Re: UK version?
> Why do people buy an Apple TV or Chromecast rather than a Roku or Tablet + hdmi cable?
Because they've already bought into the Apple or Google ecosystem. If you've got an iPad and your video/music is in iTunes on your Mac, an Apple TV is the easiest way to get the content onto your TV.
If you haven't, an Apple TV probably isn't for you. It has limited codec support, so you end up re-encoding everything. I've not used a Chromecast, so that may be better.
The Fire TV sounds like it's a bit more open.
> All Smart TVs need a smart phone or tablet to access all features easily.
My Sony doesn't, but it's not really that smart to be honest. It's got iPlayer, but they've never fixed the bug that means 'Back' doesn't work on the remote.
> If this is usable without paid content, works with your own attic server and comparable to a
> Roku it ought to do well
Apparently Plex is supported on the Fire TV, so it will work well with a local media server. Amazon Prime Instant isn't on Roku (yet), so if you have that the Fire TV may be better for you than a Roku. I think I'll stick with my (Roku-based) £10 NowTV box for now, but the Fire TV looks interesting.