Update: Here are instructions on how to watch Netflix on your Wii without the disc: How To Install The Disc-less Netflix App On The Nintendo Wii.
Last week Netflix announced and shipped out discs that enable its customers to view its streaming movie collection on their TVs through their Nintendo Wii consoles. All you have to do is pop the disc into your Wii and ta-dah! streaming movies! Actually there’s a little more to it before you get to this, but not much.
As long as you have a Netflix subscription with unlimited streaming, starting at $8.99, you can go to Netflix.com/wii to request your disc.
It will arrive in about the same amount of time it takes you to receive a normal disc. Then you’ll get a standard-looking Netflix envelope in the mail with a few different labels on it stating that it’s the Netflix disc for Wii and that you don’t have to return the disc.
Once you pop the disc into your Wii and choose to launch Netflix, as long as your Wii has Internet connectivity it will show you a screen with the info you need to add your Wii as a Netflix-enabled device for streaming. I had to go to Netflix.com/wii again on my computer and enter the 5-digit code they provided to activate my Wii.
Once you enter the code, you’ll see a confirmation and soon you’ll be able to start browsing Netflix’s collection on your TV.
An interesting side benefit to activating your Wii was that they sent me a 10% off the next month of Netflix if I activated within seven days.
Once you’re past the activation screen, you’ll be able to peruse the collection of movies in your queue or in the Netflix catalog. The controls are handled by the Wiimote so you just have to point to arrows to scroll through pages or lists of options. You can also use the D-pad for many movements and the other buttons have their own uses as well.
Once you select a movie title, you’ll see its full description and you’ll be able to either add it to your queue or start playing the film.
After you select a movie, a quick (depending on your Internet) loading screen pops up to buffer the movie. The movie will then start. You can use the Wiimote to fast forward and skip ahead by frames to find the scene you want. If you jump too far ahead, the movie will have to re-buffer, just like the computer.
I’m looking forward to being able to use my Wii to stream movies directly. There will be no more trying to hook up the laptop to the TV or hogging the computer for Netflix’s Instant collection.
Hang on, I’ll be right back. I’m going to go make some popcorn…