Windows Vista DreamScene

Windows Vista DreamScene

DreamScene is a desktop background only found in the Ultimate edition of Vista.  Its appeal lies in the ability to display a moving video rather than a static picture.  To me, the video’s movement across the desktop was a distraction rather than a benefit. To others, DreamScene was an initial thrill followed by lasting pleasure.

Windows Vista DreamScene Topics


DreamScene Prerequisites

1) Vista Ultimate

For the foreseeable future, you will need to buy or upgrade to Vista Ultimate before you can install DreamScene.  In my opinion showing DreamScene videos is not the killer reason to purchase Microsoft’s Vista Ultimate.

2) Windows Aero Graphics

Should your graphics card be capable of displaying Windows Aero graphics, then it will be capable of showing the DreamScene videos.

In the spring of 2007 the DreamScene code displays as a beta or ‘Preview’ Version.

Installing Windows Vista DreamScene

As far as I can see, the best way to obtain DreamScene is to launch the Windows Update service.  From there you will see DreamScene as an optional download.  If you don’t see the DreamScene option, they you probably don’t have the Ultimate edition of Vista.

Once you have installed the Preview (or the Final Version when its available), then proceed as thought you were changing the Desktop Wallpaper, but instead, choose a sample video.

  • Right-click – The Vista Desktop
  • Choose – Personalize
  • Seek – Desktop Background
  • Location – Sample Videos (Emphasise Sample Videos)
  • Double-click one of the .mpeg or .wmv files

Download and Install Windows Vista DreamScene

Increase your library of DreamScene videos

You can obtain DreamScene videos from third party suppliers, alternatively, you can create your own looping videos then the Personalize desktop, and display your DreamScene following the above instructions.

The two file formats for DreamScene videos are:

  1. Windows Media Video (.wmv)
  2. Moving Picture Experts Group (.mpeg) mpeg 1 or 2 work fine.  At the moment mpeg 4 is not supported.

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Troubleshooting Vista DreamScene

  • You cannot install DreamScene – Solution: check that you have Vista Ultimate; visit System and Maintenance –> Welcome Center. 
    Note: Hardware labelled ‘Vista Capable’ means that it runs only Vista Basic.  For Ultimate and DreamScene, you need ‘Vista Ready’ devices.
  • Download DreamScene from Microsoft’s site.  I recommend invoking Windows Updates, else try:
    Press Function Key one (F1) then type: ‘help DreamScene’.
  • Try the .wmv video format rather than .mpg.  Also the .mpeg file format works well.
  • DreamScene works in English versions of Vista Ultimate, but MAY not work in other locales.
  • Problem: After downloading an unrelated file to the desktop, that file did not appear on the desktop.
    Solution: Right-click on desktop and select ‘Refresh’.
  • On mobile PCs, if the the DreamScene video pauses, then that behaviour is by design, the idea is to help conserve battery power.
  • Try an uninstall, followed be a re-install.
    At the Vista Desktop, click on the Start button Uninstall DreamScene
    Type: Programs and Features in the Start Search box
    In the tasks pane find: View installed updates
    Click DreamScene.  Finally click, Uninstall.
  • See about uninstall strategies in Windows 8.

Summary of Windows Vista DreamScene

Vista DreamScene allows you to choose a video file as a Desktop Background.  Once you have downloaded the DreamScene files, you configure the background just as you would for a picture, except you chose a .mpeg instead of a .jpeg.  The result is an animated desktop, it’s flashy, cool – but is it a distraction?  I see DreamScene as a toy for computer trainers to impress their students.  For ordinary users DreamScene may be a victim of its own success – too distracting and thus make users less productive rather than more productive.

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Configuring Windows Vista Topics:


     Vista Tools and Extras


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