My Apple TV has come in! My first observation was on how incredibly small it was. The pictures do not do it justice. It is just a few inches bigger than a regulation sized hocky puck. No lie!
Configuration was simple enough..plug in the Power, HDMI, and Optical Audio. My receiver can do audio through both so I'm not really sure if the optical was necessary or not, but it's plugged in none the less. I have a powerline kit right behind the TV so I opted for wired over wireless.
Special note for other would be users of the apple tv....in any field asking for your email address, type it in all lowercase. the keyboard shows two rows of letters, one capitalized and a lowercase row right below it. Putting any capitals into the email address resulted in an error and it took me 4 tries to realize this.
That aside, the set up was really easy. Navigating with the supplied remote controller is somewhat cumbersome, especially if you have a big thick thumb like I do. They also laid out their onscreen keyboard alphabetically instead of qwerty which is a bit odd, but still functional.
I think once i figure out how the apple remote app works on the iphone or itouch, that would make things like password entry and searches easier.
The TV show selections for rentable episodes were slim. I was a bit disappointed that of all the shows Ericka and I watch, Family guy was really the only we ended up watching before heading upstairs. It was more of a test than anything considering we could have watched it on Hulu from the XBMC. If Apple can work on expanding it's library, or if they can Add hulu plus to the line up of apps, I think the apple tv 2 would give Roku a run for it's money. Blatently obvious is the lack of connection options, but the clear advantage is a crisper screen image for HD content and a slicker interface. One thing I found odd about the Roku was there was no manual power off or sleep function. The Apple TV 2 at least has a sleep function which seems to power down the device. Those things are not going to mean squat if the content doesn't improve drastically.
More later once I've had a chance to play around with it. I'm going to be following the jailbreak/Shatter scene very carefully to see what the hacking community is doing with these little guys.