I like my video hi-fi too. The Uverse DVR is reasonably good (like the Uverse service), and I have a Blu-ray player, and that stuff looks and sounds great. I have a lot of video content (most of it high definition) on the 3TB of internal disc in my Windows 7 machine. I had been sneaker- netting it to my Blu-ray sometimes (or watching on the 25" LCD monitor) but I got the idea that a media player would be way better. This is also better than trying to attach a PC to my living room HDTV (I tried this in 2005 when I got it and it didn't work well - I needed better stuff).
Shopping for media players, I found there are a bunch. A few are expensive. A couple don't have a network connection (that won't do). I stumbled on the Asus O!Play HDP-R1 and gave it a long look due to the great price and the Asus name. When you are building a computer, Asus is always a brand you should consider - their stuff is first rate. This product is VERY new.
I don't know much about what is in the box. It's small, and consumes very little power. The Oplay is running some flavor of Linux.
The Asus forums had lots of posts from dissatisfied customers, but reading between the lines, I thought I would be able to make it work just fine and that it would do exactly what I needed - play just about any video or audio file, connect to my network, host ESATA, etc. It does all it was supposed to do, and well. This post on the Asus forum has the secret to getting it working with Windows 7.
If you buy one, it will probably come with firmware version 1.07N on it and the network will not work right for Windows 7 machines (other computers will be OK). Set up a Windows 7 user "OPlayer" with password "OPlayer" and give it permissions on shares that hold your media. Reset the Oplay to factory defaults, load firmware version 1.13N, and the network connection will work perfectly (UPnP will work too).
So I have another cool gadget! It is a highly recommended toy!