2nd gen Apple TV/ Vizio interface / my random "issues"

This should probably go into Betamax but honestly, that sections nearly dead and I have a couple questions that pertain to Apple TV.

I just got a 47" Vizio smart tv and it has Netflix access. Great, except the interface sucks and doing anything with the Vizio remote is beyond cumbersome. Aside from the Wave It app and attachment, is there no way to use your phone or iPad as a remote?

I have second gen Apple TV that I love but they "cannot" stream 1080. I love the ATV interface but 720 is a bit of a buzzkill on this new tv. I didn't mind it on my old 32" but this one looks incredible. I'm pretty sure there are no work arounds to get 1080p on a 2nd gen so I'll either swap with my moms 3rd gen or wait to buy 4th gen if it comes soon.

Lastly, I'm curious why Apple TV and television can consistently stream HD video with no hiccups but my computer/iPad/phone struggle with YouTube videos and regularly knock me down to 480 and 360 quality. They're all wireless and from the same router so....?