David Chartier reviews this popular Apple TV hacking package: essentially, the Apple TV equivalent of iPhone jailbreaking or game-console modding.
I disagree with the opening line:
About to enter its third year of existence, the Apple TV remains one of Apple’s most hotly debated products.
There’s no debate that I can find. Nearly every Apple TV owner seems to agree: it’s decent, if not mediocre, but it could be so much better.
It’s a compact, stylish device with no buttons and no bright blue LEDs and a simple remote that’s a simple (albeit slow) computer dedicated to iTunes-tethered media playback. And, significantly for this role, it’s silent, cooled only by a very small fan that most Apple TV owners probably don’t even know is there. (It is, and it’s apparently rated at only 10(!) dB, well below the ambient noise level of most household rooms, even at night.)
But the software limitations prevent it from being a truly great device. And we can’t really wait for Apple to add functionality — it’s been a long time, and they’ve added very little. It’s just not a high priority for them, strategically or financially.
If aTV Flash and the software it enables are anywhere near as useful as David Chartier suggests, they’re well worth the cost and hassle.