The Oppo will play movies over the network via DLNA. However, DLNA is not a robust way to view files over your network as there are many compatibility issues. One look through the Oppo thread in this forum will give you an idea of some of the problems (for example, no .iso files over DLNA). I actually started out trying to use my Oppo as a media player at one point but it is nowhere near as robust as a dedicated media player.
In addition, while the Oppo does have a menu, it is basically a list of files available on whatever machine you have a media server running. While it is true that a server would need to be on at all times, a dedicated server typically does not use as much power as a PC and offers much more storage capacity. My server stays spun down unless being used, sits in the basement and uses around 30 watts. A media player using a media jukebox will have a much nicer interface with a lot more information available.
Here are some pics. Forgive the iphone quality but they will give you an idea.
This is a pic of the home screen on my Dune. Skins are interchangeable btw.
Here is a pic of the home screen of zappiti (the media jukebox I use). Better pics can be seen at www.zappiti.com
. The first icon allows you to look at movies by alphabet. The second icon brings up your movie wall. The third brings up your tv shows, which further drills down to season wall and episode wall. The fourth shows recent additions while the fifth allows you to browse by category (war, comedy, drama, etc).
Here is a pic of the movie wall.
Here is a pic of what you see when you select a movie. Pressing enter will start movie playback.
Here is a pic of musicnizer. I access it by clicking on the music catalog link on my homepage.
Here is a pic of my artist wall.
And here is a pic of an album wall once you pick an artist.
You can also directly view the files you have on your network. I have links to the movies folder and music folder on my server in case I want to view something without going through the jukeboxes.