iPlayer on Wii



In the early hours of the morning my Wii started glowing a bright blue.  That rare event, a message from Nintendo.

The BBC  iPlayer channel is now available for free on the Nintendo Wii.  Now downloaded, it takes pride of place at the front of my channel list.  If you’ve installed a few other channels or games, you may find that it’s installed on ‘screen two’ of the Wii menu.  Clicking buttons A and B together allow you to reposition the channels, making accessing the iPlayer a three-click process (one click to turn Wii on, one click to select Wii channel, one click to select Start).

The channel itself is available for free from the Nintendo Shop online.   It’s stating the obvious of course but your Wii does need to be connected to the Internet. (That feels a little like the statement that Microsoft had to release to say that you needed a PC to be able to install Windows 95).

A very short time later, you then have is the complete BBC iPlayer service, both video and radio available to you in full screen glory.  The interface is great, and a huge improvement over the old channel via Nintendo’s internet channel (which ‘broke’ early September after an upgrade to the Opera browser).

A new home means faster broadband for me, so the stuttering and drop-outs I used to experience have disappeared.  Full screen video looks great, and is equal to my ‘standard definition’ tv picture.  Sound is a little ‘flatter’ compared to normal tv, but nothing that you wouldn’t notice.

Radio stations get a themed background for the particular station, details about the programme and a really nifty interface.  Compare this to the old ‘Real Audio’ service before radio was implemented into

What makes the Wii the ideal media player of course is that it’s virtually silent in use – certainly compared to my new Xbox 360 Arcade (see, I have been busy with the occasional gadget purchase whilst I’ve been away).

Whilst this isn’t the *only* reason to buy a Wii, I’ve been rarely so impressed by a piece of software – it’s been a long time coming, but well worth the wait.

More info on the launch here.


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