As much as we love the ability to jailbreak and add support for XMBC to our AppleTV 2G, it'd be much easier if Apple would just implement the changes we've been asking for natively, allowing customers to get more value out of their boxes, and changing the whole way we view the living room experience.
Add Apps Already: One of the biggest perks of Boxee over AppleTV is the ability to install separate apps that boost functionality and give individuals a sense of ownership over their boxes. Apple has the power to implement such an App store, not to mention all the creative potential by combining iPhones and iPads as wireless controllers.
Nix the Rental-Only Model: If there's one thing Netflix has proven successful, it's that people don't mind paying for content. As long as it's cheap, reliable, and reasonable, people will go for it. Charging $3-5 per movie is not my idea of fun, and I'm pretty sure most of us can agree that a flat rate for subscription beats throwing down for content that you ultimately have no ownership over.
Add Better Subtitles Support: For those of us who direct our own short films or rip Blu-ray movies, subtitles can make or break the home theater experience. Even though there are ways to hardcode them into video files, the support for soft-embedded subtitles is quirky and difficult to work on the system (unless you use a program like iSubtitle).
Allow More Video Formats: One of the biggest draws of Boxee, PlayOn, and other alternative streaming approaches is the ability to keep one version of a video and use it on any system at any time. That said, we believe the problem of modern day piracy draws on just that; people want full control of their content and when/where they access it.
7.1 Channel Surround Sound: It boggles our mind that a company would include HDMI, but have it restrict output to a mere 2.1 channels (even if the streaming file has the support for it). If Apple wishes to stay ahead of the game, they should keep up with standards (unlike the iPad 2G's terribly inferior camera). Correction, it's mainly the files that have a restriction on the sound output. AppleTV supports 5.1 surround sound passthrough by default. Apologies for the mistake!
Have a change you'd wish to see on the AppleTV 2G? Share your thoughts below!
(Images: Michael B.)