I bought one of the new Apple TVs yesterday. I'm an Apple fan and as a Mac, iPhone and iTunes user it just seemed to make sense. I do have a cable to connect my MacBook Pro to the TV but it's a nuisance dragging it out every time I want to watch something from iTunes on the TV and it meant my laptop had to stay beside the TV. I thought the Apple TV would be the perfect device to link my home entertainment together.
Indeed it does work quite well. It connected without any problems to my Airport Extreme and from there out to iTunes for movie rentals and onto my computer to access my local iTunes library. Everything was perfect, for about an hour or two.
Suddenly the screen went green/magenta. All the blacks were gone. Ok I thought maybe it's just gotten a little overloaded with my playing with all the different features and streaming too much different content to it. I unplugged for a minute and everything returned to normal. Unfortunately a short while later the same problem occurred again. I switched HDMI ports on the TV, things returned to normal, for a few minutes. This time the picture changed to green, but then changed back after a few seconds, then 5 minutes later it changed again and this time stayed green. As the day went on the problem got worse and finally I restored the device back to factory settings. Things were ok for an hour or so and then another green screen. It's basically unusable for movies or anything longer than a YouTube video.
A search on the Apple discussion forums reveals mine is not an isolated incident. It appears that Apple have a bit of a problem with the HDMI handshaking on some TVs. The brands affected are Philips and Sony. Mixed messages seem to be coming out of Apple support, some staff say it's a known issue and a future firmware update might fix it, others say it's a problem with the TVs and refer the customer to Philips. Going out on a limb here I'd guess Philips and Sony might have a better idea of the HDMI spec than Apple and if either of those manufacturers were pumping out HD TVs that didnt work properly with HDMI it would likely have been noticed before Apple released a HDMI device. It seems to me that this is certainly an Apple problem to fix.
Until they do I would advise anyone with a Philips or Sony TV to avoid the Apple TV. It might work or it might not but unless you can get one to test for several hours it wont be worth the trouble if you have a similar problem to mine. I'm in contact with the store I bought mine from and I'll see what they say but at the moment unless I hear there is a firmware update on the way soon I think I'll be returning it.