The Wii gaming system offers much more than games. While not the equal of a full blown personal computer, it provides many of the same features. One feature in particular where the Wii really extends the fun is in its support for images and video.
The Wii actually has a slight advantage in one respect over a PC or Mac when it comes to displaying graphics. Since it's already connected to a TV, displaying any image or video on the larger screen becomes a simple exercise. No need to connect your PC or Mac to the TV. All that's required is to download or select what you want to display.
In the case of images or video, that can come from several sources. Users can select images from the Wii Message Board that have been shared by friends. Or, with the use of Wii Internet you can obtain jpegs or video from email attachments and download them to the internal flash storage of the console. Or, just slip in an SD card into the onboard slot and select whatever you want to view from the menu.
All these can be accessed via the Photo Channel, one of the main options in the Wii system. From here, it's easy to access image or video files. When the Wii scans the SD card, it displays the familiar thumbnail for images and small filmstrip icons for video. Expanding or shrinking the size of the thumbnails is elementary using the + and – options. Flipping through the images is ultra-simple using the D-pad.
But the system offers more than mere display. Using the Fun button, kids can draw on the images, just as you might using Paint or Photoshop. There are also different filters that allow users to modify the look or to copy portions of the images. Users of all ages can have fun turning their images into a photo jigsaw puzzle, which can also be done with video. Slideshows are a snap.
There also exists third-party freeware that allows you to convert your video files for use on the Wii. If you have something you're eager to watch on the TV through the console, it's an easy way to expand your use of the Wii playback feature.
The open source Wii Miidia center is another great way to display video stored on the SD card, using the Wii's Wi-Fi or Ethernet support to connect to their Internet site.
Explore every feature of your Wii, including the image and video playback features.