Most stand-alone scalers do more than just scale. If his is a full-blown video processor it can also help with some of the compression artifacts in the HDX videos. It won't perform miracles, but it can get it looking a little better, which further closes the gap between it and blu-ray.
Still, I think that some people aren't getting the fact that not everybody is the same as them. Not all of us would enjoy a world in which content ownership is no longer an option, where we are all forced to stream and like it. Some may, but not all. Streaming has its place and physical formats have theirs. I don't see anybody here clamoring for the death of streaming. But I see several that seem to think that their opinion is the only one that matters and that, just because they could care less about physical media, it must die and all supporters of blu-ray are some sort of neanderthal or slave to materialism.
I don't buy discs just for the sake of collecting them. I buy them to watch them. And I do just that. With the exception of possibly 25 titles out of somewhere between 300 and 500 (I know I have just over 600 discs, but not sure how many of those are multi-disc packs with the same movie in different formats or just special features on a separate disc), I have watched all of them at least twice. Some, I have seen dozens of times over the years. I'd gladly rewatch a classic I already own over most of the crap they have in theaters today.
...sounds great and comes in up to 7.1 surround. As is the case with video quality, HDX audio is slightly less perfect than many Blu-ray audio tracks. Nevertheless, it's in the realm of "just noticeable differences."
Yet, I can understand their reasoning. By the time they have sold enough 4K sets and sold enough discs to make it a viable format hey will be pushing 8K, if not 16K - which, to, my understanding, is the greatest amount of colors the human eye can perceive. Maybe...just maybe...they're looking towards the near future and thinking, "Do we really want to have another fire and pitchfork demonstration from the people complaining about having to buy even newer versions of our discs?"
On the other hand, it's Sony we're talking about, so that's probably just nonsense.
I got rid of the Fire TV about as quickly as I obtained it—gave it to my mom. If Fire TV supported Vudu, maybe I'd still have it. I've gravitated towards my Sony BDP-S5100 for streaming stuff. I'm waiting for the next Apple TV before I buy another one.
Wait... is it ironic that my favorite streaming device is a Sony blu-ray player?