Walt Mossberg on Apple TV -- the link below is to the no-subscription-required version of his column
Apple TV's most formidable competitor is the Xbox 360 game console from Microsoft, which, in addition to playing games, can also play back content from Windows computers on a TV. And Xbox 360 can do something Apple TV can't do, at least not yet, which is to directly purchase and download movies and TV shows from the Internet. But the comparable Xbox costs 50% more than Apple TV, is much larger and stores only half as much material.
We've been testing Apple TV for the past 10 days or so, and our verdict is that it's a beautifully designed, easy-to-use product that should be very attractive to people with widescreen TV sets and lots of music, videos, and photos stored on computers. It has some notable limitations, but we really liked it. It is classic Apple: simple and elegant.