Hi all,

I just set up Win8 on a HTPC (yet to install Media Centre) and thought I'd share an unexpected challenge that I found. This is probably documented here somewhere anyway, but just in case it's not this may help others out.

I installed Win8 in my study with the HTPC hooked up to a 1080p computer monitor via DVI. Once I got it all working fine I moved it into the lounge room and hooked it up to the TV via HDMI. I am using a bluetooth keyboard with a built in trackpad, so I don't need a mouse in the lounge room. All of a sudden 3 things happened:
1 I was locked into Metro mode and could not access my desktop.
2. The keyboard stopped working, even though the trackpad on the same device was still working. Even a wired keyboard wouldn't work (but a mouse would).
3. Apps like IE stopped working, and gave an error something like "Your resolution is too low to run this application".

WTF?! My TV is old, with a native res of 1366x768. It's not especially high res, but it's not terribly low res either. And being locked into Metro mode meant I couldn't figure out how to check/change my screen res.

Swapping monitors back and forth, I found it worked fine on the PC screen but not on the TV screen.
After much head scratching, I eventually hooked them both up at once. Then I could view the desktop on the PC screen (it still had Metro on the TV). With both panels attached I could bring up the screen res dialog and see what the resolution of each panel was. Win8 had defaulted my TV res down to 1280x720 (720p) - I guess it doesn't have a resolution setting for 1366x768. And at anything less than 768 vertical, it appears that Win8 thinks you're a portable device and so it locks you into Metro, disables the keyboard, and won't run a whole bunch of apps (including IE)! Ouch!

I bumped my res up to something higher, but the text was too hard to read from a distance so I actually lowered it to 1024x768 - but that at least gave me enough vertical res to run Win8 desktop. Take away the PC monitor and it's all still fine. Phew!

So, the moral of this story is: if you're planning on running Win8 as a media centre, make sure you have a 1080p panel! I don't want to run my TV in 1024x768 res so I guess I'm going to have to go out and buy a new TV.