I purchased a roku a while back and sold it because it would not stream from websites. My wife likes to watch shows on The CW, ABC, NBC, etc. With the old roku I could not stream the latest episodes. Now I have a micro-pc running XBMC. IT works ok but I use Windows 7 as an OS and it has issues with netflix (i.e. the interface sucks) so we use a wii for netflix. as you can imagine, with kids this can get a little cumbersome.
Here is what I want to do:
1) stream from Netflix (I see roku will do this)
2) Stream from various sites across the web. The CW, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, History channel, discovery channel, etc.
3) support web browsing to include HTML 5. Not nessecarly to surf the web, but to stream from other websites
4) I see it has some games, can it load/run emulators?
5) Does it support a webcam
6) I have an external HDD with a bunch of media on it
a) Can I attach this to the Roku and watch my movies and tv shows that are on it?
b) If I have the roku powered on, can I access the drive over my wifi network? Currently I do so in windows explorer via the address
c) Will the roku play media in AVI, MPG, MP3, MKV, MP4, JPEG, formats?
7) Will regular HULU work? NOT hulu plus.
Right now with XBMC I have the "Free Cable" repository installed. It collects 1000s of free shows from the internet into one list. For example, when the wife wants to watch Vampire Diaries she goes to the "Free Cable" add-on, goes to the network, goes to the show and all the episodes that are available on the website are listed. Will she be able to watch the latest episodes (usually available about a day or so after they air) on the Roku 3.
2) Nope, not like you're thinking. You need a channel built to stream the content, and the content must be in the proper format.
a) Depends on the format. Go to this page
and at the bottom, click on See Specs for the model in question.
b) Nope. It's a client, not a server.
c) See a)
7) Hulu terms of service (TOS) don't allow that. There is no "Hulu Free" for Roku or any device.