OMG! This device is AWESOME.
Streaming to tv from Netflix has never been that challenging, but I wanted more than just Netflix. To me, netflix has very limited options and there is so much live streaming on the net, I just thought that there must be a better option.
When I got my Kindle, I test ran it with Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime and while I enjoyed streaming video to the Kindle, I really would have preferred watching a lot of it on my tv. I knew I could get some cables to hook my laptop to the tv for streaming. But either you would have cables hanging around to the laptop, or your up and down waking the laptop up (or turning off your screen saver). Or hopping up and down to pick the next show to watch. All of which meant that I didn't think I would enjoy working with it.
So, I researched online. And I found roku.com. I'd read a lot of reviews from other sites and asked around for opinions and heard only good things about it.
Within five minutes, I had it up and running, hooked up to facebook, my netflix account and was able to find custom content I wanted to watch on blip.tv (knitting podcasts). I haven't found all my favorite podcasts just yet. Nor have I figured out if I need to set some custom channels up (nor how to do it if I want to).
BUT I've used it long enough to know that it is EXACTLY what I wanted in a device.
It's wireless and using your home wifi connection to connect to your internet provider. It's a small box with a remote. You can flip through your channels and watch your home movies from your hard drive and flip through any of the streaming options including several free options. Pay for use options include Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus. There are others that are pay per rental - like vudu and Flixster.
For a simple device, it's quite easy to set up and configure. I think it's the bomb. It also seems really flexible. Since I'm debating switching to Amazon Prime, it carries an Amazon Prime app as well. So, so cool. It was under $50 and it was a great deal, in my opinion. Simpler and easier than setting up the wii or setting up Bluray players and much more flexible. It even allows you to search across multiple channels for the movie you'd like to watch.