Two media players' remotes; on the left for an Apple TV and on the right for an Xtreamer SideWinder 2.
Although both players do very much the same thing, the difference in usability is enormous and well illustrated by the difference between the two remote controls.
In all fairness, the Xtreamer has more features but some are simply needed to make up for other shortcomings such as dedicated buttons for adjusting subtitles that are out of sync.
When comparing Apple and Xtreamer - two extremes when it comes to usability - it becomes very clear that Apple's "secret" is simplicity and nothing else.
I have sometimes heard claims that Apple's products are popular because they have nice graphics and eye candy. That argument does not stand up to scrutiny. The Xtreamer GUI is stuffed with eye candy - probably in a failed attempt at improving the user experience - and in comparison the Apple TV looks very spartan and the lack of eye candy is striking.
The Apple TV is simply uncomplicated.