How To Turn Your Wii Into A Media Center With WiiMC

wiimc icon   How To Turn Your Wii Into A Media Center With WiiMCTurn your neglected Wii into a media player. Listen to music and watch videos from your computer on your TV, or browse a bit of the best the web has to offer using your Wiimote. With WiiMC it’s easy.

I’ve shown you how quick it is to set up the Homebrew Channel on your Wii with Letterbomb - all you need is an SD card. There’s a lot of great software you can install when you do, including several media players. In my experience, however, none come close to WiiMC.

This little piece of software features a simple interface that works great with the Wiimote, and it can play almost any file you throw at it. It can even play DVDs, provided your Wii isn’t one of the newer (red or black) models. If you’ve wanted a media center device but don’t want to spend the money, this software means you don’t have to – you can use your Wii instead.

Using WiiMC

Launch WiiMC and you’ll see the main interface:

WiiMC main   How To Turn Your Wii Into A Media Center With WiiMC

At the top, from left to right, are icons for Video, Music, Pictures, DVD and Internet Media. In the first three you can browse your media from an SD card, a USB drive or a network share.

Here’s me browsing my podcasts:

WiiMC podcasts   How To Turn Your Wii Into A Media Center With WiiMC

You can play any file you want, but notice you need to be in video mode to play video, audio mode to play audio and picture mode to open pictures. It’s weird, but you’ll get used to it.

Playback is great, but HD-quality videos will play in SD (if at all) because of the Wii’s limitations. Sorry about that.

WiiMC playin   How To Turn Your Wii Into A Media Center With WiiMC

Adding Network Folders

Do you want to add your network folder? Head to the settings by clicking the gear in the top-right corner. Here you’ll find the network settings; you can add any FTP server. Alternatively, you can add any SMB share – SMB is the file sharing protocol used by Windows.

WiiMC network   How To Turn Your Wii Into A Media Center With WiiMC

You’ll need to know your computer’s IP address to get this working, but once you do WiiMC will remember your settings.

Internet Stuff!

WiiMC web   How To Turn Your Wii Into A Media Center With WiiMC

You can also explore a limited amount of Internet video. YouTube is here, complete with search but sadly lacking subscriptions, and NaviX provides access to almost any TV show or movie. Sadly NaviX isn’t working well as of this writing, but hopefully updates will fix this – I’m sure it’s due to NaviX’s recent server move.

Download WiiMC

Are you ready to check out WiiMC? Remember, you’ll need to set up the Homebrew Channel on your Wii with Letterbomb before you can do anything. You can simply download WiiMC in the Homebrew Browser; it’s listed under “Media”.

Alternatively you can download WiiMC from WiiMC; just unzip the file and move the folder to “/Apps” on your SD card. You’ll also find an optional channel installer. Only grab this if you want to launch WiiMC without using the Homebrew Channel. Be careful with this; I take no responsibility for anything breaking while installing channels.

Need help? Be sure to check the WiiMC documentation; you’ll probably find your answer.

Conclusion

This simple piece of software gives you a new reason to use your old Wii. Do you want to teach your old Wii some other new tricks? Why not try playing classic point-and-click adventures with ScummVM or installing emulators to play classic games?

Do you know some other alternative uses for an old Wii? Let us know in the comments below!

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

36 Comments -

0 votes

Salman Abdullah

No one makes article about OUYA.

0 votes

Justin Pot

We generally don’t write about things until we can try them out. So far as I know no one has an Ouya yet…

0 votes

Larry Morris

I like hearing about things like this so I can expand and better use the things I have around me at home.

0 votes

Kevin Vaillant

Might have a use for that Wii after all. Thanks Justin.

0 votes

Justin Pot

Let me know if it works out for you.

0 votes

Vincent

Did you test dvd with subtitles? If it works, I would spend my time install WiiMC

0 votes

Justin Pot

If you’ve got an older Wii, then yes: it should work with the built-in subtitles. If your Wii is red or black you cannot play DVDs; it’s true of some white ones as well.

0 votes

Cody Smith

those white Wii’s that can’t play DVDs are typically the ones that are impossible (if not near impossible) to hack, the infamous LU64 ones (Serial number starts with LU64)

0 votes

Will W

This is pretty dope. I use PS3 for my media center. I just run TVersity on my PC, and connect to if from the PS3 media server interface. It works pretty nice.

0 votes

Justin Pot

Sounds like a nice setup. I have a PC hooked up to my TV, personally, but it’s nice to know I can use the Wii.

0 votes

achyut reddy

i like to use things for multiple tasks like this.

0 votes

Jason Williams

great article, if only it would do HD video. would be a great new use for my WII, which is unfortunantely just a paper weight at this point in time.

0 votes

Justin Pot

The SD thing is a serious limitation; no way around it. There are other things you can do once you jailbreak though, including emulators and even DOSbox.

0 votes

Cody Smith

the reason the Wii can’t do HD videos is the cheap GPU (Broadway, if I’m not mistaken, is what hackers called it, as it doesn’t have a codename officially, gonna have to look that up later), the put a cheap on it because they knew it would be better to keep the cost down while still having a decent system.

0 votes

Ahmed

finally dusted of Wii forgot i had HomeBrew on it But at start tell me my current IOS is unsuported in WiiMC . Can’t get the net Shares work from a router /(wi-fi AP for Wii) conected to the PC cause i put in IP but nothing .The PC has no password so what could it be. Youtube works. Pics work

tried the shares UNC parth but nothing
The video was faulty. about to give up .I would be grateful 4 help

0 votes

Justin Pot

Checked out WiiMC’s page on WiiBrew: you need to be running the latest Wii software to use this. Update your Wii to 4.3 and re-jailbreak or WiiMC won’t work correctly.

0 votes

Carl

advising someone to update a “jailbroken? NO” – Softmodded Wii is not good advise

0 votes

steve

the low resolution on the Wii has prevented it from taking the media center role. i have opted for the WD TV Live box with it’s HD video playback and integrated web application front ends.

if i was back in college and was looking to use what i had on hand, this might do until i could scrap together some money for something better. i used a Commodore monitor and a VCR in college, so i know all about limits.

0 votes

Justin Pot

Yeah, this is mainly useful for people who don’t want to spend money on a dedicated device. Your Commodore setup sounds awesome, though.

0 votes

H G

Spectacular tip! One more use for the Wii. I will try!

0 votes

Joe The Videographer

I’m already spoiled by a Windows Media Center HD setup. This is a great way to extend the use of a Wii. It’d be fine on a smaller display in a bedroom, where HD isn’t such a big deal.

I’m a fan of most things that enable cable cutting. If everyone cut cable, it would make things better for non cable users like myself.

0 votes

Justin Pot

I’m similarly spoiled by XBMC, but I agree: this could work well for “second TVs”.

0 votes

Nezlo

Hmm, quite nice. I’ll keep this in mind for later on.

0 votes

Fayz

This baby saved my Wii from going to the dumpsters! :D

0 votes

Justin Pot

Glad I could help a defenseless Wii!

0 votes

marcel

we still use our wii for a few games. but this looks interesting.

0 votes

Jeffrey John Imutan

this is a great tip. thanks

0 votes

Nguyen Tran

It’s a great article, thanks

0 votes

echantrea

nice app that turn to amazing media center.

0 votes

Kylee Kanavas

I need some help. So i installed this just fine. But for one it said the dvd was not compatible. I used a DVD+r. And secondly, It keeps crashing. Let me know if i am doing something wrong. Sorry if its a dumb question.

0 votes

Anonymous

If you own the black or red Wii an have an enternal DVD player then just plug it into your Wii USB an it will play DVDs no problems

0 votes

Anonymous

that sucks i got a black wii too so that is bad for me plus that is c***

0 votes

KT

That is brilliant!!!!!

Thank you

0 votes

sue

why no install ,just load ???

0 votes

Justin Pot

There’s no installing process, per se. Just get the files onto your drive and it should work; the simplest way is using the Homebrew Browser, but other methods also work. It’s all above! :)

0 votes

sue

Sorry this is regards wii mc