Thursday, April 15, 2010

Netflix and Wii: A Match Made in Heaven...

The only reason online streaming video hasn't completely taken over the world is that, when you want to watch a movie or TV show off the internet, most of us have the unfortunate choice of either watching it on our small computer screens or else forgoing online video altogether and reverting back to physical DVDs.

Well, in case you missed it, Netflix has solved that problem. Following the path already taken by Playstation 3 and XBox 360, Netflix subscribers who own a Nintendo Wii can now stream thousands of Netflix movies and TV shows from the internet directly onto their large-screen family-room television. This doesn't replace getting physical DVDs in the mail; it is in addition to it, and at no extra cost.

If you're looking for a review, I'll give it to you. I set this up yesterday in my apartment, it took all of three minutes, and now it's the greatest thing in the world! Really, I haven't been so excited about a home technology gadget in years. Now, while I still churn slowly through my Netflix queue of getting 40 DVDs in the mail, I can instantly watch thousands of movies and TV shows without missing a beat. Last night, the Nerfherder Gal and I had a "Weeds: Season 1" marathon, because we've never seen the show and do not subscribe to Showtime, and it was all at no extra cost, on the big-screen instead of a computer monitor, and completely streamed by Netflix through my Wii.

This is one of those rare moments where you get a clarified glimpse of the future. Is Nintendo still even primarily a gaming console? Hulu first illustrated the real potential of online streaming video combined with high-production content. This Netflix-Wii partnership steps it up to another level. Honestly, if Netflix could make a deal with ESPN and the Food Network to stream its content as well, and if Hulu could be similarly delivered to my television, I'd feel comfortable cancelling my monthly cable subscription entirely.

It's coming.


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