Using an LCD for a display

This guide will show you how to use an on-screen LCD window for your main display. This would be like what Jersey Jack does in Wizard of Oz or The Hobbit.

Here’s what the final version of the relevant sections of your machine config file will look like. We’ll step through everything one-by-one.

    height: 800
    width: 600

  width: 800
  height: 600
  title: Mission Pinball Framework
  resizable: true
  fullscreen: false
  borderless: false
  exit_on_escape: true
  source_display: window

1. Add your display

The first part of the config file is where you create your display called “window” and set its size:

    height: 800
    width: 600

This is just like we covered in the Working with Displays section.

2. Add your window configuration

Next you need to add a section to your machine config file which has the settings for the actual on-screen popup window. This is configured in the window: section.

Most of the settings here are pretty self-explanatory. The most important thing is the source_display: window section which is where you specify which display (from the displays: section of your config) will provide the actual source content for your on-screen window.

(That said, if you only have one display, or if you have a display called “window”, then the on-screen window will automatically use that display for its source, but we’re just including it here for completeness.)

The other important thing to point out is that you have to specify the size of your display and your window separately. In the example above, we have an 800x600 window showing the content from an 800x600 display. But we could, for example, set the display to 400x300 while keeping the window at 800x600. In that case, the display content would be “scaled up” to fit the window, meaning that each source pixel would be 2x2. This would be how you’d do a low-res old-school look on a modern high-def window.

You can play with the other settings to see how they affect things. The full list of window options is in the window: section of the config file reference. (Just be sure that you add them to the window: section of your config, not the “window” entry in the displays: section.) Check that out to see what else you can do.


At this time, the MPF Media Controller only supports a single LCD window at a time. If you want more than one LCD window, MPF 0.31 will let you run multiple instances of the MPF-MC at the same time—one for each window.

Now you have a working config, so you can read through the rest of the display documentation to see how you can add slides and widgets to your display.

Also, if you want to make the content on your window look like dots, or if you want to show a “virtual” DMD in your window, check out the other guides in this section.

See Using multiple screens for informations about using two or more LCDs.