"Has some limits but still pretty awesome."3.5 starson by KC_64106
Pros: Easy set up; iTunes on my home theatre, finally!
Cons: Supplied remote is clunky for entering text data, thankfully can use iOS handheld instead.
Apple dictates the menu organization.
Slow on wake up when first contacted by iPad.
Summary: The main reason I purchased the Apple TV is to access my iTunes music library through my home theatre. Couple exceptions listed below but on the most part it does this very well and no longer have to deal with the hokey work arounds using non-Apple devices or through the PS3 interface. I wanted full iTunes content easily accesible and organized correctly and this product delivered.
Setup was a snap. Plug the thing in to AC and to TV, enter network credentials and it's up and running.
Picture quality is great for streaming movies and runing content from my photo collection to the HDTV while music is playing. Initial play while streaming a video from iTunes store was a bit choppy at first, perhaps I was a bit to impatient waiting for a buffer but it does stream just as good as any other device.
One thing I don't like (which is same with all Apple products) is Apple's habit of telling me what I want or need which is not always what I really want. For the Apple TV they do this with the 'Music' menu. The only option listed on this menu is iTunes Match. With my home network and even with the iPad I don't need iTunes Match, I can stream from my PC or from the iPad. These options are still available under the 'Computer' menu or via AirPlay, the point is the interface should be more intuitive listing all options to connect to music under the Music menu. Would be a much improved user experience if Apple TV unit would ask me how I want to connect to my music then let me choose as opposed to pimping the iTunes Match service which I do not need to buy. I hope other users don't think Match is the only way to connect to music since is the only option listed on the menu.
The included remote went straight to the junk drawer. Better option is to use the Remote app from the iPad or iPod Touch especially when entering text information for searches or setting up logins.
Only other issue I have is the Apple TV has a bit of a lag time if I wake it up using the iPad. The unit wakes up but does not process sound for approx 5 to 7 minutes. No clue why this happens, I have a fast home network with plenty of bandwith and this does not happen if I wake Apple TV using the supplied remote or via iTunes on the PC.
The Apple TV kind of reminds me of the apps used to connect to the iTunes Store -- does the job very well but somewhere in the bowels of Apple some committee decided to try and organize the thing for me. Why on earth can't we get the same iTunes interface found on the desktop interface on all the Apple devices? I'm just saying....
I would like to see the option to edit the menus for a more customized interface, however such an option is generally not available with Apple products.
Overall was a good purchase and can't beat the price. Again, the best benefit of the Apple TV is integration with other Apple products, the best of those being correctly displaying the iTunes lbrary with all my copyrighted content which you don't get from other devices.