Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wii Netflix: Crop or Crap?

But the Wii should only be used to play video games... Right, Nintendo?

My Netflix Instant Streaming Disc for the Nintendo Wii has finally arrived. So now, I have 4 gaming devices where I can stream my Netflix movies. I am going to list them in the order of service superiority:

1) Personal Computer
2) X-Box 360
3) PlayStation 3
4) Of course... The Nintendo Wii

Streaming movies on the Wii is serviceable but it's not great. You still have access to the categorical instant stream movies and your instant stream queue just like on the other platforms but here are the main problems with the service on the Wii. Firstly, not only are the resolution stuck at 480p, the compression quality can be pretty bad where you can see bloated pixelation in the darker scenes. Secondly, because the Wii doesn't have a system menu that allows you to control overscan, the streaming images are cropped. The second problem can definitely be fixed once Nintendo becomes smart enough to update the console via a firmware and that adjustment will be beneficial to a lot of the games on the console that don't allow you to adjust the screen size to compensate for overscan. The Wii is still a viable option to experience the instant stream service from Netflix but there are better ways to do it as listed above.

The menu is still pretty slick on the Wii and the images and movies load up pretty fast.

A screenshot of Nine Dead on the Wii...

...and here's how the scene looks like on the PC.
Notice how the far left and right side of the scene are cropped off on the Wii.

1 comment:

Boondoklife said...

I don't know about you but I love netflix on the wii. I downloaded a package to my sd card so I can just run it as a channel, no need to swap discs.

(Does require you to hack your wii)