pmuellr is Patrick Mueller

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

surfing on the wii

'TV screen up close' by Francois Bester

We were watching something new on tv tonight. YouTube. And weather from around the world.

This is all new, for us, on the tv, because we downloaded the new weather service and Opera browser for the wii.

And they're pretty good.

Here's a movie showing the weather service, although that must have been an early prototype; it looks a little different, but seems functionally the same. Spinning the globe is definitely fun.

As far as the web browsing:

  • As expected, web pages don't 'fit' well; we have an old skool tv, maybe an HDTV (or whatever) would do better. NYTimes comes up ok, but is not really readable without zooming, which is pretty easy to do. YouTube movies you want to zoom in all the way, they will then fill 3/4 of the screen.
  • The YouTube movies looked great, though some/most were darker than you would want. Maybe that's something with the tv.
  • Keyboard entry is a soft keyboard (of course), but at least you're using the wand to point, and with it's feedback, it's not too terrible. But it is a soft keyboard so it is horrible. I'm going to want to be able to use a bluetooth keyboard.
  • Has a favorites list; looks crude.
  • Crude navigation via wand; scroll the page via wand gestures and a button down, page-to-page navigation via on-screen menu.
  • via Flash basically works. Plays for a few minutes and then some page pops up. hmmm
  • pandora locked up the wii. Twice. Avoid pandora.

So, whaddya know. I finally got myself a set top box, and didn't even intend to!

And I suddenly have an interest in Flash again (since Flash is supported on this browser).

Makes me wonder what kind of other content I could target for this device.

Makes me wonder when (not if, trying to be optimistic) sites will start targetting the wii and it's capabilities. It's pretty clear that ui's will need to be drastically changed so that they are more navigatable, and easier to read (use larger fonts).

User agent: "Opera/9.00 (Nintendo Wii; U; ; 1309-9; en)"

Update: some amount of JavaScript support; was able to run some JS to get the window dimensions (500x800) and display it in an alert.

Photo 'TV screen up close' with a nice CC license, by Francois Bester. Found using the Flickr's Create Commons Search.

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