berrys: Hmmm, I was hoping that it would have tv tuners for live tv and dvr capability, but I guess that would be hard for the different tv signals around the world. having a hdmi in allows for your set top box to be connected, but you still have to switch interfaces etc. not having tuners/dvr capability probably keeps the cost down too.
here's hoping the usb/ethernet ports could be used to add a homerun like device in future!
I expect MS to take all steps to limit this that they can and offer as little flexibility in an effort to give themselves control, which is understandable. They need to control as much of the device as possible to ensure that people get a consistent experience no matter where they are, and to reduce their support footprint.
It can be frustrating to those of us who would like more control and flexibility but understand we are by far in the minority.