Thanks for posting this as a topic. I agree that there has to be a way to bypass the Kwese Play service option on the Roku. I'm currently sitting with two units and the tech in me is refusing to believe that they are bricked due to 3rd party incompetence. I've been in discussion with the retail chain that sold me the unit, but would happily give a hard code restart to one of them as a test.
Unfortunately, there's no way to reflash a Roku device without connecting to their update servers. Your device is likely pointed at an Econet server, and there's no way to change it. You can't load firmware from a local file.