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Hands-on: Netflix on the Wii (photos)

CNET takes a hands-on look with Netflix movie streaming on the Nintendo Wii.

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Matthew Moskovciak
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Netflix on the Wii

Netflix instant streaming is becoming available on nearly every home video device, and the Nintendo Wii is the last of the three major game consoles to get the functionality. Like the PS3, the Wii requires a disc to be to use Netflix streaming; Netflix sent out the first batch of discs on Friday, and we had a chance over the weekend to try out the new service.
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Instructions while loading

While the main interface loads, it gives you some quick pointers on using the Wii remote to navigate Netflix.
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Main interface

The Netflix on Wii interface is somewhat different than we've seen on other devices. It shares the same horizontal layout, with cover shots of your movies, but there's also additional information on the screen, such as runtime, MPAA rating and star rating--which is Netflix's best guess as to how much you'll like the movie. You'll also notice there's a slider, which you can "grab" with the Wii pointer to browse your instant queue.
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Title info

Click on a title and you'll get more info, plus the ability to resume where you left off.
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TV series

If you're watching a TV series, you'll be able choose which episode you'd like to watch. There's also an indicator to show how far along you are in an individual episode.
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Recently watched titles

Along the top, you'll see a header that says "Instant Queue," which is the default sort mode. By pressing up/down on the directional pad, you can switch to other views, including "Recently Watched" titles.
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New arrivals

Another sort option is "Recently Watched" titles.
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Movies you'll love

Additional sort modes like "Movies You'll Love" are especially nice if you haven't added many titles to your instant queue, as it expands your options without requiring your to break out a laptop and add more movies.
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Trigger button brings up all menu options

Pressing the "B" trigger button brings up a separate menu with all the sorting options. It's not quite as flexible as the Xbox 360's interface--which actually lets you search and add titles--but it's a significant step up from the Roku HD player's interface, which is beginning to feel outdated.
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Request a disc

To get Netflix on the Wii, you'll need to request a disc first. Netflix sends the disc in the same red sleeve as your other movies.
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Keep the disc

Unlike other discs you rent from Netflix, you never have to return the Netflix Wii streaming disc. You need to keep it and put it in the player every time you use Netflix streaming.

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