rolandc wrote:The Roku 1st strike, requires an active credit card account for the various things that can be bought online, and the box WILL NOT function with out the CC for validation.
While it does require a credit/debit card or a paypal account to activate it, immediately after activation you can login to your Roku account, go to "My Account>Payment Method" and click "Remove Payment Method". I don't see this as a show stopper.
rolandc wrote: 2nd strike, very weak parental controls, you cannot lock out all the online channels.
Login to your Roku account, go to "My Account>Channel Store PIN" and select "Require a four-digit PIN to add any channel, even free channels." We allow only 3 channels: Mormon Channel, BYU-TV, and Roku USB Media Player. No other channels can be added without the PIN or a factory reset.
rolandc wrote:3rd, it will not play from a NAS, and only Plex has a media server with a channel app for the Roku.
There are NAS channels, and other media servers. I have not investigated these in detail. We usually stream from a USB Flash drive. I have not played with the WD Player, but agree that the WD seems to have a better solution than the Roku in this area.
rolandc wrote:4th, pretty much every screen other than when the video is playing, you have to look at various advertisements.
While I agree this is an issue, the advertisements only appear before you select a channel. Since we use the Roku USB Media Player (or the Mormon Channel), they don't show up after you select that channel. And, there are ways to block the banner ads in your router...
(BYU-TV also places 15 second "bake and serve" commercials if you live in Utah, and car/truck ads if you live outside Utah, at the start of each video on the BYU-TV channel.)
I'm sure there are many good features in the WD Player.
We have 11 of the Roku XS players in our stake. They have both HDMI and composite video outputs, so they work with almost any TV. They are easy to use, low cost, and in high demand.