I just performed my 1st firmware restore on the Apple TV G2 and I was amazed at how fast the whole process was. I am betting on a fast data rate trough the micro usb interface and fast read/write to flash. The whole firmware process probably too no longer that 3 minutes, from start to finish… much faster that restoring my iPhone 4.
Total time to restore, including waiting 1 minute to verify eligibility with Apple: 2minutes and 50 seconds
Total time to write the 250mb to the flash: 45 sec… or 5.6 MB/sec transfer rate.
In comparison, restoring my iPhone 4 take 7minutes and 8 seconds…
Maybe Apple went for faster flash access so that the AppleTV G2 can quickly read/write content to flash based buffer?