Stream your Netflix instant queue to a Nintendo Wii

A couple of weeks ago I shared information about streaming Internet video to a television. To follow up on this, last week Netflix, the popular DVD rental-by-mail service, released the ability to stream video instantly to Nintendo Wii game consoles. If you’ve got a Wii and a Netflix account I recommend ordering the free software to add this capability to your console.

Why would you want to do this? Netflix has thousands of titles available for instant streaming (you can also stream to a computer, if you don’t have a game console). In particular, lots of documentaries, PBS titles, and videos of educational interest are streamable. As long as you’ve got an unlimited Netflix plan, you can watch any of these titles at any time–no waiting for the disc to arrive in your mailbox.

SafariScreenSnapz003.jpgIf you’ve already got your Wii connected to the Internet, setup is painless–just pop the Netflix disc into the Wii and enter an activation code online from your computer. You’ll probably then want to spend some time on the Netflix site building your Instant Queue. Any movie that has a blue “Play” button can be streamed. Hover your mouse over “Play” to reveal an “Add to Instant Queue” button, as shown here. If you don’t see the Play button it means you’ll have to add the video to your old fashioned DVD queue.

Note these videos aren’t saved to your Wii (or computer). That’s not the point of streaming video–if you want your own copy to keep, check out Amazon Video On Demand or iTunes.

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Aaron Sumner

Aaron Sumner is the Director of Technology for Research and Development at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. He has worked in web development and instructional technology since 1994.