Getting Inside - It's that Easy?

The bottom of the unit is made of the familiar rubber that we've seen on so many Apple products, including the Mac mini. There are no exposed screws but if you peel up one of the corners of the rubber base you'll see why:

Beneath the rubber bottom are four T10 screws and four T8 screws; armed with our torx driver we went to town:


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The rubber base is held to the metal underneath with an adhesive, unfortunately it doesn't exactly come off too easily leaving us with the mess above. It's a small sacrifice to make to satisfy our curiosities.

The outer four screws actually hold the vented plate in place, the four inner T8 screws keep the internal 40GB hard drive in place. You'll want to remove all of them though.


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Amazingly enough, that's all you have to do to get inside the Apple TV. Apple seems to vary how difficult it makes opening hardware, and the Apple TV definitely ranks as one of the easiest devices to get inside. Lifting the bottom plate reveals an IDE cable attached to the internal hard drive. With the four HDD screws removed that we mentioned earlier, the only thing keeping the drive in place is a sticky green pad. Just tug on the drive and it will come off without any trouble:


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The drive in our sample was a 40GB Fujitsu MHW2040AT:


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The drive is a 2.5" single-platter 4200 RPM PATA solution with a 2MB buffer.

Apple TV: Unplugged Motherboard: Spotted
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  • Lonyo - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Anandtech readers aren't most people :P Reply
  • shabby - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    quote:

    The cable itself is fine, but it's not wrapped in some ridiculously elegant way

    Reply
  • Eug - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Perhaps Apple is using the GeForce Go 7300 to assist with H.264 decoding. Reply
  • saratoga - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    That seems likely. 1GHz would be fairly iffy for 720p H.264. My guess is they included it for use as a DSP. Theres a lot of FMACs on even a low end GPU, which is really important for this sort of work.

    Still, the whole package looks a bit thrown together. Theres real embedded parts you can use, rather then expensive laptop gear. You don't need an x86 CPU if you don't have a PC, a MIPS or ARM part with a fast DSP chip will do the same thing for 1/10 the price . . . if you've got time to rewrite your x86 codecs for a highly specialized DSP system. I guess Apple didn't.

    Sort of reminds me of the Xbox 1. Lots of off the shelf PC parts, way more expensive to make then it should have been, but it did get MS's foot in floor and Sony isn't laughing so hard these days. Maybe Apple will pull if off.
    Reply
  • Renoir - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    1GHz does indeed seem to being cutting it a bit close for high def H.264 although given how efficient coreAVC is perhaps they've just really optimised the decoder. If they have it'd be nice to see it in quicktime as that one seems very inefficient IMHO. Reply
  • michael2k - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    I wonder if you could make a TOTALLY sweet MythTV box out of this.

    Or... somehow hack a wireless keyboard with something like Synergy and get full OS X on this thing.
    Reply
  • Cygni - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    Man no kidding. This would be a great MythTV + Emulation station computer if we can get Linux running on it, and i cant see why it wouldnt. The whole thing is made of standard PC components. The 40 gig HD might be a little skimpy for a MythTV box, however. Reply

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