As someone who's used PCs for over a decade, it's in my blood to hate anything that emanates from the slick-and-glitzy edifice otherwise known as Apple HQ.

Apple TV review - click here

Now, I appreciate that PCs can be a touch dull. And of course, I know that installing almost any intriguing new product is going to take
a minimum of a weekend.

And yes that's before you consider the multitude of bugs and glitches that'll plague you for months, seemingly daring you to hurl your pride and joy at the wall.

But as a PC person I like to think that it's good we're forced to fix so many of our own problems. It breeds self-reliance. If PC users had to build their own houses, for instance, the first effort might have a chimney in the goldfish pond and a garage in the dining room, but we'd learn from our mistakes and next time we'd be able to build something better.

I don't know who constructed the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal, but you can bet their modern-day equivalents would be feverish PC enthusiasts. Mac users are so used to having everything running smoothly out of the box that they're defeated by a job as simple as taking a stand off a monitor.

Of course, not everyone will agree and, as the IT population collides with the cosy world of home entertainment, even grizzled PC users can see the need to push ease of use to the forefront.

But while many users adore the usability of the iPod and just about every Mac operating system, sometimes this simplicity stretches a little too far. Sometimes it clouds Apple's judgement.

Take the brand-new Apple TV. On the face of it, this could be the bridge between a computer and a home entertainment system, allowing a user with virtually no technological expertise to beam movies and songs from PC to hi-fi or TV. The Apple TV is elegant and easy to use. But it has big flaws for UK users.

Most standard-definition televisions need an expensive converter to work with Apple TV, and the combination of poor video content on the UK iTunes site and Apple TV's lack of support for DivX currently torpedoes any attempt to use the Apple TV for viewing video content. This amounts to one rather expensive (and non-portable) audio and picture player.

Perhaps Apple has been too simple for its own good. Now that's not a criticism you'll ever see levelled at a PC product.

This article appears in the June 07 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents.