Engadget: Apple TV review (2010)
When streaming 720p content (particularly new movies) the clarity of video was impressive. There was certainly some very minor compression artifacting, but far far less than you would see on HD video on demand from your cable provider, and considerably less than with Amazon's HD streaming
The question is ultimately about ease versus options -- right now it's hard to whole-heartedly recommend the Apple TV even at its $99 price point given the thin list of partners Apple has courted. If you just want a dead simple movie rental box and you're not that picky about content, the Apple TV is a no-brainer. If, like us, you're looking for options good enough to make you can the cable, Apple's new box still feels a lot like a hobby.
AppleInsider: First look: Unboxing Apple's new $99 Apple TV with streaming HD content
Setup is painlessly simple. From the time we plucked the Apple TV from the box, it took less than a minute to plug in our AC Adapter, HDMI cable and optical audio cables and get the box booted up into the setup dialog
Crave: Apple TV: The case for waiting
...AirPlay could well be the killer app for the Apple TV. But the problem is that we still don't know the details, and they could make or break a feature like AirPlay. Is it a content-agnostic "screen scraper" that works with all iOS-based media, or is it only compatible with iTunes content? Does it stream the content directly from the iPad/iPhone, or does it merely "hand off" the viewing of a cloud-based source from the handheld product to the Apple TV? Will third-party app providers need to update their apps to be AirPlay compatible--and will the primo content providers like Hulu Plus, ABC, and Pandora be onboard with adding that functionality?
TUAW: Apple TV Lowtide (Front Row) running on iPod touch
Now, developer Dustin Howett has managed to port Lowtide to an iPod touch and run it under iOS 4.1. You can see him running the Apple TV Lowtide software in this video. It's really amazing to see just how compatible the diverse systems are.
[UPDATE 4:00 PM]
iFixit: Apple TV 2nd Generation Teardown