Trying to find one device that will do it all that isn't an HTPC is a fools errand. The PS3 has a terrible front end and most dedicated devices lack any real power for a truly smooth UI. A $599 Mac mini is expensive but serves as an excellent HTPC as well as transcode videos to mobile devices.
Yeah, I keep coming back to someting along these lines.
I can't help but think that OP couldn't have just done a DIY NAS with FlexRAID or SnapRAID that could have taken care of transcoding responsibilities for less than the $300 he spent for the Synology DS213. Is it too late to cancel the order or send it back?
For what is worth, I run Plex and transcode to Rokus using a single core VM with 4GB RAM running on an i5-3750k. Only bad files seem to make it skip. The rig is my vCenter testing rig. If I dedicated the CPU to a server it would likely do 4 streams with out to much of an issue. I often transcode and mux in subtitles also.
The main purpose for my raid was to setup a personal cloud, being that I have 65mbit upload, I want to take advantage of that. The plex was just icing on the cake. The problem with an HTPC is it doesn't play PS3 games, and the new mac mini's doesn't even have an optical slot anymore for my sleuth of blurays.
and I can have set to automatically launch into WMC... does it have an HD tuner? could be the solution for me to get rid of my STB.... I guess I can live without the PS3 as a media center if I can get rid of my STB...
well synology has the brand new DS214play! even faster transfer rates, and now hardware transcoding!!!! I might pick this up just for the 100 MB/s transfer rates... or maybe i'll just be lazy and get a i7 Haswell brix to do my 4 streams of 1080p + 5.1 transcoding... since it takes less power than a light bulb.
it consists of a dongle a little larger than a typical usb flash drive, a usb power cord (i plugged mine into a/c power, but i've heard a smart tv usb port for a hard drive would suffice), and a short extender that can be helpful if you have lots of hdmi devices.
one advantage is that it removes a box and a couple of wires from the entertainment area. i like it better than the ouya (https://www.ouya.tv/) i was using before it for that reason, and because of the convenience of controlling the chromecast. it can be controlled from any android or ios device and any platform that supports chrome, whereas the ouya requires a game controller to watch. it also uses less power than even the ouya (although either as a client ought to save on the electric bill compared to any htpc). it works well with google music and pandora as well, which is nice if you have good speakers attached to the same tv as the chromecast.