After using Apple TV for 3 days, I bricked it and returned it to Amazon…
Before buying it, I thought the main function of Apple TV was to play downloaded movies on computer. Then I found this was totally wrong. Apple TV is designed for buying/renting movies, either from iTunes or Netflix. Another selling point is its AirPlay integration with iOS devices. However videos from ppLive usually only have 480p quality or worse, so they look terrible on big TV. And AirPlay randomly broke after 1 hour use… It’s not that nice.
Then I jailbroke Apple TV, installed XBMC, hoping it could stream movies on my laptop. Experiences with XBMC were quite frustrating. It’s too like a developer toy, not a “product” at all. It was a pain to input anything, a huge pain to connect it with OSX system, and it crashed all the time. Eventually I got it work (broken intermittently though), but it still had so many drawbacks: poor subtitle support, poor seek function, and slow buffering.
I tried Netflix on Apple TV then, it worked pretty well and finally gave me a bit satisfaction after I got this thing. Because Apple TV started to support Netflix subtitle since 4.4, I tried to upgrade it from 4.3(jailbroken) to 4.4. Then it became a brick… Even restoring in iTunes couldn’t fix it. Considering the hours I wasted on it, I decided to return it. Amazon’s customer service is great. I got full refund very soon.
XBox 360 also has Netflix/YouTube and it worked pretty well. I don’t really see the reason to keep both Apple TV and XBox connected to TV. Microsoft is catching up pretty fast in the living room war, maybe already ahead of Apple?