I'm always a little behind the times when it comes to gadgets and stuff, and it's not for a lack of interest. Frankly, it's just so hard to keep up with it all. Everything becomes obsoleste in the wink of an eye. Video games, for example, change faster than anyone can keep up. Personally, I believe that most video games are sort of what's wrong with our families and society nowdays. It is not just kids, either. I see grown ups sitting in front of the TV tapping away at stupid games instead of actually being active and going outside.
That is, until I saw the Nintendo Wii that my brother bought for his kids two Chrismases ago (sorry, guys, the Wii that Santa bought). I realized that after playing a little, "Wow, this thing actually makes you stand up and move around." And with certain games, well, you're going to sweat, especially with boxing and baseball. So, three months ago, I bought a Wii on eBay pretty cheap. I like it, I use it some. That is, until I joined Netflix last week.
I ordered the Netflix CDrom for Wii console and installed it, excited about being able to stream live movies from my Wii. Mind you, I only have the $ 8.99 / month plan that affords you one DVD at a time. When I started to scroll through the movies, I noticed a few things. First of all, if you have an HD (high definition) TV, like my 51-inch plasma, you're not going to be crazy about the picture or sound quality on this thing. I literally had to crank the volume up to 46 to get a decent audio on my movie. And, the picture was not great, a little grainy and pixillated. It certainly is no Blue Ray! Problem is, I do not think Wii has an HD port to improve this, although maybe I'm wrong? Please suggest a solution if you know one!
Also, the selection of movies was a little disappointing. I figured it was because I chose the cheapie plan instead of a pricier one, but when I called and spoke to a rep, I was proved wrong. The movies I apparently have access to are the same ones everyone does, no matter the plan. If that's the case, then you'll definitely find better movies at Blockbuster. And the new releases, basically the most wanted and demanded movies, are not usually available for instant streaming on your computer or on the Wii console, so you'll still have to order those and wait for the 1-2 days shipping to receive them . It sort of defeats the purpose.
Another annoying issue I found with this system is that the movies frequently "freeze up" or completely crash. This happened a few times this weekend, and it was frustrating, because the one category that really kicks butt here is the Children / Family movies. My little two-year old daughter was captivated by Barney the Dinosaur when suddenly, CRASH. Retrieving data. I had to literally turn off the system and reboot to get it working again, and by that time she lost interest. Now, I do not allow TV to babysit my kid, but sometimes it helps to have your child interested in something educational on TV while you straighten out around the house, and that sort of messed up our plans.
So, I like the idea of Netflix on my Wii console, but there's a need to have some improvements. My internet connection is plenty fast, and my PC and laptop never have a problem with loading or crashing. The selection of movies overall was a little disappointing, and the new releases were virtually nonexistent. The kids movies had a pretty nice selection overall, and my daughter was excited to see Elmo, Barney, and Little Orphan Annie. However, the glitches and delays were annoying. And, finally, something needs to be done to improve overall audio and picture quality.
Overall, I recommend it, but do not be surprised by these issues, that's all. This concept is still emerging and it will provide more viewing freedom for consumers and in the end, hopefully, it will finally put Blockbuster out of existence! Until next time, have fun watching!