Jake Charman

Resident Geek of Nitrous Junkie Racing

Using The Wii As A Media Centre…

Wed 19 Nov 2014

The Wii is now a fairly outdated system for gaming. However, it can still be used as a fairly nice media centre. The channels in the Wii channel store while very limited as they always where do still include YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. In fact I am currently watching Come Fly With me on Netflix. YouTube works very well when coupled with a device like an iPhone or iPad to mirror videos with much like a Google Chromecast would. Trying to navigate videos using a Wiimote is a chore. BBC iPlayer also works well as long as you are willing to navigate in the same sort of way as YouTube which is just as much of a chore. Netflix works well however I would suggest starting the film or show on your mobile device beforehand and “resuming” playing on the Wii as navigation is much nicer. I haven’t tested Amazon Instant Bideo as I don’t have an account but I should imagine it suffers the same downfalls but is useable. 

The main downfall of the whole system seems to be navigation using the Wiimote. Mainly typing and the ‘B’ button on the back being accidentally pressed. I’m sure if you hunt on eBay, someone in China has made a more standard style remote for the Wii. Or you could indeed take the Wiimote apart and put it into a custom case. 
Another thing to note is the lack of HD. This is not a downfall of software but one of the Wii itself which lacks HD output completely. Speaking of hardware, I haven’t noticed any lag at all in either playback or connection speed. 
Obviously something like the £9.99 Now TV box or the £30 Google Chromecast would allow the same services and a few more to be displayed in full HD, but I don’t think that the Wii performs too badly for an old vide games system that you’ve more than likely got kicking around the house anyway.