Really, Nintendo ought to be embarrassed. I had always assumed that there was some technical reason (like copy protection) that was responsible for the Wii’s lack of DVD video playback. As it turns out, not so much.
Some enterprising hackers have combined elbow grease, Mplayer libraries, and the Twilight Princess executable-hack into a workable DVD player for the Wii. Full instructions can be found at Wii Fanboy. As long as you have an SD card, and a copy of Zelda: Twilight Princess, you can add this homebrew channel to your system without mucking anything up.
Which brings us to the aforementioned embarrassment: what the hell, Nintendo? You just didn’t want to pay the fee, or what? Some people would have loved this functionality at the outset. It worked wonders for the PS2. Sure, everyone and their dog has a DVD player these days, but a spare one for the kids’ room (or whatever) never hurts. And the fact that some people tinkering with MPlayer managed to make it work really reflects badly on them. It was always a pure software issue; nothing more.
Now, stay tuned for the announcement of “official” DVD support for the Wii, and the attendant crooning and swooning over the paradigm-shifting company and their amazing new PS2-era feature. I’d bet significant money on that happening. They fucking hate it when people start fiddling with SD cards.