Pros -HDMI and analog out
-Connects to many streaming services
Cons -Remote is worthless
-Randomly stops streaming and goes to home screen
-Built in wireless is terrible
-When browsing titles you cant read the covers unless you are 3 feet from your HDTV (Mines 46")
-Bravia Sync doesn't work with my Sony Bravia TV?!?!
Summary You probably won't have too many problems with this device if you have it hard wired with ethernet, but the built in wireless is almost worthless. Besides getting terrible reception no matter how it is placed (even when close to router) it took me over a week to get it to connect to my network. I have set up many devices on my WiFi before, many of which required a lot of work, but this one brings it to a whole new level of difficulty. The WPS (WiFi protected setup) does not work at all, requiring you to enter a security password manually, which takes forever with the crappy remote especially if you use WPA2 (the only worthwhile means to protect your WiFi). If you ever want to set it up on a different network you have to reset it. It takes an eon to connect to the network when you start it up, even after it is 'sleeping'.
The Bravia Sync function does not work with my Sony Bravia TV for some reason. But the worst part about this device is that about once a week it randomly stops whatever it is doing and goes to the home screen, which always seems to happen in the middle of a movie or a song. I am confused why there are so many positive reviews about this device, maybe people reviewed it the first day they had it. I however have owned this device for 6 months and have only found more problems the longer I have it. It would be much easier to get a cable to hook a laptop or desktop computer to your TV, because 90% of the time this thing is only slightly more useful than a paperweight (in fact I unfortunately got two of these at the same time and one of them is serving this function).
Pros Easy to use interface (CNet said it was "poorly designed" and they couldn't have been more wrong!)
Plays every media file I can find and test
Looks bad ass with it's cat eye on light
Can use my iPhone as a remote! key when I need to type something in
Cons I will agree with CNet that the cover art is a bit small, but that is MINOR and frankly I think it wouldn't be such a big deal if my TV was HD.
Summary Even if you ignore the fact that this thing is cheep cheep cheep, I really don't know what else to ask short of a full PC connected to my TV. But even that would be difficult to use since it's designed to be used with a mouse and keyboard.
Anyway, this device is seriously undervalued and under rated by CNet.
I was concerned that sony would try to police what files were played, but they don't.
Pros -easy to setup
-somewhat easy to use
-easy connection to some great internet content (e.g. Pandora, Netflix, Slacker Radio, YouTube)
-wired and wireless connectivity options
Cons -interface - keyboard input is incredibly tedious and icons/text are too small on many websites
-occasionally no wireless connection (used with new router that works well with other wireless devices)(good that can connect a LAN cable when needed)
Summary I purchased the Sony after looking at several other products (Roku and Western Digital). What sold me was the price and the features, including the wired/wireless option. Overall it is great to have connection to the internet through my TV/stereo, but the keyboard input method is a HUGE drawback in an otherwise good product. If they can revamp that, I could definitely recommend it.
Pros Easy to set up, familiar PS3 interface, proper sized box, no wierd shapes or hockey pucks.
Cons Remote is a tad sparse, audio issues.
Summary I took a look at what was out there and ended up buying the Sony and haven't regretted it. Having used a PS3 before I found the crosshair style interface easy to navigate. Unlike other streaming box manufacturers, Sony has decided to simply put in every port you could ever need rather than to deny selective ones based on price points. It has a USB port, composite/stereo, component, HDMI, SPDIF, LAN, wireless, everything.
DLNA support means you can stream your own audio/video. From what I understand Roku doesn't do this. Apple does but you have to buy into their closed world to get it. Sony's registration process doesn't ask for intrusive personal info and stool samples, just an email address and the registration number of the box. Updating the firmware is in the menus and is a simple process. It can even be set to tell you when one is available. It supports many video and audio formats which is a plus when streaming your own content and I had no buffering issues with my 6mb DSL connection. Setting up the wireless was no problem. I've heard some claim it supports bluetooth keyboards but I've yet to try it. That could come in handy because using the onscreen text widget is as difficult as trying to send a text message with a 10-key pad. The complaints about the cover art tend to be nitpicks. If you're running it on an older TV it will be hard to see in any case. On an HDTV it looks just fine. I haven't tried any of the premium services yet as I'm not a subscriber but they're there. All in all I'm quite happy for such a small investment.
Pros good at streaming movies lots of options to stream. Has analog outputs. The biggest pro is that it is not made by a human rights violator county named China
Cons no volume control. Too hot of a signal for analog outputs when using radio features like pandora/ slacker and while streaming video's with loud portions. Very hard to listen to the distorted audio signal and sony cust service won't help.
Summary cheaper than buying another Wii but sound quality is horible. Its also the first Sony product I've been dissapointed in.