To me they look great, I will say most movies I cannot tell. But the goodies, Star Wars, dark knight, transformers, etc. I leave fully uncompressed Mkv. But to me 9 out of 10 movies I cannot tell. My wireless is pretty good, I can stream all my m4v without any issues, up to even my 14gb m4v rips. I do notice the audio difference more than the video. I really like hd audio on my golden ears. It is awesome. I am just so tired of messing with streamers, HTPc, etc. maybe one day I will find one box to rule them all, ie the original Boxee box with no hd audio drops, hbo go, Netflix with all the audio options, vudu, amazon, etc. just to cover all the bases, but it will probably never happen. Nothing I have tried is without some compromise, either lack of options, ugly up, no waf , the Apple TV is by no means perfect, (not even close)
But the sum of the parts is my favorite for most things. I can stream to all my iPads, and bedrooms all from the same source. Openelec is a great option though as well for local content it is beautifull ui, and supports most formats. And no need to re-encode anything, make Mkv , and done. It is my primary for my theater on the 155" but the Apple TV did great when I had it hooked up in there. Maybe I will try the a-400 I use blu ray for 3d now. It would be nice to have something that played those iso as well as everything else. The med1000x3d was close, but network issues on my high bitrate Mkv killed it, wher my cheap Zotac openelec never breaks a sweat.