Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wii Fun Wrap Up - Part 5 - On Hold For Now

So after almost a month of off and on work, including a couple of very late nights, I have decided to shelve this project since I am not able to get the ease of use or the quality I am looking for.

One area I did not pursue was to hack into the Wii using one of the well publicized hacks and setup a Homebrew Channel. This would allow me to run code on the Wii with the same capabilities as official software. There were several options that looked very promising.

For now, when I want to run slideshows or videos on my TV via the Wii, I will use the Wii's Photo Channel and to move the images and videos from my PC to the Wii.

Wii Fun Wrap Up - Part 4 - Flash Media Players

My next step was to look at Flash Media Players. I wanted to see if there were flash options that would work for both my slideshow needs and also allow me to play family videos.

Back to google which provided me with a number of options. However, I quickly determined that most of these options wouldn't work. The problem is that the Wii's Opera Browser only support Flash version 7 and most of the flash media players required Flash version 8, 9 or even 10.

The problem according to several web sources is that the Adobe SDK required to run flash on platforms other than Windows, Linux or Mac hasn't been released. As a result the Wii Opera browser is not able to run anything above version 7.

I was able to find two FLV Players that ran, to some degree, on Flash 7. The two players were:

My next disappointment was that when I converted the Quick Time Movie generated by my camera to FLV using default settings this quality of the video degraded a great deal.

This led me down a path to better understand FLV and the software options to convert from Quick Time to FLV. After trying a number of different conversion options I finally settled on mencoder which is a video decoding, encoding and filtering tool from the OpenSource MPlayer project at:

It took me a while to settle on a set of conversion parameters but finally after much trial and error I found a set that produced nearly the same quality video.

Unfortunately, when I displayed the newly created FLV video using either FLV Player or JW FLV Player on the Wii the video would hang and/or stutter. The Wii appeared to lack the power to display the video acceptably.

I went back to the drawing board but was not able to come up with a combination that produced a video that looked acceptable on the Wii.