4/26/2010 12:11 PM
Good news or those of you with a Netflix account and Wii console, you can now instantly stream Netflix movie or TV episode through your Wii. While this service has been available to Sony PS3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 for some time, Netflix just recently began shipping the disk needed to enable this function on the Wii console.
So what do you need to make this all happen? Well, for starters you need to subscribe to Netflix (http://www.netflix.com) and you need to have broadband internet service and a wireless network. The Wii can be adapted to work with a wired network, but comes preconfigured to connect to wireless networks with no additional hardware. Netflix recommends broadband download speeds of 3 Mbps (Megabits per second) to achieve DVD quality video. Slower speeds may work but the video quality may suffer and/or you may experience delays in the video streaming while the system buffers the video. Unfortunately, movies can only be streamed from the internet; Netflix will not allow you to store video content to any of the gaming consoles they support. This isn’t actually Netflix’s fault, it’s a constant battle that the Motion Picture Association of America, Digital Content Protection, and various other legal entities wage against those of us who would like to store video content electronically.
The Wii Console does not support full high definition (HD) resolutions so DVD quality is the highest you will be able to stream. The PS3 and the Xbox 360 can both support HD with HDMI capabilities up to resolutions of 1080p. Netflix’s current maximum streaming resolution is 720p (requires 5 Mbps download speed) and they expect that 1080p full HD streaming will be available by the end of the year though they aren’t commenting on what bandwidth speeds will be needed. Personally, I‘m guessing this will need at least 8 Mbps, and possibly higher depending on the audio side – newer surround sound formats will need more bandwidth.
If you need help connecting your system, please call Ted at Vail Electronics (970) 827-9120.