial' since VLC is still behaving oddly. The horizontal window appears larger that 1920 pixels and that, itself, may influence the vertical.
The only 'total' fix I can find is to select the 'full screen interface' as I discussed above plus un-checking 'Always fill window' from the video menu while the vid is playing. As long as you do not close the app down and run subsequent vids from the file menu then vids small than 1080 will appear centered. Once you close down the app and restart it you will have to un-check the 'always fill window' again.