I got this so that I could cut off most of the cable television service and use this to save some money on the monthly cost. It works well, the remote has a touchpad surface much like a laptop would and it's easy enough to use. I have large hands, and the remote isn't that uncomfortable to hold and use, plus it came with a charge right out of the box and I haven't had to charge it once yet. So it's gone at least one solid month on it's initial charge and I use this daily.
The only downside to the plan that I had of cutting out the TV service and using this instead is: You still would need a log in for cable service for almost ALL the network apps, such as AMC, comedy central, ect..
There are some apps that are NOT available on the Apple TV that ARE on the iPhone and iPad, such as Amazon Prime video. As of the time of thisreview (3/14/2016) there is NO Amazon Prime app available. There is also currently no way to surf the web via the Apple TV by itself. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you CAN do screen mirroring which basically puts whatever is on your screen right onto your TV.
The device has Wi-Fi as well as a plug to connect via an ethernet cable (which, I would recommend as you're GOING to get signal loss and slower speeds via Wi-Fi)
There are some games that you can play with the remote and some that require another person to have an iPod/iPhone/iPad to be the second player.
I've experienced some issues when streaming video content from my ipad to the Apple TV, but that is mostly due to how the website I am watching video works. It's clearly not optimized to do what I'm doing, so I'm not too upset that it has some issues.
Example: There currently is NO app for Adult Swim to watch some of the shows on that network for the Apple TV. So, I go online to the website on my iphone or iPad and click on the video there to stream it to my device, and then simply click on the "screen mirroring" and have it go to the Apple TV. There have been some times when it goes to play a commercial that it will stop broadcasting to the TV and try to play on the device itself (the phone or tablet) and you will need to turn the phone or tablet back on, grab the remote, click play and hope that it goes on with what it was trying to do.
This can be frustrating and trying to watch things like The Walking Dead via the AMC website and broadcast it to the Apple Tv has not gone well. This could be fixed when/if they release a stand alone app for the Apple TV or if the websites can figure out why it's not playing well with going from a mobile device to screen mirroring to the Apple TV.
Overall, those 3 or 4 shows that require this additional muddling about can just as easily be watched on a laptop or desktop.
If that's NOT an option for you, then you might want to look into a different option.
Netflix, Hulu, Youtube all work very well and I've had no issues with them.
The Siri voice search can take some getting used to, and it often ONLY will show you what's available through iTunes.
If you have a LOT invested already with iTunes, iPhone, Apple in general... then this will be a good fit. Buying shows and movies and music to play on the TV is easy through itunes.
It takes up very little room. The remote itself is bluetooth so you don't NEED to have the device visible if you don't want. The remote DOES have I.R. so you can controll volume on your television with the Apple TV remote. Some programming may be required, if you're TV doesn't have the HDMI capability to automatically detect and change settings. My Samsung TV had no issues with it, the remote was able to turn on the TV and change the volume.
You can sync it up with your iCloud and see pictures and some videos on the TV that you took with your iPhone or iPad or other connected Apple device that is set up to share images or use the cloud. So, if you take some pictures with your iPhone and want to show them to everyone, then it will appear in your photo stream on your Apple TV.
Just be aware that it will show EVERY one of your recent pictures that are shared. So... keep that in mind.
If you have kids and you take some photos that are not exactly PG....they can see them on the TV if you have photo sharing set up.
My only complaints are: Lack of supported Apps, which time will more than likely change.
When you want to put the Apple TV to sleep, you hold the menu button for a few seconds and a little message pops up asking you if you want to put the apple TV to sleep (bascially shut it off) when you do so... it will turn off the TV as well.
This can get a little annoying, and it MAY only be due to the type of TV that I have. But if I want to switch over to a gaming console or blueray player or any other input and wish to put the Apple TV to sleep, it turns off the TV and I then have to turn it back on and manually swap over to the next input.
It will also switch over to the Apple TV if you accidentally click on, so far, ANY button on the remote. So if you are watching TV or a DVD or something else, and someone picks up the remote, it will detect that someone picked up the remote and if they press anything, any button or click in the trackpad portion on the top of the remote, it will change the input on the TV over to the Apple TV.
Again, this MAY only be due to the brand and model of Television that I personally have. This may not do this on ALL makes and models of television. And it's not that big of a deal, I just have to grab the other remote and switch it back.
So, Do I recommend it?
If you already have something invested with Apple. Be it an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Macbook, iTunes... and you already have some content in your itunes such as movies, shows, music, podcasts... then YES, this would likely make more sense.
If you have NO apple Products, don't have an iTunes account... Then you might want to look into a Roku or something else. They have similar features (especiialy the Roku 3 and 4) but don't focus on a pre-existing library of photos, music, movies, shows and other things in an iTunes library.
Not to say that you CAN'T use this if you DON'T have any other Apple device or accounts... it just might make more sense to try something else.