A much maligned device
I'm a geek. I buy gadgets. Often I buy gadgets and soon think 'WTF? What a waste of money!' The Logitech Harmony being a prime example. The Apple TV, on the other hand, was one of my better purchases. Sure, it's a flawed product - but it does what it does so well that I don't really mind.
The biggest flaw isn't actually a flaw in the product. It's a flaw in the name, and in the marketing. Apple TV? Apple 'TV'? I don't watch much TV. But I do listen to a lot of music. And, with the music that I really love, I want that music to be lossless. There aren't many systems out there which can play lossless formats - at least, not for a reasonable small outlay. But the AppleTV does sterling service as a lossless music player on my HiFi. And, of course, for the throwaway background music, it also does MP3.
Sometimes, of course, I do watch TV. And on those occasions my AppleTV plays films that I've ripped from my own DVDs or bought from the iTMS. My DVDs are now languishing in a big box in the loft with other obsolete formats. No need to hunt anymore. I just search for a film and play. In fact, it gets better - because I can rent films too, although it has to be admitted that the quality of films from iTMS is a little hit or miss in terms of picture quality. Some of them were clearly converted by the night watchman. Still, looking on the bright side, films from iTMS don't subject you to interminable adverts or admonishments not to pirate film.
The only real flaws I can see are that it isn't possible, without hacking the device, to add third party applications. I'd love to be able to buy apps for it from iTunes. And it's also annoying that it doesn't have a proper on/off switch - I have to turn it off at the wall. But, other than that, it's excellent - and I look forward to Apple marketing it properly.