Today SanDisk officially announced its "Sansa TakeTV' USB PC to TV device, which is married to its "Fanfare" digital download store. As "convergence devices" go, this is about as straightforward as it gets. Fanfare is still pretty lean on content, but that will no doubt change quickly.
I saw an early version of this product at the NAB Futures Summit last April (CNET's Brian Cooley brought one along) and for simplicity it's hard to beat. You download the Fanfare software (a snap), plug the device into your USB, download files, and then plug the device into its cradle, which is connected to your TV. What I haven't seen is the UI for the TV, so I can't comment on that.
Considering I witnessed my 8 year-old nephew figure out how to plug his digital camera into his TV to do slide shows, I'd expect Sansa TakeTV to appeal to a pretty wide audience of non-techies. And at $100 for the 4GB model (saves about 5 hours of video), it's a solid "stocking stuffer" for the upcoming holiday season.
Sansa TakeTV is another example of the limitless innovation underway to converge the PC/broadband video world with the TV world. To date most of the solutions here (except AppleTV and Xbox probably) have been pretty techie, requiring some degree of user intervention to marry the PC and the TV over the home wireless or wired network. It's safe to say that none of these devices has yet caught on.
Sansa TakeTV's issue is whether it can be anything more than a short term, low end solution. A lot of the answer is wrapped up whether USB Flash storage can scale up to inexpensively handle lots of video. For example, the low-end AppleTV holds 40 GB and costs $299, while the 16GB USB Flash drives I found online approach $200 alone, never mind the software and other component costs in the Sansa Take TV package. (see below).
However, if anyone's going to figure out how to make USB Flash storage competitive for video, it'll be SanDisk. In the meantime, there's nothing wrong with accepting Sansa Take TV for what it is - an easy-to-use, low end product for the masses to watch high-quality broadband video on their TVs.