I've been told that the Roku media player won't play any of my home media that resides on my PC and/or NAS. Is that really true?
Not entirely, no. However, it is true that the ROKU isn't as flexible with "local media" as some other devices on the market. Of course, many of those other devices on the market aren't as flexible as the ROKU at handling a variety of internet media.
The main "local media" limitation right now, is that the ROKU doesn't have support for reading network drive shares. The ROKU does have support for viewing local content on a web server, so if your NAS has an http server (for accessing your media), you should be able to set it up for streaming via the ROKU. However, the only "disk drive" support ROKU has is for USB drives, and then only if/when those USB drives are directly connected to the ROKU-XR's USB port (the ROKU-XR is the only ROKU model with a USB port).
I'm just stunned I may have to return this for another media player.
If your primary interest is just in playing "local media", you probably would be better off with a different media player that makes local media playing easier. However, keep in mind that pretty much all the media players on the market have their pros and cons. While there are several media players that are easier to use with "local content", many of those same media players don't do as good of a job bringing in content from the internet. So you have to look at your overall mix of what you are trying to get from your media player.
BTW: I'm just a ROKU user myself, and don't work for the company. So personally, it doesn't affect me much one way or the other what your decision is.
Please tell me there is a somewhat easy/automatic way around this. Thanks.
Easy/automatic, probably not. However, had you looked around this forum, you likely would have discovered that there are several different ROKU "channels" that let you view your own media on the ROKU. In fact, most of those local media player "channel authors" are active participants in these forums.
However, in large part due to the ROKU's inability to directly read network attached file shares, pretty much all of those "local media" options require a little more work than you might face with some other media players. At the very least, you will likely have to setup an http server on your LAN, to stream your local content to your ROKU. Granted, that LAN "web server" could be as simple as enabling IIS on your PC, but that still an extra step that some "local media" players wouldn't require.