Fear not, for with the latest Apple TV software update, the Apple TV's Settings screen lets you choose the resolution of your video downloads: 1080p, 720p, or standard definition. Apple recommends a broadband connection of at least 8 Mbps to comfortably download 1080p content. If you have a slower connection, you'll want to choose 720p or standard definition.
iTunes 10.6, released Wednesday, has a similar Preferred Video Version option that lets you choose from High Definition (1080p), High Definition (720p), and Standard Definition.
Given that the Apple TV is running a version of iOS, can I finally run apps on it?
Unfortunately, no. The new Apple TV provides largely the same features and content options as its predecessor, just with a new interface.
Has Apple added any more "channels" or media options? Can I finally stream video from Hulu or Amazon Video, or audio from Pandora?
Another "unfortunately, no" here. The Apple TV's non-Apple content providers remain (in the U.S.) Netflix, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, and the Wall Street Journal Live, along with sports content from MLB, NBA, and NHL. (One minor change is that you can now sign up for Netflix directly from the Apple TV.)
However, a new feature automatically pushes new iCloud photos to your Apple TV for immediate viewing.
Can you buy TV shows or movies from the Apple TV?
Provided you have an iCloud account, you can purchase TV shows and movies directly from the Apple TV--and later download and watch them on your other iCloud-enabled devices, as well.
Has anything changed in terms of movie rentals? Do you still get only 24 hours to watch a rented video? How much does it cost to rent TV shows and movies?
Apple hasn't announced any changes to rental terms.
Can you still buy movies and TV shows in iTunes and then play them on the Apple TV? What about ripping your own movies and playing them from iTunes on your computer?
As before, you can buy movies and TV shows on the Apple TV itself, or you can buy on your Mac or other iOS device and later watch on your Apple TV. And thanks to iCloud, you can re-download (or, in the case of Apple TV, stream) purchased TV-show episodes and movies onto any device without having to go through iTunes on your computer. (You previously couldn't re-download movies.)
However, there's a catch here: You still can't re-download movies from Fox and Universal, thanks to pre-existing deals those studios have with Time Warner.