This marks the 1-year anniversary since ditching DirecTV for the Sony SMP-N200 streaming media player.
The device features HDMI, optical, and RCA jacks, as well as an ethernet port.
So far, the experience has been great! Rather than paying around $900 a year for satellite, I'm paying just what I'd been paying before for internet, around $40 monthly, a decent compromise.
The interface of the player is very similar to that of Sony's Bravia series of TVs.
The remote enables navigation to the various options and settings. A great thing about this little black box is that you can browse the web, grabbing either streaming video from YouTube and elsewhere, or just general browsing. However, one trick is to use a smartphone app, Sony Media Remote, so that you gain the benefit of a keyboard; trying to "type" using the Sony's remote is an exercise in aggravation, to say the least.
For over-the-air TV, a Winegard antenna hung up near the ceiling of the living room plus a signal amplifier has managed to pull in 8 stations, six broadcast in my immediate area, and two more from towers about 40 miles away.
With the Sony SMP-N200 I can also stream downloaded video over my home's wireless network. To do this, I first needed to enable Homegroup on my Windows 7 desktop PC, and then I installed Nero MediaHome to act as a server for the Sony. Most any popular encoding format (AVI, MPG, MKV, WMV, and more) can stream from my computer to my TV with very little effort.
All in all, aside from the clunky remote, I'd give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars for the money I've saved thus far over cable or satellite.