After suffering with the infamous Sony BD570 for nearly nine months, I decided to try the Roku XD as an alternative.
I will shortly return this unit to Amazon. In order to use it, I must give roku.com my name, address and CREDIT CARD. Why? Netflix has my credit card. Amazon has my credit card. I have no need to purchase anything from Roku, yet if I don't give them a credit card, the unit will not be activated. Sony did not ask for a credit card, nor did Vizio, to activate their streaming.
I have had an attempted identity theft, and on another occasion my credit card number has been stolen. I'm therefore a little hesitant to give personal information to just anyone, especially someone who doesn't need it! After I return this device, and before I buy the Apple TV box, I'll find out about their requirements.
The credit card requirement should be in the Roku product descriptions (Requirements: TV, High Speed Internet, computer to set up your account, and you must give Roku your credit card!) The only place I've read anything about this is in the roku.com discussion forum--where I should have read more before buying. For me, this is a deal breaker.
I personally am reluctant to create an account that provides personal information for anything that it is not necessary to have. Good examples of this are:
Forums who block their content from even being viewed unless you sign up but are aggregated in google and show up as results to searches.
Freeware, shareware, download/upload sites (similar to rapidshare); for just downloading stuff.
Blog sites, including news, commercial (company), and other blog site just to post comments.