Rip a DVD to H264 then watch it on TV?
Why would anyone want to watch crappy internet video on a big screen HDTV?
I can take my 480p anamorphic widescreen DVDs and play them on an upscaling DVD player to my 1080p HDTV and it still is not taking advantage of the resolution of the TV. I'm waiting as BluRay and HD-DVD player prices fall, and hoping one standard emerges.
Perhaps it is because the typical HDTV customer is conditioned to crappy video. They probably do not have HD cable or satellite. They probably connected thie DVD player to their HDTV via a single composite connection. They probably buy full screen (not anamorphic widescreen) DVDs and then stretch the picture. You know who I'm talking about, the ones who ask "Why does HDTV make people look fat?"
These are the people who would actually want to run YouTube video (which already looks crappy in a 3" window on a PC monitor), on a 50" HDTV. Or rip DVDs down to half their resolution and twice their compression, lose their chapters and 5:1 soundtracks.
I think Apple TV has merit, for buying content, as long as the content is HD quality. It would be nice to be able to buy and store movies and TV shows where it otherwise does not make economic sense to distribute via DVD.
Also, the idea of a "video jukebox" containing full format (chapters and 5:1 audio) ripped DVDs. But it needs to be able to support HD discs as well, so that means lots of storage.