Why, for the love of all that is good and decent in the world, can I not have a flexible and future-proof device for playback of local and streaming video? Before you all jump on me I already know the answer: because licensing and because DRM. My little Roku 3 has worked brilliantly for the last 5 years or so. It's getting a bit long in the tooth now, so I'm in the market to replace it; the biggest irritation is that the remote constantly drops connection and I have to factory reset to get it to pair again - leaving me with having to use a smartphone app as a remote (which isn't exactly great - can you spell tactile controls?). None of the suggested fixes I've found make a difference, I simply have to factory reset then set everything up from scratch again. Even though the remote problem will likely go away with a newer Roku, I won't be going for another Roku because their "app" support is... not great. Layout in most apps is poor and many seem to be simply clones of each other with a different skin (I suspect they're all using the same SDK). For the most part that's something you just live with, but the biggest thorn in my side is the Spotify app - I use Spotify a lot. The Roku Spotify app, besides being utterly terrible to begin with, doesn't support playlists any more, doesn't support any of the "discovery" stuff, and doesn't support Spotify Connect. Spotify themselves couldn't give a damn about updating it because it's not a first-party app (although it is licensed/official), and they have no intention of bringing the app in-house or developing their own app. Realistically that leaves me with few options other than an Amazon Fire TV. Which means vendor lock-in: I'm reliant on Amazon and their app store for everything I want to do, and there's no guarantee that in 3/4 years time I won't be in the position I am in now with the Roku and it's apps. There's the Nvidia Shield also but that's very expensive and total overkill - it's primarily a gaming device, not a TV box, and I already have a game streaming device in the lounge (a Steam Link). There are a plethora of dirt cheap Android TV boxes out there these days but they all fall short in one area: Netflix & Amazon playback. Unless its an "approved device" then you're stuck with standard def playback for Netflix & Amazon - forget about even 720P and 4K is simply a pipe dream. This is without even getting into the kludgy software or custom ROMs which these things so often have. Even if you overlook all of that they still suffer from the same longevity problems: eventually they will get to the point where the hardware simply isn't good enough or software support - if it even exists in the first place - is dropped like a sack of hot turds. An HTPC, in theory, is a great solution. I can update the hardware and software when I need it, it can be infinitely flexible (limited only by my budget), and as long as I keep it patched and up to date it will never go "out of support". I don't have a 4K TV yet, but I want whatever system I buy to be capable of 4K and this is not a problem for a PC: whatever resolutions TV can do, a good GPU, even an iGPU, can do better. Except of course for one big fat problem: there is no realistic way to use streaming services like Amazon or Netflix on an HTPC without a browser or a mouse. I have tried many of the hacks that have cropped up along the way - custom launch scripts for browsers, some plugin that a 14-year old knocked up over a bored weekend, etc - and while they might work for a short time they are invariably: awkward to use, badly implemented, and eventually stop working. I've been a Kodi user since Kodi was XBMP - not even XBMC - back in the days of mod-chipped original XBoxes, and I've seen many solutions for streaming TV services come and go; they have all eventually failed. Netflix have released a Windows 10 app which could in theory be invoked by a custom launcher in an HTPC fornt-end like Kodi... except that the Win10 app only supports mouse or touch screen controls and keyboard controls are intentionally not enabled. Not exactly remote-friendly, unless you want some awkward "air mouse" type implementation (and I've even tried that in the past). Even if this app was a workable solution for Netflix, no similar solution exists for Amazon. And we haven't even talked about 4K streaming yet. Do you want to know what you have to do to watch Netflix in 4K on your PC, right now? Buy a Kaby Lake system, make sure your motherboard - and display device - supports HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, and use Microsoft Edge. For ****'s sake... This is - at least partly - why people pirate films and TV shows. It's not because they are filthy freeloaders intent on starving actors and strangling original content, it's because they don't have a legitimate way of watching the content they have paid for on their own device(s). Specific issues with Amazon, Netflix, or A. N. Other Streaming Service are not the problem: the problem is the mindset behind the restrictions and DRM lockout. If you're going to continue to kick me in the balls with endless restrictions then I will continue to buy blu-rays and proceed to download pirate copies* of those discs in order to watch the content I have paid for where I want and when I want. Why in <insert current year> do I not have a better legal alternative than this? *NB: This post does not advocate piracy; views expressed are solely those of individual members and not representative of bit-tech, it's affiliates, partners, or associated parent/subsidiary companies.