According to a press release from Apple, the second-generation Apple TV is a hit. Some, including Fortune Magazine, don't think the Apple TV is as good as the Roku, based on both features (the Roku does 1080P while the Apple TV only gets to 720P) and content (Roku has more.) But what Fortune fails to consider is the ergonomics of Apple TV coupled with the iTunes store. Especially for iPhone and iPod Touch owners, the transition from these portable devices to the Apple TV is Apple-easy.
As an owner of the first-gen Apple TV, which Steve Jobs has called his "hobby" due to its limited success, I was not happy when I saw the specs on the new Apple TV. The lack of any internal hard drive made the new Apple TV a steaming-only device, while the original version could also serve as a stand-alone music server. For me the original made a super simple music device that allowed me to move my music library to more rooms in my home or even to another domicile easily.
The second generation Apple TV is not just primarily a streaming device, as was the first gen, it is ONLY a streaming device. This loss of an internal library and storage capacity makes the Apple TV far less attractive to those of us who wanted an inexpensive music server with full Red Book resolution capabilities. Sure, the new Apple TV can stream full rez music, but it requires a network and a separate music library on your home computer to do so.
Am I one of the million folks who have shelled out $99 for an Apple TV? Nope. If I want to watch medium rez and lower video I'll do it on my computer desktop, where I can more easily forgive the oftimes mediocre picture.
I suppose the good news is that the demise of the original Apple TV will force more audiophiles to buy a Logitech Squeezebox Touch as their entry-level music server. With it's 96/24 capabilities and capacity for USB drives, the Logitech Squeezebox Touch is a far better music server than the original Apple TV ever was, and all for only $50 more. Now that's progress...