Thought-provoking. I have a much simpler take on the Apple TV, though – it is a by-product of a worldview attuned to the US cable hegemonies.
An Apple TV set makes no sense whatsoever when you have “proper” IPTV and sensible content licensing arrangements.
It should be noted, for instance, that Apple has only (very) recently begun to offer movies and TV shows on the Portuguese iTunes store, and yet I still can’t buy an Apple TV locally without resorting to third-party import channels.
Even if Apple can “crack” that market in the US, global content licensing for video and TV is even more balkanized and (let’s be frank, outrageously priced) than for music, so I have doubts it would be a global success.