Originally Posted by Phrehdd
My needs include - able to play local network media files of various formats beyond what ATV offers now (such as VOB files, ts or m2tv files, flac files and mkv files as examples). Apple chose to be limited enough to lock people into iTunes.
I have always been disappointed that Apple TV does not provide a means to do this out of the box. However, Infuse 5
looks to be a pretty good solution. It appears to support a wide range of formats, including those you mentioned, as well as any protocol you might want (DLNA, Kodi, SMB, and even FTP).
Originally Posted by robnix
I can, the UX is leaps and bounds better than any competitor. Just the fact that the buttons on my Harmony control all the apps in the same way is a step above the rest.
This. Good lord, am I looking forward to finally abandoning the Android apps on my Sony A1E. Ever try fast-forwarding in the Android HBO NOW app? The UI is cumbersome and, frankly, bizarre. On the Apple TV, it works exactly as I would expect.
Originally Posted by darknite9099
Never thought of [Apple] TV as being 2 years behind. More like waiting until 4K standards were actually in place.
That may have been part of it, but there were other factors for Apple to consider. The iTunes platform delivers video content to Mac and iOS devices too. Apple waited until their entire product line could perform hardware-accelerated HEVC decoding, which meant waiting for Intel's Kaby Lake processors for their Macs. Whether that was the best move is debatable, but I could see Apple taking a lot of flak if, after launching 4K/HDR on iTunes, someone with a brand new 5K iMac could not (and might never) be able to enjoy silky smooth 4K playback. If I were in Tim Cook's shoes, I'd have made the same call.
Lastly, and this is pure speculation, it wouldn't surprise me if they've been building up a massive 4K library prior to launch. We all know how much Apple loves their marketing. Being able to launch 4K/HDR on iTunes and say they have "the largest collection of 4K content anywhere" strikes me as classic Apple. Of course, they'd probably say that anyway, seeing as their TV app aggregates content from third-party apps.