Originally Posted by tmccomp
In my humble opinion this is a definite step back from the Gen-1 Apple TV which allowed you to purchase content and rent movies (not TV shows) and start watching them after a couple of minutes.
It encourages a change of viewing habits though. If you buy and download a movie for $9.99-$14.99 and watch it once or twice then you'd be better off renting at $2.99-4.99. Purchasing movies is only cost-effective after you watch a movie 4 times. The amount of times I've watched a movie 4 times or more I can count on one hand and I suspect a lot of people are the same. For the odd handful of movies that you absolutely want to keep, DRM-ridden downloads are not the best option but either Blu-Ray or DVD, which despite having DRM are higher quality and easier to rip for your devices.
The new ATV design was well thought out IMO and they've improved almost everything about it. The purchase price is 1/3 the original, the power consumption is cut to 1/5th, the size by 1/4, there's no hard drive to break, no sync times (including reverse sync for a purchase made on the device).