Pros Ease of use.
Summary We love this product. The recent downgrade by CNET is irrelevant. We do not own nor have we used a ROKU, but to be honest there is no reason to switch. We mainly use the ATV for Netflix and viewing movies purchased from iTunes. The other programs are used infrequently. For the non-electronic people in your life who don't need to fiddle with everything (the wife and kids for me) this is an awesome product. And No we do not have apple computers and are not brainwashed by the Giant Fruit Tree..we are PC people.
"mediocre at best"on by simplefred
Pros Screen mirroring with my other apple products is nice
Cons missing apps store, bluetooth hid and without subscription services, it's a youtube/podcast streaming device.
Summary Given the event of Ouya's android based platform that offer all of Apple tv's features and games and homebrew app. I can't think of any good reason to update my Apple tv.. I even thought that jailbreaking it and installing plex would justify it, but no. Frankly, it no more the a roku with an iphone wifi adapter.
Pros It's great best out of the bunch,however,things change.The nice part is you get a update to keep the system on top.It links my Windows 7 & Vista machines under settings.
Cons Don't for get to disable the remote for the computer whilst you are on the Apple TV (under system preferences"under File Vault")
Summary You get what you pay for.
Pros Easy to use remote - once you figure it out - "Menu" is the "back" button. Odd.
Good clear picture.
Navigation is easy.
You MUST download an entire movie before you may watch it. Requires too much planning.
Tied to iTunes eco-system
Cons Remote is way too easy to lose.
Updates are frequent and no clear idea what is being updated. Update notes anyone?
No Amazon Instant Video
Power cord is stiff and not very flexible. It sticks out all over the place.
Summary I have been a long time user of the AppleTV (2-3 years), however over this period of time I have used it less and less. I've also become less and less a fan of iTunes (the app is clunky, slow, and hard to use).
There is no compelling reason to use an Apple TV over some other device that can stream the services I want, except for the unit's size which is small.
Airplay is interesting, but I don't want to use my iPhone to stream anything, so I'm not interested.
Unless you are 100% vested in Apple products, it's a mediocre product.
The price is not astronomical, but the Roku is a better value.
Pros iTunes home sharing
Cons Airplay being Apple proprietary protocol. Of course not an Apple TV fault per see, but inter-operability with outer platforms is a no starter.
Summary The 3rd gen Apple TV is one of the best and fairly low cost Apple devices that we have bought. Being able to mirror and stream content from the iPad or our iMac, as well as purchased content from iTunes or Netflix, all this with a super simple setup makes it perfect for us. The only I miss is able to stream from my Android devices, or get films through the YouTube app, but that's given.