This is one humble, "no insider knowledge", blogger's opinion.
The new Apple TV is Apple's next step in ruling the world.
Think Star Trek, Next Generation. When you're thirsty, you tell the computer to replicate a drink. When you want to watch a show, you pick up a PADD or look at a screen and access a file. Your food, your entertainment, your whole life is a collection of data that follows you around.
Now, put that in your hand. The iPhone and iPad replace the PADD. You have laptops and desktops that do the "sit down" work, like the Picard laptop or Geordi's workstations. Now, the Apple TV is there. Forget the iTunes rentals, that's just the now state. The killer feature is that you can "throw" a video from your iPad or iPhone (and probably iTunes later) onto a screen.
iOS is the new Lingua Franca. Join data and code, and you have an object. The object can run one place, then get pushed somewhere else. Watch the file bounce from your iPad to your laptop, then back, and then over to the AirPlay compatible projector. No wires.
The Apple TV is now just another node in the Apple Home Supercomputing Mesh.