If you are a current Apple product user of any sort and do not yet own an Apple TV, you owe it to yourself to buy one this holiday gift season. For a rather reasonable price ($149 for the 32GB model of the new Apple TV 4), you can dramatically extend the value of your existing iPhone, iPad or Mac and your overall Apple ecosystem. You can, in fact, spend even less to get into an Apple TV ($69 for the older Apple TV 3 model), but I wouldn't recommend saving the $80, as you won't be taking advantage of what the new app-cable Apple TV 4 technology offers. The older Apple TV 3 was last updated in 2012, so you would be spending money on 3-4 year old technology.
To take you into the future of streaming and interactive television, you will need to purchase the new Apple TV 4. It truly is a multi-purpose device - streaming TV portal, game machine, educational tool, weather station, travel guide, shopping center, etc. etc. The main challenge you may face after opening it will be how to spend your holiday time on anything else, given the addictive and expansive nature of what it has to offer.
Soon, I hope to add several blog entries to this TV + Home Theatre section, expanding on the various features of the new Apple TV. For now, just take my advice and add it to your holiday shopping list and know that guidance for maximizing enjoyment of your new Apple TV can be found here soon. The only two system requirements needed to enjoy your new Apple TV is 1) a high-speed broadband Internet connection serving your home network (wifi or wired) and 2) a high definition TV with at least one HDMI port. If you don't yet have both a broadband connection and a digital TV, start with those before plunking down your cash (or credit) for an new Apple TV. Now start shopping and thank me later.