Quick take: Netflix streaming on Wii vs. Roku
I got my Netflix for Wii disc in the mail today and figured I’d put it to a quick test to see how it compares to the Roku HD Player also connected to my television. I’ve only played with it for a few minutes (I watched a few minutes of an episode of The Office). Here’s my takeaway so far:
- Setup is as easy as the Roku. Netflix activation is browser-based, so you don’t have to mess with an on-screen keyboard. This process was seamless and took well under a minute. Advantage: Push.
- As to be expected, Netflix video quality on the Wii is not as nice as on the Roku. It’s definitely decent, though—closer to upscaled DVD than a standard definition TV signal. If I hadn’t already hooked the Roku up to my TV and seen what it can do I probably wouldn’t be commenting on this (and it’s probably not fair that I’m comparing the decidedly non-HD Wii to a HD Roku model). Advantage: Roku.
- The Netflix interface on both devices is fine—nothing fancy; they just work. Advantage: Push.
- On the Wii, you’re not limited to your instant streaming queue, as you are on the Roku. You can also select from new streamable releases in all of your preferred Netflix categories. I like this. Advantage: Wii.
- The Wii isn’t compatible with my Logitech Harmony remote, so I have to wield the remote and a Wiimote to control playback and audio. Advantage: Roku.
To sum: If you’ve already got a Wii and a Netflix account, and you don’t already have something connected to stream movies, the Wii option is a fine way to go (especially because it’s free). If you’ve got room on your entertainment unit for another (small) device, and don’t mind shelling out 100 bucks to get it, and want better quality (and a bit more convenience, remote-wise) pick up a Roku player.