Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wii, Netflix, and You

Bought a Wii to work out? (*snicker*)

Find that your Wii Fit board's getting a little dusty from disuse?

Stop kidding yourself and use the damned thing as Nintendo intended, to enjoy sitting on your ass.

I started my 14-day trial period using Media Mall's PlayOn software the other day, using it to stream Netflix, Hulu, and other online content through my Box Office. Unfortunately, the Box Office isn't one of the supported devices, so there is a lot of buggy behavior, particularly with Hulu and Netflix. Often, the files won't play, displaying an "invalid file" message instead. I have a Wii, though, and PlayOn just released a beta version of their software to use with the console, so I figured why not?

It was super easy.

1. Connect your Wii to your wireless network.

2. Download the free Wii Internet Channel

3. Enter '' into the browser (and save it as a favorite).

Assuming that you've installed PlayOn on your host computer and have it configured correctly, you can watch anything you want. Beyond Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube, there are plenty of plug-ins for other channels like Adult Swim, PBS, NBC, and more. I spent the better part of the day watching Modern Family and the '91 version of Dark Shadows.

The problem with this solution is that the Wii only supports resolutions up to 480p, and if you have a HDTV, you sure can tell. Supposedly, Netflix's Wii instant streaming disc (being released this Spring) will help this a bit, but 480p is 480p. Personally, sitting roughly six feet from my television, it doesn't bother me too much.

So yeah, it keeps getting better and better. With a mini-fridge, I may never have to leave my room again.

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