Originally Posted by imlucid
.... The reason why other media extenders haven't made much of a dent is they are geeky and scary and not in the public eye....
Hm, I'd say at least stuff like X-Box and PS3 is very much in the public eye, and the public is fairly used to them. Same for Netflix, who also have a STB in the works.
On the other hand, for your purposes, ATV may work fine.
My main issue (apart from some of the attacks aimed at those who disagree with the article at the beginning of this thread,) is that Apple has become a little too greedy and is locking the OS X community out of a rapidly expanding content delivery market. Apple wants to be the exclusive seller of ALL content that reaches your ATV, and this is the reason it has not cooperated with other content providers, such as Netfix, Vongo, BT, etc.. I am not saying that all of them would have jumped in and started developing for OS X, but at least some would. See this: http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/0...gomac/index.php
I also doubt the viability of a movie market where the price of a download is equal to, and at times greater, than the price of the physical copy of the same movie, which also includes packaging, extras, etc.. I'll repeat: this is a great model for selling $0.99 songs, which get repeat play and are often spontaneous purchases. But, IMO, it is not a viable model for movies, which cost $10-$20, are viewed once, come with DRM, and take a while to download. Again, see the linked interview above, or take a look at BT's pricing research.
At the end, I do wish ATV luck, even if I don't see it succeeding. But what worries me, is the likelihood that Apple will not provide any significant improvements to Front Row in Leopard, for fear of cannibalizing ATV's sales. Apple made the same mistake with games (which really drove up PC hardware sales in the Windows world,) and some would say, with their refusal to license their OS way back, at the beginning.
Anyway, I am still hoping for a super Front Row, and better codecs, when Leopard comes in.
P.S. FallingDown, I kind of see where you are coming from. But honestly, while I've had some incompatibility problems with my previous HTPC boxes, which I built myself (yep, I think I've spent well over $3,000 on those:-), Since I bought the Intel Mini, first XP MCE, and now Vista MCE, have been rock solid (Vista is actually more stable.) My wife can operate it perfectly fine with the help of a MX-850 universal remote, and it is so seamless, you can't tell that you are switching between the Dish 622 HDPVR and MCE. Really, you can't tell there is a computer in there at all (well, it's all hidden away:-)