Nintendo announced today that its TVii service for the Wii U is finally ready to go live. In fact, TVii will launch in the US and Canada tomorrow, December 20th. However, not all of its features are ready for tomorrow's launch.
The TVii service will include cable and satellite provider support, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu Plus. Full integration with Netflix and TiVo won't release until early 2013, but Nintendo has said that Wii U owners who already have Netflix subscriptions can still access the Netflix app from the Wii U's main menu.
TVii is absolutely free to all Wii U owners, save for the subscription fees from your cable and satellite providers as well Netflix, Hulu, etc.
If you have to pay for cable or satellite service anyway, why would you care to watch it through your Wii U versus the nifty boxes the providers always supply? Nintendo wants to create a seamless TV entertainment experience for Wii U owners, so that they don't have to go through the trouble of flipping through TV video settings, outputs, and the like to switch back and forth from watching TV and playing a game on the Wii U. It's Nintendo's own personal step toward making the Wii U your one-stop entertainment depot for anything you'd like to do on your TV...except play DVDs or Blu-Ray discs.