Internet, iPlayer, YouTube now free on Nintendo Wii Internet Channel

Wii Logo
Creative Commons License photo: Ian Muttoo

If you’ve got a Nintendo Wii console, you can now download the “Internet Channel” for free. The Internet Channel allows you to browse the internet from your console. But you’ll more likely be using it to access BBC iPlayer or YouTube on your television.

It’s free?

Internet Channel used to cost 500 Nintendo points – roughly £3.50. It’s just been made free. According to the Nintendo Press Release:

The Wii Internet Channel previously required 500 Wii Points. Starting later in October, Nintendo will be offering a NES title from Virtual Console worth 500 Wii Points to those Wii owners who have already spent 500 Wii Points on the Wii Internet Channel.

How do I get it?

Go to the Software download channel in the Wii menu.

Whats it good for?

Hohenschwangau Castle - Bavaria
Creative Commons License photo: joiseyshowaa

It’s great for checking a few things on the internet for a short period of time – not so great for browsing for an extended amount of time. One benefit of the Wii being plugged into a TV screen means you can get your video on demand services such as iPlayer and YouTube onto your large TV screen rather than a small computer screen.

How do I access iPlayer or Youtube?

Go to the iPlayer and YouTube websites. They will detect you’re accessing the site from a Wii and automatically display an optimised version. Or use these direct links:

BBC iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/bigscreen/

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/xl

What’s the video quality like?

Less than great, unfortunately. Wii’s Internet Channel doesn’t support the latest Flash video codecs so video is delivered using older codecs.  This is one place the Internet Channel falls short.