Originally Posted by GamingDaemon
So should I consider building a new HTPC with a shiny new Sandy Bridge processor that will let me play my Blu Ray movies with a discrete video card? Or buy a Sony SMP-N100 device or something similar?
I can't answer your question for you. Whether any box does all you want is up to you.
But I can tell you not to get a Sony N100. It's way too limited, it's slow (goes through Sony servers as I understand it) and just isn't competitive with a good Roku as far as I'm concerned. Mine isn't even hooked up these days.
To me, the ONLY way you can get full unfettered access to everything that is and may be available is to have an HTPC and use a browser. I have DirecTV as well, but also use ESPN3, Amazon Prime Video, GoFightLive, CBS Sports (for NCAA basketball tournament), various college websites for streaming sports, HBOGo, TV.com, HULU, Crackle, and several streaming music sites like Pandora, Slacker, TuneIn and Spotify. If you use a "box" - any box - or confine yourself to XMBC, WMC or some other front end, then you are giving someone else control over what content you are permitted to access. Particularly if you want sports, they are all way too limited in my view.
Rokus plainly have the widest assortment of content. If you're choosing a "box", I'd get the best Roku available. But it's still not everything. For me, the choice was to use an HTPC. Others obviously prefer ease of use and a pretty interface and accept the limts. The choice is really yours to make.