Good Morning, I've had a few days now to try out the Wii disc for NetFlix. It was a little delayed in arriving at the house but better late than never. The disc arrived in a brightly labelled NetFlix envelope with the Disc inside a light weight paper sleeve. Since this disc is critical to actually using NetFlix on a Wii I was a little disappointed that it didn't at least have a stiffer card board packaging.
The instructions were fairly straight forward and within a few minutes NetFlix was setup on the Wii. While it wasn't the end of the world to get going it was hard to imagine why any of it was necessary. Insert the Wii disc, go to a computer, load up the Netflix website, login, find the location to activate a new device, enter the code the Wii is displaying, wait a few minutes and then you're all set. The Wii is a computer. It has internet access. Why on earth would I need to use another computer to register my Wii's computer. It has all the tools needed to accomplish this task itself. Secondly, why is the Wii application not installable into the Wii's onboard storage? This part makes even less sense. I have abundant amounts of memory on my Wii available. If the space is there and you want the option you should be allowed the convenience of not having to find the disc everytime you want to watch a movie. This portion doesn't seem well thought out at all and would be the only criticism I would have technically of the Wii / Netflix process.
Once NetFlix for the Wii was installed and running the User Interface wasn't bad at all. Response times to load the scrolling Movie Icons were reasonable and the Wii controller functioned well to navigate the menus. The Search Option allows you to find any titles that you are specifically looking for by entering the first few letters of the title and bringing up results as you type. The more you type, the more the search is refined. It worked fairly well and I could find what I wanted pretty quickly.
The Video Quality was of course limited to the Wii's technical limit of 480p if your Wii is connected with the "High Definition" cable. If you have the standard Composite cable you'll be limited to 480i. My Wii is connected by the "High Definition" cable to a 37" LCD HDTV. The Picture quality through this setup was surprisingly good looking. The video was sharp and clear and had no apparent difficulties in maintaining that quality throughout the video's length.
The streaming capability was no different than on the other Computers in my house hooked up to the same Wireless DSL connection. That is to say that there were no interruptions for buffering in the video and the video's were almost instantly on. Streaming smoothness is of course dependent on your own Internet connection's capabilities and speed so your results may vary.
Overall the NetFlix Canada experience on the Wii was very good and if you have a Wii and are going to stay with NetFlix after the 30 day free trial expires then absolutely request the Wii disc from the NetFlix website. The disc itself is free for all subscribers and is certainly worth it.
The quality and quantity of the content that is available is another story entirely and in my opinion is not acceptable when compared to the amount of content that is available to Americans but that is another story that you can read here. NetFlix Comes to Canada
That being said there is some good stuff here and I will be staying with the NetFlix service for a while to see how they do with upgrading their content. I'm still looking forward to Microsoft getting off their ars and making the NetFlix interface available to Canadians through the fall XBoxLive update in November. Look for another follow up at that time with a review of the XBL service.
As always thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment. Discussion is always good.