With the new TiVo HD installed, we have access to the Amazon unbox service, letting us rent popular movie titles directly through the TiVo box. For only $3.99, we can download everything from "The Simpsons Movie" to Jim Carrey's "The Number 23" or "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", and keep each show at home for a full 30 days.
So now, from one box, I can record multiple TV channels simultaneously, get recommendations for new shows I would like, stream my iTunes and iPhoto library via TiVo Desktop, and download movies from Amazon.
Meanwhile, my Apple TV just sits there. If Apple offered movie rentals through iTunes, I'd likely have bought them through iTunes, out of loyalty, and the company's typical leading interface and ease of use. But they don't... still. So tonight, I purchased three films for $3.99 apiece, totaling $11.97, sending my money to Seattle, Washington instead of nearby Cupertino.
The more I can do with my TiVo HD or my Wii, the less I see myself using the Apple TV. The Apple TV still offers the best way to get my full iTunes Library and access YouTube through the television, but that's it. And if I keep using the Amazon unbox service and find myself happy with it, then I just might become a fairly loyal customer for them instead, even if Apple eventually follows on with movie rentals.
Apple, your time for leadership with the Apple TV has passed. Now, just get your act together and stop forcing me to give my money to your competition.