Well I have a loaner TV to check out. Unboxing who cares... I will go into setup, ease of use and is this Gen 1 worthy of getting for the average user, or just a tech head.
Configuration: 32GB, Cost $149
What's different between this Apple TV and the last generation?
Quite a bit, but not enough to make the last generation Apple TV obsolete. If you don't need gaming, app store and the enhanced remote. Go with the last generation and the cost is down to $69. I have several older relatives with the last generation Apple TV and I would not suggest they upgrade to the new Apple TV. If you have kids just buy the newer Apple TV this is going to be like crack for the kids with the app store and gaming. I may change my mind if my older relatives can play word games like they do on their iPad.
The un - boxing
As usual Apple packages the TV as all their products, Impressively. I am a believer in the concept of making the whole experience of a product especially one that you have thought and researched is how it is packaged and protected. From the first iPod Generation 1 I noticed the unboxing as an experience. I went to a work event that night and relayed my thoughts and my coworkers thought I was nuts, and still do. Enough.
Power cord, HDMI cable (Not Included) for my setup. Also included lightening cable, stickers and... about it.
Simple to hook up. The unit boots to the Apple logo and then a screen pops asking if you want to synch the iCloud settings from your iPhone or iPad. This did not work for me and I found that others had the same issue. I found after several attempts that the TV was trying to update from my iPad. I turned off the iPad and the synch did not work. I decided to manually setup the unit.
There is a new single line keyboard to enter your information. Still a long and tedious process typing all the information in. Overall the setup is easy. The comes in the big surprise.
Instead of the usual pre-set, downloaded apps you have to go to the app store and download what you want individually. I wouldn't mind that as it is similar to other Apple devices. However, since every network has their own app I ended up having to download 12 separate apps. One nice feature is that one you do the first purchase in the app store you are allowed to authorize further purchases without having to input your store credentials.
Apps download fast and the selection is a bit surprising with HSN and Zillow. There are some other new apps worthy of a look. I ended up with my network apps, some other apps that interested me and one gaming app.