The availability of streamed content has been limited in Canada, so I was looking at the Popcorn Hour due to the range of supported file formats and the user community. I currently use a PS3 with PS3 Media Player software running on an Windows XP system, but that's more for the tech savy. Netflix is available in Canada now on the PS3, but I have yet to subscribe. What the PS3 lacks is a nice interface for organizing your contact. All you are really presented with is a folder and file list. The Popcorn Hour has some very nice customizable interfaces that display cover art and can contain complete descriptions pulled from the internet.
The biggest obstacle I face is bandwidth limitations. I'm near the max distance for DSL service, so I'll never be able to stream HD video live. That's why I opt to download content and use a file server. Another issue is video quality. Streamed media is so highly compressed that there are always video artifacts. Didn't we all get HD TVs for a better picture?
And lastly, there is the issue of bandwidth caps. I'm still on DSL because I have a grandfathered unlimited plan which is no longer available. The 2 major providers have placed caps on all of their current offerings and are in the process of squashing the small ISP companies that lease their lines and still offer unlimited service. The old unlimited plans like mine are slowing being priced into oblivion as they jack up the rates every year. I've been monitoring my bandwidth usage and I'm already above the caps most months, and we still use basic cable for much of our TV viewing. If we were to switch completely to Internet content, the surcharges for exceeding the bandwidth caps would severely impact the cost. I love these little media server devices, but under the current model for Internet service in Canada I don't see how streaming media will be affordable beyond just occasional use.
Keep Up with TechRepublic