"No-one is even close to the proper solution yet"3.0 starson by Azzuro10
Pros: Great concept, nice design and interface. Although not perfect - it is better than most out there right now.
Cons: Way too limited for what is supposed to be the complete solution
Summary: It still amazes me how companies like Microsoft, Apple and Sony have not even come close to developing what I and what most people want. In the industry, they call it the Holy Grail - the complete media center solution. I think the answer is pretty straight forward but these companies have not even come close - but Apple is the closest at the moment.
I, like a lot of people, have over 200 DVDs. I want to store them all onto a hard drive. You are looking at around 1TB of DVD data taking up too much physical storage space. I want all of that data to be on a hard drive.
Also, I have 100s of CDs - I want all of that data stored "LOSSLESS" on a drive too - that is another 200-300gb of data. Not to mention all of my photos, videos and future HD content that I want to store.
Bottom line - I need 2TB of storage to feel future proof.
OK, so lets say I buy the hard drive. Now, I want to hook it up to a good quality DAC (Digital Analog Converter) that has good software to organize my media and has a pleasant interface.
So lets take the Apple. It doesn't handle all of the formats necessary - so an instant failure. It ONLY talks to iTunes. It doesn't support 1080p and I doubt whether it is capable of pumping out good quality 5.1 surround sound.
What I also find annoying is that you cannot stream a DVD which is playing on your PC to the AppleTv. Which still means you need to have a DVD player/recorder and tuner.
I like the idea of the media streaming from your desktop or laptop. I could use my laptop to organize my media and then use the remote to navigate through it on the TV.
I recently bought a PS3 and am very dissapointed with its claims of being a "media center". PS3 and Xbox360 are not comprehensive enough to really work as media centers.
If Apple was smart, they should have designed a device that can handle streamed data in every media format AND from your laptop's DVD player. They should have included a tuner.
I also don't know if you will be able to connect an external hard drive to the unit and play the media on that as well.
Bottom Line: Apple is on the right track here. BUT their first product is very dissapointing - it could have truly been the Holy Grail of home media entertainment.