The Wii has a pretty poor track record when it comes to streaming media outside of Japan. No video rental services for us, no downloads, just the Nintendo Channel and its somewhat hokey delivery of promo videos. That is, unless you're the fiddly type, in which case you may have tried to get Orb up and running.
Fiddly types, today brings you another avenue of getting streamed video through your Wii through PlayOn.
Already available on Xbox 360 and PS3, PlayOn aims to bring video content from Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, CNN and a host of other sources streaming to your console of choice, and the latest version of the PC software posted to MediaMail's Web site includes a beta version for Wii support. The video quality is lower than on the HD consoles, says the developers, which frankly is to be expected.
Below is the letter sent to someone who asked about Wii support, and it's great to know MediaMail's desire to keep this under wraps is panning out so well. Bear in mind the software is PC only, so Mac users without a copy of Windows (like myself) are out of luck for now. Also, Hulu tends to not work outside of the U.S., so your mileage may vary. Give it a go and tell us how successful you are!
Dear PlayOn Customer,
Thank you for inquiring about using PlayOn on your Wii game console. We are happy to announce to you that the latest version of PlayOn posted to the website earlier today includes a Beta version of Wii functionality in it. We are only announcing this to a small number of customers who have inquired about the Wii. It is not yet being made "publicly known". Please try it out and let us know how it works, passing along any bugs you find by submitting a support request through the PlayOn Settings Manager. You can download the release from here: http://www.themediamall.com/playon/download/
The most important feedback will be how you feel the video quality is. It is of lower quality than is available on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 due to limitations of the Wii itself. We have optimized the video as best we can, and you can choose different quality settings (Low, Medium, High, Max) with PlayOn settings to find the highest quality which plays back smoothly on the Wii. If you leave it on "Auto" it will default to the Medium level. You also have the option of choosing a higher level, but selecting to show the video in a smaller window of the video player (using the on screen full screen toggle button of the video player with your Wiimote). Please let us know which level works best for you after trying it for a few days.
After installing this PlayOn release on your Windows PC, you can then find the PlayOn PC from your Wii by opening the "Internet Channel" web browser, and then entering the following URL (web address) after pressing the "WWW" button: "playon.tv" Also note that you should set your Wii Browser to auto hide the control bar at the bottom of the screen, which will allow the full screen to be used for the UI and Video Playback.
To upgrade your Nintendo Wii with the "Internet Channel" web browser, visit http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/systems/wii/en_na/channelsInternet.jsp#downloadOpera
Thanks so much for contacting MediaMall Support. And – thanks for your interest in using PlayOn.