NXP who produce the "heart" of the Netflix/Amazon Wonderbox-Thingy (TM alanmc) are even a member of DLNA
, which is the organisation promoting the use of UPnP. So where's the problem and why wasn't UPnP implemented from the beginning?
You make some good points, but UPnP and the DNLA are hardly solutions.
From what I have seen, DLNA falls somewhere between window-dressing and a cruel CE industry joke. For example, Sony's DLNA-certified laptops can be used as servers to playback media on DLNA-certified BluRay players made by JVC, LG and Panasonic but not on any of Sony's own DLNA BluRay players since they are all minimally certified as media servers only.
And if you take a look at the actual certifications for individual devices, boy is it a shock. Most of the non-computer devices certified as media players can only start video and stop video with no ability to seek or even pause. Quite a few have only regional certification for video, usually limited to Japan. UPnP has many of the same problems: even though it's in the name, UPnP is just not quite universal.
As for your question about why UPnP support was not initially included, I'm taking a guess here, but it was probably because UPnP was not needed for the N1000's first incarnation as the Netflix Player.
Why should Roku fear this challenge?
Speaking only for myself, I would fear it because the level of technical ability in the general population ranges from appallingly low to nonexistent. I know many bright individuals who couldn't set up a simple home network if their lives depended on it. My parents, left unattended with a networked device, can unintentionally reduce it to a gently smoldering paperweight in less than a minute. These are the people to fear.
They developed the SoundBridge devices which were designed to stream content on all sorts of bizarre home networks.
Granted, but I would say that the SoundBridge is a niche product for audiophiles and technophiles. Both groups have the inclination to shell out $200 for a device to stream music and the motivation to work out any kinks that may arise, whereas the average person would probably just say "Screw it," and throw in the towel.