Digital Crave

Only using 10 percent of your Wii? Try these tips and tricks

Digital Crave

Wii Netflix

The old saying that we only use 10 percent of our brains is totally false. The myth appears to have started with an advertising campaign, and has since been perpetuated by psychics and others with a particular agenda.

It is true, however, that most people only use about 10 percent of their gaming console systems. In the last few years, the Big Three (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii) have been jockeying for position to be your home entertainment hub for games, TV, movies, music and everything else. Here are 10 tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Wii.

Netflix and Closed Captioning

Recent surveys suggest that a big percentage of Wii users now use their system to watch movies and TV via the hugely popular Netflix instant streaming channel. But for years, one of the big drawbacks of Netflix on the Wii was the lack of closed captioning availability — critical for the deaf community and rather important for those of us who just prefer it.

Netflix has been working hard to remedy this situation in the last year or so, and now most new titles and popular content come with closed captioning options — if you know where to find them. Here's the trick: On the right hand side of the info page of any selected title, look for the tiny audio icon. Click it to bring up a list of all available subtitle and audio options.

If you have a Netflix digital subscription, a sortable list of closed captioned titles is available when you sign into the Netflix website.

View gallery

Wii News

Wii News Channel

News and Slideshows

The Wii News Channel is a friendly, decidedly Nintendo-style way to parse and browse the day's headlines. Thanks to the Wii's gentle and soothing design, even the West Nile virus seems cute.

A few tips for the News Channel: When perusing stories in the news reader, hold down the B button to scroll up or down with manual control. Keep the cursor toward the middle of the screen to scroll slowly, to the top or bottom to get speedy. You can also highlight text by holding the 1 button, and zoom in and out with the +/- buttons. Using the News Channel slideshow feature, you can adjust the length of time each slide stays onscreen by using the 1 and 2 buttons.

Wi-fi and Signal Strength

If you're using a wireless connection to connect your Wii connected to the Internet, you can set up multiple wireless connections and the Wii will default to the strongest signal. This is particularly helpful if you have a Wi-fi extender in the house. With our home setup, the base Wi-fi signal is sometimes stronger than our Wii-dedicated EXT signal, for reasons only the God of 2.4 GHz understands. To set up your wireless connections or manually switch them, go to Wii Options/Wii Settings/Internet/Connection Settings.

View gallery

Check Mii Out

Check Mii Out

Names and Celebrities

If you've never gone past the basic Mii Channel setup for creating and editing your Mii avatars, the Check Mii Out channel has been running for more than five years now (!) and is designed to let Wii users share and swap their various Mii creations. You can download Check Mii Out for free from the Wii Shop Channel.

There are literally millions of Mii creations out there modeled off celebrities, but if you're looking for something specific or obscure ("Bob Hoskins," say), there's no way to search by name from within the channel. However, there's a relatively fast workaround at You can search by name at the website, then enter the associated 12-digit code on the Wii by clicking though Check Mii Out/Posting Plaza/Search/Change (upper right corner of the screen)/Enter #.

View gallery

Check Mii Out 2

Check Mii Out 2

Remotes and Avatars

You can store up to 10 Mii characters in a Wii Remote. This is quick and easy, and lets you bring your Mii with you when you play with your remote on a friend's console. In the Mii Channel, select the remote icon, choose the connected remote you want, and drag and drop your Mii into one of the 10 slots. A copy of your Mii is now living  "inside" your Wii Remote.

View gallery

Netflix on Wii 2

Netflix on Wii 2

Netflix and the Instant Queue

This might seem too simple, but I missed it for years. When viewing the title screen of an individual movie or TV show on Netflix, there's a button to "Add to Instant Queue." That drops the title into the topmost row on the main browsing screen. But how do you remove titles from the Instant Queue? Easy, just click on the title you want removed. On the title screen, that button is now changed to "Remove From Instant Queue."

View gallery

Wii Bowling

Wii Bowling

Bowling and Backswings

The ubiquitous Wii Sports game was bundled with the first wave of Wii systems, and pretty much everyone has played a frame or two of Wii Bowling. Here's a fun trick: If you release the B button during your backswing, the ball will go behind you into the crowd of observers, causing the spectators to jump and gasp.

View gallery

Wii Remote

Wii Remote

Wii and DVD

A major drawback of the Wii as a home console is that, unlike the competition, it doesn't play DVD titles. There are some workarounds for this, but they're a bit too complicated to get into here, and involve hacking the Wii in ways that Nintendo officially discourages. (They may also void your warranty; this has been a point of contention for years.) If you want to learn more, there's no shortage of information online — just search for "wii dvd homebrew."

Remotes and Toothbrushes

If your Wii Remote gets a lot of heavy use, especially by kids with grimy hands, you may have encountered the dreaded sticky button issue. If you have a depressed button that won't click back up, the best solution is a delightfully analog one. Remove the batteries and use a slightly moistened toothbrush to scrub around the buttons, working the bristles between the button and casing. Afterward, the let the remote air dry with buttons facing down for at least two hours.

View gallery

Wii Sensor Bar

Wii Sensor Bar

Sensor Bars and Candles

The Wii Remote works in part by triangulating signals from infrared LEDs in the Sensor Bar. If your remote isn't working properly, check for interference from infrared light sources in the room — fireplaces, beams of sunlight, even candles can throw off the system.

Note: This was written by Glenn McDonald, a Digital Crave contributor.

Check out more tech trends and news at Digital Crave.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • SNL Featuring Tom Hanks, Lady Gaga: Watch Video of the Best Sketches

      No, that wasn’t just a perfect illusion: Tom Hanks and Lady Gaga actually presided over a near-perfect 90 minutes of Saturday Night Live. Hanks, who has previously hosted SNL eight times, returned to Studio 8H in support of new film Inferno. And though he hasn’t hosted since May 2006, the versatile actor was at the top of his game, thanks […]
    • Saturday Night Live: Tom Hanks Exposes a Surprising Truth About Trump Supporters

      The final debate sketch wasn’t the only time Tom Hanks and Saturday Night Live decided to roast Donald Trump. S.N.L. hasn’t exactly been gentle on Trump supporters this election season. Or did you miss that fake ad last year where the show unflinchingly compared them to Nazis? So, knowing some biting political commentary is coming, it’s surprising to see Tom Hanks—who, earlier in the night, leaned into his gentle, “America’s Dad” persona—put on that red “Make America Great Again” cap for a “Black Jeopardy!” sketch. But, either way, it was good to see Hanks behind the old Jeopardy! podium where he made such a splash playing a dumbed down version of himself opposite Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek back

      HWD q
    • ESPN anchor uses unfortunate metaphor to explain Charlie Strong's job status at Texas

      When ESPN’s Adnan Virk used an ill-advised metaphor to talk about coach Charlie Strong’s situation at Texas, the Twitter backlash was swift.

      Yahoo Sports
    • Women Are Boycotting Ivanka Trump’s Fashion Line — and the Stores That Sell It

      Despite her father’s uncanny ability to offend and alienate women more with each passing day, Ivanka Trump has managed to maintain a relatively high level of respect throughout Donald Trump’s turbulent presidential campaign. Some would say Ivanka has even been the one saving grace for a candidate who is increasingly being viewed as little more than a misogynistic narcissist by many Americans — particularly women.

      Yahoo Style
    • 5 Things You Should Never Ask a Flight Attendant

      Ever wondered what you should and shouldn't ask a flight attendant? Read on.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Miss Manners: Friend’s engagement expectations should serve as warning

      October 23 at 12:00 AM Dear Miss Manners: One of my girlfriends recently got engaged. I was very happy and excited for her, as she had waited for this proposal for what seemed a long time. When she texted me with a photo of the proposal taking place, I quickly texted back my congratulations. The next day, I then followed up with a phone call to again congratulate the happy couple and find out the details of the proposal. Imagine my dismay when, a few days later, my friend discussed with me how disappointed she was in her friends’ response to her engagement! She proceeded to tell me that it really bothered her that none of her good friends took her out for Champagne to celebrate or for a manicure.

      Washington Post q
    • Wikileaks puts Clinton advisor Benenson on notice

      Wikileaks implied Sunday it will leak information on Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonLuntz: This should have been 'slam dunk for the GOP' McMullin: Republicans 'putting party ahead of principle' Axelrod: I don't know any strategist on either side who privately thinks Trump will win MORE's chief campaign strategist, Joel Benenson.   "@benensonj We have a surprise for you #JBSurprise," said the tweet to Benenson, using the same "surprise" language Wikileaks used last week when it put Democratic National Committee interim head Donna Brazile and vice presidential nominee Kaine on notice last week. Wikileaks also repeated a threat in a tweet at Kaine and NBC's "Meet the Press," saying, "@MeetThePress

      The Hill q
    • Meet the first guy Steve Jobs ever fired at Apple ... and he wasn't even an employee

      Michael Geary has been a programmer living in Silicon Valley since before the world called it...

      Business Insider
    • Emily Ratajkowski Cheers on the L.A. Dodgers in a Midriff-Baring Crop Top, Smooches Her Boyfriend in the Stands

      Who says you have to rock a billowing jersey to show your sportsmanship? Not Emily Ratajkowski, who showcased her toned physique as she cheered on the Los Angeles Dodgers at a baseball game in L.A. on Thursday. The model and actress took a minimalist approach to dressing for the sidelines and rocked a black pair of high-waist jeans with a long-sleeve white crop top that showcased her abs. She proudly put forth her support of the hometown team with a black cap that simply read "LA"

    • Rae Carruth will be greeted by son he tried to have murdered

      The former Panthers receiver is serving a sentence of nearly 19 years in prison for conspiring to have his pregnant girlfriend murdered.

      Sporting News
    • Anthony Bourdain reveals his go-to fast food restaurant: ‘It’s a guilty pleasure’

      World-renown chef and host of "Parts Unknown" Anthony Bourdain spans the globe eating incredible meals, but he still has moments of weakness where he pops into fast food joints. Bourdain tells Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist he has a "little dark voice" telling him to sneak into chain restaurants--but says he always gets caught! q
    • Blac Chyna Looks Unrecognizable in Throwback Photo From Her 'Tomboy' Days

      The 28-year-old model wasn't always about glamour.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Ivanka Trump backs her father but doesn't want to fall with him

      Ivanka, soon to turn 35, is still clearly her father's protegee. Having grown up in the spotlight from an early age, at a time when her father's extramarital affairs filled the tabloid press, Ivanka knows how to tend to her own image -- and that of the clothing line that bears her name.

    • Michigan lined up in a 10-man centipede formation again

      Jim Harbaugh is unique. Michigan’s coaches don’t call it that -- they call it “trains” — but we’re not Michigan’s coaches. Needing two yards, Michigan came out with five linemen, three tight ends, a fullback, and a running back.

      SB Nation q
    • MarketWatch q
    • 'Saturday Night Live' Spoofs Trump, Clinton in 3rd Presidential Debate, Tom Hanks Plays Moderator Chris Wallace

      Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton continue to provide "Saturday Night Live" with plenty of fodder. As in weeks past, Alec Baldwin and "SNL" cast member Kate McKinnon impersonated Trump and Clinton, zeroing in on the most eccentric and quirky aspects of their behavior. The fictional Trump's tone soon changed, when he was asked about reproductive rights.

      Good Morning America
    • 11 Things You Probably Didnt Know About Airplanes (11 photos)

      Planes have changed a lot since the days of the Wright Brothers (or, perhaps more accurately, Brazilian inventor Alberto Santos ). Those first wood-and-cloth contraptionsarean entirely different species thanthesleek Boeing Dreamliners of today. With the continual advancements in aerospace technology, it's hard to keep up with all the amazing things planes today are capable of doing (and withstanding). Below,11 things you didnt know about airplanes and air travel.

    • 745-Pound Woman Needs Gallbladder Surgery, Doctors Refuse

      Desperately in need of gall-bladder surgery, Katrina Randall, was rushed to the hospital on Friday. Her family hopes her latest trip leads to a life-saving procedure but there`s a catch - her family says doctors won`t operate because of her size. She weighs 740 pounds.

    • Check out Chris Brown's ex Karrueche Tran rock racy bralette amid alleged row with Cydney Christine

      Chris Brown's ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran grabbed major eyeballs during her latest outing with a pair of silk trousers and a skimpy bra-top. Tran, who is known for her svelte figure, left little to the imagination on Friday night as she stepped out in her matching outfit in Hollywood. If rumours are to be believed, the actress-cum-model's appearance came soon after Brown's current fling Cydney Christine, seemingly threw shade at Tran while replying to a fan's cheeky comment.

      International Business Times UK q
    • The Best All-Inclusive Packages at Adults-Only Resorts (7 photos)

      Hear that? Its not the sound of a baby on an airplane , or an argument between two kids. Its the roar of waves crashing on rocks, tree frogs chirping from the canopy, and of complete, grown-up silence. You dont have to be a parent to value the absence of potentially noisychildren. Everyone can appreciate the absolute tranquility of a kids-free hotel. Thats not to say adults cant get rowdybut adults-only properties tend to foster a relaxed, laid-back vibe. Guests are typically seeking a low-key (and yes, quiet) reprieve from life; especially if that life has three kids between the ages of 1 and 7. Resorts such as these know theres only one thing more calming than an escape from the myriadday-to-day tasks ofparenthood (or a romantic getaway that isnt stifled by shrieking infants or toddlers peeing in the pool ): an all-inclusive package. Forget about nitpicking every cocktail or excursionall-inclusive packages make a resort stay a totally worry-free experience. You already know what the bill will look like when you get return home. Even your tips are included. If all this sounds like just what you need, read on for a few of our favorite all-inclusive packages at the top adults-only resorts.