If you were to log in, you'd be able to get more information on your fellow community member.
Hmm, you want a "big TV [that] could be playing a movie from the Internet one moment, browsing a text page the next, playing a DVD the next?"
So how about a WebTV (or variant)? It won't play your DVDs but it seems it'll do everything else, and it's only about $200! Isn't this exactly your "information appliance?"