Turn a Nintendo Wii into a wireless TV player/media client

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    Hello Folks!

    Wii consoles with WiiMC are great as a media center and they turn out to work great as a DVBLink client too.

    DVBLink is an application that you install at your main computer, together with TV cards, Satellite cards, etc… and allows you to watch TV and access all your media directly at any available client on the network. Even through the internet 🙂 They have a trial, so just test it out at http://dvblogic.com/en

    So, get your Wii and install WiiMC

    Check it out at http://www.wiimc.org

    The way I’ve done the connection was adding the address of the DVBLink server at he online media address in WiiMC. In short terms, it’s a matter of adding this:

    http:// Server address>:/mobile/?command=get_playlist_m3u

    to the playlist source in WiiMC.

    BUT!!! There’s one catch. No full HD. No 5.1 audio. The maximum resolution it can work with is 1280×720 (MPEG2).
    Anyway, DVBlink has transcoding options, so… It will always be useable, even on HD channels.

    Using a Wii with WiiMC gives a MUCH better experience than some strange media players in the market.
    And it has WiFi. So, it’s a perfect/low cost SD media client.

    You can check WiiMC specifications herehttp://wiibrew.org/wiki/WiiMC

    There’s ONE problem to be addressed. Everytime you change a channel, WiiMC presents the “Sorry, all tuners are currently occupied by other clients”. You have to shut it down and start again to change a channel. It seems this is a problem in the way WiiMC handles the playlist. Since it buffers the content, in a way you can resume anytime, the current file is not closed, preventing from changing the channel. It just doesn’t happen when you use Mplayer CE, since it has no resume feature (another wii media player. WiiMC is way better). This post was duplicated at WiiMC forum, and with some luck, both Oberon and the WiiMC team will talk and correct this lapse.

    With this problem corrected, I suggest WiiMC to be listed as one of the few official console clients, since you can find 2nd hand Wii’s for less than 40€ nowadays, they’re easy to softmod and unlock with 0 cost. And they can still act as one amusing game console, playing backups directly.

    So, when can we expect WiiMC and DVBlink to work perfectly together?


    For that problem you mentioned, try adding this to your onlinemedia.xml:

    It tricks WiiMC into thinking it’s an http video source and obviously fails right away, in effect stopping the last video you were playing. You don’t need to reboot, load something else, and it does not make you wait for a timeout, so it’s perfect.

    For transcoding, these settings work really well with a MPEGTS muxer:

    Encoder: MPEG2
    Video Bitrate: 200
    Width: 640

    Encoder: AC3
    Audio Bitrate: 128
    Channels: 2

    This cuts down on the bandwidth required, so you only need to buffer when there is an excessive amount of video data for a scene. You’d think that there would be a big difference between a video bitrate of 200 and 2000, but this is not really the case. The bright scenes still look good and the dark scenes still don’t have enough colors to look decent. Any video you feed your Wii that has a width over 640 gets downscaled so it’s good practice to have your computer do it for it.

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