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How to Stream Videos to your Wii

Posted July 30th, 2011 by

A couple of years ago, we bought a Wii as to encourage us to engage in ‘exercise’ and ‘physical activity’. We used it for games for approximately one and a half years, after which it sat there waiting for parties and special events. But then I had an idea; it’s connected to the TV, so why not use it to play videos on the big screen?

Required equipment:

  • Windows XP or Later computer or server
  • Wii
  • SD Card

The first thing you’ll need to do is set up a place to keep your movies and videos ready for streaming. I’m using an old laptop with a 1 TB external drive filled with videos connected to my network. You could go ahead and just use your computer, but you’ll want to have a folder hierarchy that’ll make it easy to navigate to your videos.

The secret to getting these videos to stream on your Wii is to ‘share’ the folder.

On Windows XP:

  • Open Windows Explorer (Windows Key + E)
  • Go to Tools > Folder Options… and open the View tab
  • In this dialog, you should see a whole bunch of checkboxes. You’ll want to uncheck (untick) the one saying ‘Use simple file sharing (Recommended)’
  • Right click the folder you want to use to stream videos and click Properties, then go to the Sharing tab
  • In there, you’ll find two radio buttons (Round checkboxes), one of which will say ‘Do not share this folder’ and the other will say ‘Share this folder’. Click on the ‘Share this folder’ one, choose an appropriate ‘Share name’, and click OK
  • On Windows Vista/7:

  • Open Windows Explorer (Windows Key + E)
  • Press Alt and go to Tools > Folder Options… and open the View tab
  • In this dialog, you should see a whole bunch of checkboxes. You’ll want to uncheck (untick) the one saying ‘Use Sharing Wizard (Recommended)’
  • Right click the folder you want to use to stream videos and click Properties, then go to the Sharing tab
  • Click Advanced Sharing…
  • Tick the checkbox that says Share this folder, choose an appropriate ‘Share name’ and click OK

Now you’ll want to give your computer a static internal IP address. (For more info on IP addresses, look here)

To do this, you’ll have to find your router’s IP address by opening a command prompt (Windows Key + R and type in cmd) then type ‘ipconfig /all’ without quotes and press enter. Now scroll until you can see your adapter and take note of the Subnet Mask and Default Gateway.

Windows XP:

  • Open the Start Menu
  • Click on Control Panel and have it open in Category View
  • Go to Network and Internet Connections
  • Go to Network Connections
  • Windows Vista/7:

  • Open Windows Explorer (Windows Key + E)
  • Type in the location box: Control PanelNetwork and InternetNetwork and Sharing Center
  • To the right of your Internet connection, you’ll see Access Type, HomeGroup and Connections. Click on the link next to Connections
  • Click Properties

Now select the checkbox item that says ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)’ – Not Version 6! Now click Properties and choose ‘Use the following IP address’. Now, remember the Subnet Mask and Default Gateway we took note of earlier? Put those values in their respective columns in the dialog. Then, look at the Default Gateway value. You’ll use this as the basis of your IP address. Put in the first three parts of the Gateway value into the IP address box, eg. 192.168.1 and for the last box, type in a number that’s lower than 255, but high enough that it won’t be taken by another network user, EG 200. If you used the values used here, you’ll have an IP address of 192.168.1.200. The last thing you need to fill in is the Preferred DNS server, and if you don’t know what to put in here, then you’ll probably have to put in the same number as the Default Gateway.

Now that we’ve got that sorted, let’s figure out how to get the Wii to play the videos.

To play videos on the Wii, we’ll have to use a program from the Homebrew channel, which can be installed with the HackMii installer with instructions here. Then once you’ve got installed, you’ll want to download WiiMC from here and choosing the WiiMC New Install. Now, unzip the file onto your SD card and check that you have an ‘apps’ folder on the root of your SD card.

Now put the SD card into your Wii and open the Homebrew Channel. After a couple of seconds, you’ll see WiiMC pop up on your screen. Select it, and press Load. The next step is to let the Wii stream videos from your shared folder.

Using your Wii Remote:

  • Click on the icon that looks like a bunch of gears (Settings) and go into ‘Network’.
  • Click Add SMB Share
  • Type in a Display Name (Anything you want can be used)
  • Type in the IP Address that you chose earlier (eg. 192.168.1.200)
  • Type in the Share Name of the folder you chose
  • Type in your username and password that you use to log on to the computer

Now, if you go into the Videos section, you’ll find your server listed there, and hopefully will be able to stream videos from your shared media folder.

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