The Nintendo Wii is a great little game console, sure to occupy you for countless hours either playing Wii Sports or Twilight Princess. Going away from the “games only” approach of previous Nintendo consoles, the Wii is also a quite capable photo viewer. But what is most interesting, at least for this website, is Wii’s video playback capabilities. With a little bit of help, you too can play back your video files on the Wii.
Software you’ll need (all freeware):
Wii Video 9
Hardware you’ll need:
Nintendo Wii console
SD memory card (2GB or less, the larger and faster the better)
Wii Video Support:
Nintendo Wii supports playback of AVI and MOV files using the MJPEG codec, although on my version of the Nintendo Wii manual (Australian), only MOV files is said to be supported (meanwhile, AVI is listed as the only supported format on the Nintendo Europe website – let’s just assume both formats will work). The audio portion of the movie seems to only support PCM uncompressed audio, which is a shame. MJPEG is not the most efficient video codec around, and at 2048kbps (about 15 MB per minute of video), you will only get marginally acceptable quality for DVD resolution video. In other words, the Nintendo Wii is not best suited for video playback, but with a 2GB SD card, you might be able to fit about an hour of DVD resolution video (with noticeable compression artifacts) onto the memory card.
Install Wii Video 9. Click on the “Settings” button, go to the “Devices” section and select the “Wii” sub-section. If your SD media card is connected, you can specify it’s location using the “Device Folder” option. Otherwise, note the MJPEG videos output directory – this is where all your converted videos will be placed.
Click on the “Convert” button at the top to go to the “Current Conversion” screen.
Click on the “Convert Video” button and load in the video you want to convert to the Wii format. Most of the common file formats are supported, including AVI, MPEG, WMV, VOB, MOV and TivoToGo. You can also use Avisynth to basically load up any other file format, although this is not covered by this guide (hint: for basic Avisynth script creation, have a look at the “AviSynth Script Creator” section of our MeGUI conversion guide).
Select “Wii” for the “Device” setting and then select an encoding profile. The Wii only natively support the MJPEG codec, but through the Wii’s Opera browser channel, you can also play back Flash video files (FLV) – you will need to install additional software for this, a separate guide on how to do this will be available soon. As mentioned previously 2048kbps will give you marginally acceptable video, with the file size (video portion only) being around 15 MB per minute. The big problem is the audio, being uncompressed, is around 10 MB per minute.
Optional: you can click on the “Encoding Profiles” tab to change and create your own encoding profiles. The most obvious thing you might change is the Bitrate, increasing it will improve quality, but beware of the file size – to calculate the file size in MB terms, simply take the kbps value and then divide by 8192 (eg. 2048kbps / 8192 = 0.25 MB/s).
After the above steps, click “Start” to start conversion.
You can now press the “Start” button and encoding will start immediately. When conversion has finished, check the output folder for your converted video file. Copy the file to your SD memory card, insert the card into the Wii and use the “Photo Channel” to view the video.