The Movie Buff
The sleek and simple Apple TV is still the only way to link your flatscreen to iTunes, which has the most comprehensive catalog of streamable movies. The catch: You'll need to rent or buy them, since Apple doesn't yet offer an all-you-can-stream package. If you like classic movies, then also get Hulu Plus, which streams around 900 titles in the Criterion Collection, including masterpieces like Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and Federico Fellini's 8½. Apple TV also lets you add services like HBO and Netflix, but that can bloat your monthly fees.
Apple TV ($69)
With this setup you are saving a whopping $70 per month (just factoring the cost of Hulu Plus). That leaves plenty of extra cash to rent movies from iTunes. (New releases are about $5.99, and many others are $3.99 and under.)
What You Lose
Say goodbye to the impulsive joy of coming across a James Bond marathon while channel surfing. But in place of that spontaneity is the ability to watch high-quality movies whenever you want — only in this case you pay à la carte.