Well, a few notes about my experience having bought this device at the behest of many ill-informed (and obviously not 'hands-on') reviews..
First of all.. the network lockup issue. I experienced this first after having (somewhat) successfully updating the firmware to v1.30 (I believe -- whatever was current at xmas) via a wired ethernet connection (wired to a repeater bridge, if that matters). I don't recall exactly what I did to solve it.. maybe holding in the power button for an extended period of time, maybe I booted it up without the network cable plugged in and then proceeded to reconnect it, maybe I just happened to have the PC where I host my media files offline at the time (highly unlikely, hehe) -- all I know is I spent the slightest effort fiddling around with it for a few moments, and have never experienced the problem again (should be mentioned that I run a somewhat advanced dd-wrt network setup with a rather strict dhcp and no upnp -- maybe the router got it sorted out on it's own).
It should be noted that disabling SSDP is not a fix, but a 'last resort' patch -- there's absolutely no reason why Panasonic can't offer us a device that works with widely used network protocols. It's like having to run your router in demilitarized zone in order to account improper configuration or firmware shortcomings -- it's not a fix, just a temporary troubleshooting measure; which should be avoided by any means.
As for DLNA.. if that's a concern for you, don't bother with this device. I haven't been able to get it to recognize a single MKV file over the network, and it won't play a single xvid encoded file without your typical non-matching-codec type video corruption. As far as video is concerned, it pretty much will only play AVI files encoded with outdated codecs like MJPEG or Indeo -- absolutely no MP4. MPEG2 files.. I didn't bother testing -- may be useful with on-the-fly transcoding (hw-accelerated nowadays, little cpu overhead), but I see no reason to bother now that I'm past the days of running a htpc with a tuner card. Audio/Picture files.. well, your run-of-the-mill format support, though the cumbersome user interface makes it pointless even bothering.
Sure, you could use a DLNA client with on-the-fly transcoding to match the device.. but beware -- even when all your ducks are in a row, this device somehow gives you the most horrid picture quality imaginable, despite whatever bandwidth you have available. What videos I could get working (most by re-encoding or re-muxing), were just of an entirely unacceptable picture quality (not an issue with the source file).
As for USB connected files.. hurray! It recognizes MKV's! But still, pay attention to the several previous replies stating to use v2.20 of MKVToolNix to remux your files to the older MKV container format.. I have MKV's I've had for years that wouldn't play until I spent a few minutes simply remuxing them -- ridiculous for a relatively new device. But alas, all that effort and it seems to play them beautifully (720p x264 files, at around 8-12MBPS) -- but I see no way to access alternate audio streams, or subtitles in any way at all.
I'd be much more satisfied with this device if it had better MP4 (codec, not container) support.. I imagine Panasonic just didn't want to be sued by DivX, who claims to hold complete control over the format despite it having been created by the effort of hundreds of programmers who offered it openly before a handful of the project operators chose to take it commercial..
Moreover, too many manufacturers like Panasonic are incredibly too vague regarding the actual codec support of their devices in their literature. All they seem to mention is container formats, which have no bearing on whether your files will actually play or not. A lot of my confusion could have been avoided by explicitly stating which codecs were or were not supported on this device -- which would have led me to avoid purchasing it to begin with.
As for my opinions on the rest.. read on..
Edit: For those with more issues with usb-media files, other than the aforementioned MKV container format problems.. I found the following post with a google search (before making it here), which led me to the link of the following remuxing/avchd software (seems to have been created purely due to the shortcomings of Panasonic devices):http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/3...on-memory-cardhttp://multiavchd.deanbg.com/
In addition, here's a link to the v2.20 of MKVToolNix that will help you remux your MKV's to be supported on this device (works perfectly for me so far, but remember -- no support for alternate audio streams or subtitles, so mux it with what streams you need as defaults):http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkv....2.0-setup.exe