News Article

Wii PlayOn Beta Begins

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Service allows you to watch Hulu, Netflix and Youtube content on your console.

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.

Regards,

MediaMall Support

[via engadget.com]

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User Comments (30)

Machu

#1

Machu said:

Damn, I knew I should have applied for the news position. ;)
Maybe next time, be warned. :P

EDIT: Having said that... finding news is easy, delivering it, is not.

ASDFGHJKL

#3

ASDFGHJKL said:

Step in the right direction for the wii, now turn around and make the same step for DSi. :p

warioswoods

#4

warioswoods said:

Oh, so it does it through the existing Opera browser... hm. They could get much better quality and control by releasing a WiiWare title to handle the streaming direclty, methinks. I use MPlayer (homebrew port) on my Wii to watch movies and shows streamed from my (Mac!) laptop, and that works very smoothly, but doesn't run Hulu, so I'll be interested in trying this out.

paulcmnt

#7

paulcmnt said:

I don't get it. Do I have to first install it on my PC before I can use it on Wii? That doesn't make any sense.

Atlantis1982

#8

Atlantis1982 said:

@ Warioswoods

That is assuming Nintendo would let them do that, but I really don't see that happening. Probably why they have to do it this way.

warioswoods

#9

warioswoods said:

Perhaps homebrewers will create their own dedicated front-end app for the Wii, if we're lucky.

M00se

#10

M00se said:

whats the point, i can watch youtube on my wii any way! ill try this out though!

Atlantis1982

#12

Atlantis1982 said:

Yeah, they failed to mention that part its a trial version. :grumbles:

Besides, some stuff on Youtube, like the free TV shows, Movies, and others can not be viewed on the Internet Channel.

MarkyVigoroth

#13

MarkyVigoroth said:

Did not a lot of people want this? (Oh. They meant on the DSi.)
Either way, I would like this for my Wii (even though I plan on getting a PS3 later on...).

jbrodack

#14

jbrodack said:

This gives hulu and netflix which is nice but I'd only do the trial at most since I wouldn't pay $40 for this. I'm sure netflix will have their own application for wii at some point.

warioswoods

#16

warioswoods said:

@briunj04

Pro tip: the person whose comments are in a dark gray box is generally the author of the article. Therefore, he must be the Panda.

warioswoods

#17

warioswoods said:

Well, I can report that it certainly works -- I've browsed around Hulu and tried a few different things -- its framerate is just low enough to be a little annoying on live action shows, but not bad at all for animation. I'm sure they'll improve it further, as this is essentially a beta for the Wii support. I'm thinking about picking this up when the trial runs out, but it will take some thought.

Lady_Gryphon

#18

Lady_Gryphon said:

How does it work with the PC? Do you need wireless internet and have both your PC and Wii online at the same time? I don't have a router (either wired or wireless) so if I want to connect my Wii online I have to disconnect my PC first. If I have to use the PC to stream I'm not sure I can try this out yet.

warioswoods

#19

warioswoods said:

You do need both on the same router at the same time; from what I can tell, the server application you have to keep running on the PC basically waits for a communication on a certain port over the local network, then the flash app that you bring up in the Wii's internet browser (at playon.tv) initiates a quick search for servers on the local network, after which it will start streaming content from the server. Sort of strange setup, but certainly requires both your PC (or Mac--I'm running it on my Mac under virtualization) and Wii on the local network at the same time.

Kelvin

#20

Kelvin said:

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.
Well, that and the Wii-specific version of the BBC iPlayer...

PKShadowGamer

#21

PKShadowGamer said:

I have to PAY for PlayOn?

Forget that. Now I know it isn't unfair to charge people to see movies and stuff, but if I have to pay to watch YouTube, and the videos I wanna see are on my computer anyway, I'd just watch it on my computer!

warioswoods

#22

warioswoods said:

@PKShadowGamer

I certainly wouldn't pay for it to watch YouTube or videos on my computer either, because I already stream those wirelessly to the Wii from my laptop using homebrew, in higher quality than Playon allows. I might, however, consider purchasing this for playing Hulu on the Wii.

XCWarrior

#25

XCWarrior said:

Cool, a reason to use the internet channel. Last time I used it was last summer when my PC was in need of repair.

SmaMan

#26

SmaMan said:

@XCWarrior
Yeah I hear ya. After I got my computer back from repairs ( 3 months later) and I began to fill up the tiny internal flash memory I think I deleted it and haven't put it back on my Wii yet even now that we have a "launch" from SD "solution." It's just easier to use my computer, or heck, even my iPod, to watch YouTube and such.

Now I do remember using Winamp Remote for this kind of thing at one point. (Which is powered by orb, go figure)

plankton88

#29

plankton88 said:

Are people really that lazy that they will spend money for the full version, just so they can sit on the couch and watch Hulu or Youtube?

warioswoods

#30

warioswoods said:

@29

Um, what? I don't see how laziness fits into it. The living room is also a much better place for social viewing -- do you like to crowd around your computer or laptop with your friends to watch a TV show?

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