Uncle Walt likes it, but what does David Pogue, NY Times tech columnist, think of the now shipping Apple TV? The short answer: he likes it.
Pogue compares Apple's offer to the XBox 360 and the Netgear EVA8000 (seen to the right). The XBox 360 is big and noisy, but offers you HD downloads. Pogue also found navigating the menus a little clumsy with the joystick. Speaking of clumsy, Pogue says the EVA8000, which can stream content from any folder on any of your Macs or PCs and can even play tunes purchased from iTunes (though that's a PC only feature for some reason) has the stink of a 1.0 product all over it. The menu system is ugly, setup was difficult, and overall the experience was not pleasant.
Pogue also included a little tidbit I hadn't seen anywhere else. Thanks to the magic of iTunes/iPod syncing if you are watching a video on your iPod, pause, hook you iPod up to your Mac, and then turn on your Apple TV it will remember where you paused that video and start from that point on the Apple TV. Nifty.
The Apple TV wins based on design, ease of use, and ease of setup. Who cares that it only works with iTunes (though on both Mac and PC) and that there is no HD content to be had at the iTunes Store (not yet, anyway)?