Posts Tagged ‘Wii’

YouTube relaunches TV-friendly version of the site, Android 'remote control' debuts too

YouTube XL

YouTube XL

It’s not the first time that YouTube has rolled out a version of the video sharing site designed specifically for viewing on a television but the application’s been given a polish and a new name to boot.

Now called ‘YouTube XL‘ the new version of the site features a ‘ten foot’ User Interface designed for viewing on a TV or large screen monitor, which despite running in a web browser, TechCrunch describes as having the look and feel of a ‘native application’. Like the previous version of YouTube optimized for the living room, XL is supported on both the PlayStation 3 and Wii games consoles, though the video quality is compromised on the Wii due to its limited processor and support for an older version of Flash video.

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Netflix prepping PlayStation 3 and Wii support suggests job ad

netflix-jobWhile Netflix streaming has been an XBox 360 exclusive for quite a while now, we’ve known for a long time that the video rental company harbored greater games console ambitions. CEO Reed Hastings said as much all the way back in October 2007, and Netflix has sinced followed up with a number of customer surveys exploring demand for PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii support.

More proof that Netflix is serious about widening support beyond the XBox 360 emerged today after a recent job advertisement on was spotted seeking a lead engineer responsible for the company’s “gaming platforms” – plural.

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10 feet away: YouTube lands on PS3 and Wii

Perhaps taking a leaf out of the BBC iPlayer’s book, Google-owned YouTube have launched a version of the video sharing site designed specifically for viewing on a television.

Currently in Beta, the TV-friendly YouTube initially targets Sony’s PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. That’s because both games consoles feature a built-in web browser compatible with Flash video, making it relatively easy to port over any browser-based video offering. From the US version of the official YouTube blog:

… the TV Website offers a dynamic, lean-back, 10-foot television viewing experience through a streamlined interface that enables you to discover, watch and share YouTube videos on any TV screen with just a few quick clicks of your remote control. With enlarged text and simplified navigation, it makes watching YouTube on your TV as easy and intuitive as possible. Optional auto-play capability enables users to view related videos sequentially, emulating a traditional television experience.

Google also reminds us that, through partnerships with set-top box makers such as Apple, combined with the YouTube API, it’s not the first time that viewers have been able to watch YouTube on the TV, although progress hasn’t been as fast as the company would have liked.

See also: TiVo continues expansion, adds YouTube to “television services” lineup

“Our hope is that this site may help to accelerate an industry evolution towards open television access to Web video. Over time, we plan to add support for additional TV devices that provide Web browsers.”

You can access the new TV-friendly version of YouTube by pointing your PS3 or Wii’s web browser to

BBC iPlayer on Wii gets a UI overhaul

Six months after launch, the BBC has finally got around to redesigning its version of iPlayer for the Nintendo Wii games console to make it more suited to being operated from the couch. Initially taking a ‘keep it simple, get it out fast’ approach, explains the Beeb’s Anthony Rose, the original Wii version of the public broadcaster’s seven day TV catch-up service made do with the 2 foot user interface designed for the PC. “The new Wii version has a simplified user interface that presents just a few options on screen at a time and nice big chunky controls – easy to aim at with a Wiimote.”

Rose also takes the opportunity to defend the BBC’s original decision to build a Wii version of iPlayer rather than one for Sony’s PlayStation 3. “The reason is simple: there are twice as many Wii units in the UK than PS3s”. Additionally, the original PS3 web browser had “some odd quirks which have increased development time”, says Rose. In other words, a PS3 version is still in the works.

… we’re not quite there yet as the PS3 uses a slightly older version of Flash which doesn’t support some of the features used in our media player, and the very promising Flash 9 update now available on PS3 has some compatibility issues. Our Flash developers are working on it – stay tuned for updates.

See also: BBC iPlayer lands on Wii – who said Nintendo doesn’t do media center?

BBC iPlayer lands on Wii – who said Nintendo doesn't do media center?

Later today, a version of the BBC’s iPlayer will be made available on Nintendo’s Wii games console, announced the UK public broadcaster’s Future Media and Technology chief Erik Huggers during a keynote speech at the MipTV-Milia conference in Cannes.

Alongside download (Windows-only) and streaming versions (Windows/Mac) accessible via a computer, the BBC has already built a version of its UK-only TV catch-up service for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch devices. Today, however, marks the first time the iPlayer will be available on a games console, and perhaps surprisingly, not one designed specifically to be a media center. So much for the ‘trojan horse into the living room’ strategies of Sony’s PS3 and Microsoft’s XBox 360.

The ability to port the streaming version of iPlayer to the Wii was made possible because of Nintendo’s original decision to offer a Web browser for the console, and one that supports Flash Video (see last100’s ‘Five resources to create a Wii media center‘). The PS3 also features a full Web browser with the Flash plug-in, so perhaps we can expect that to be next on the list.

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