Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

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April 20th, 2008

Wii thoughts

Cave on the Cornish coast near TintagelI’ve recently tried out the BBC iPlayer on our Wii. Overall it’s pretty promising, but not quite there yet. The main good point is the most obvious: being able to watch TV on a TV screen from a comfortable chair at a good distance.

The are, however, several downsides. The quality of the codec (Flash 7 at 820Kbit/s rather an Flash 8 at 500Kbit/s) is definitely not as good as under Linux. The lack of full screen support is also annoying, but the top complaint is reserved for the screen saver on the Wii kicking in every 10 mins or so.

A better solution will hopefully come in the form of a dedicated Wii channel, rather than simply supporting play back through the Opera web browser (known as the Internet Channel). The BBC developed free codec Dirac looks like a great candidate for such a deployment (especially following on from the announcement of a fast implementation hitting a 1.0 version). Hopefully the Wii’s processor and graphics are going to be enough to host a good implementation of this (or some other codec) in the future.

In other Wii related news I’ve recently received Zak & Wiki. So far I’ve only made it through the first stage, but things are starting to get interesting. The first few levels were really about introducing the controls (which are simple), but the puzzles later on get more interesting and varied. Having multiple ways of completing a level is also a refreshing feature in a puzzle game.


The picture was taken at Tintagel as the tide came in, thankfully we didn’t stay around long enough to be trapped!

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Copyright 2009 Colin Stewart

Email: colin@owlfish.com