Apple TV completely disassembled
iTunes users rejoice. Gone are the days when you had to watch that "Lost" episode you missed on a puny 19" computer monitor. The Apple TV lets you experience your favorite iTunes music, movies, pictures, and shows on your widescreen television.
The Apple TV is an extremely thin, set-top media player designed to link your computer running iTunes 7.1 or later and your television. The media box offers component and HDMI outputs only--no s-video or composite. You'll need an enhanced-definition (ED) or high-definition (HD) widescreen TV capable of 1080i, 720p, 576p, or 480p.
But what makes Apple's latest creation tick? How did Apple fit everything into the Apple TV's skinny case? Come along as we crack open the Apple TV and find out what lurks inside.
Note: This gallery was originally published on April 6, 2007. I am resurfacing it as part of our coverage of the 2nd generation Apple TV--released in September 2010.
Caption by: Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.
For Micron parts one must use Micron's FBGA decoder. On their main page, hover over "Products and Support" and click on the heading "Support", not any of the sub areas. Once you're at the main Support page, the FBGA Decoder is one of the links. Or you can get there through the site map. The MT47H32M16 is a 512Mbit DDR2 SDRAM in a 8M X 16 X 4 bank configuration. So Apple used four 16bit wide memory chips to build a 64 bit bus with a total of 2Gb/8 = 256MB of RAM.
Really enjoyed the photos man.. Great work! I was just wondering what kind of camera you used. When ever I try to photograph boards and components like that, the pictures turn out too blurry. Any tips or techniques?
I don't think the holes in the base plate are there to reduce the weigh because they are not big enough to do much with respect to this goal. My guess is that they are here to let the air pass through when the sticky foil is applied and prevent bubbles from being captured between the base plate and the rubber pad...
The component you labeled as not being able to find any information on is simply a ferrite core, .82uH inductor... Judging by the following picture, and it's prominent placement and attachment to an obvious ground-plane, it's likely for RF filtering and FCC compliance
This item: http://content.techrepublic.com.com/2346-10877_11-60899-80.html Is likely an inductor. The top marking is .82uH - that's microhenries - a unit of measurement for inductors. I'm looking forward to the upgrades and other mods you have coming! Thanks for voiding the warranty just for us!
When will Apple create and box a "true" PVR and TV tuner? This would be awesome. But I guess this would probably take away from their revenue on the iTunes site. Also, it would be a nice feature if it did not require a Mac to upload or stream files from. Rather, if they were to put a stripped down Mac OS and Safari browser that was locked down to only the iTunes site, you could purchase and DL your movies, tunes and whatever else directly to this box. Now that would be cool!!
Try opening one of the photos in another window, nearly all are blurry, couldn't find a tripod? Interesting enough article though.
I've not tried this myself, but I've read where someone else has already replaced the Apple TV harddrive with something larger. It's not difficult. The harddrive contains a stripped down version of Mac OS X. You'll need to plug the Apple TV drive into your Mac and copy the contents to your new drive.
My father in law is named Henry. And he's short. So could he be a microhenry? Just kidding and I won't go into the inductor puns here
Can't see the point in this if it's tied to itunes. Maybe someone will enlighten me. In the meantime I'll stick to my PCH c-200 as it handles ALL my music (mp3, dts, flac) and ALL my video (avi, mkv, vob, iso, ts from the sat box). I use 'grabit' for extra content and I'm guessing the itunes is a more user friendly, cash guzzling alternative. Maybe I'd see the point if I didn't have a freesat PVR... maybe. Next time I upgrade I'll dispense with the unused BluRay slot though and get a slimmer device like this... but not tied down like this.
You can stream and sync content from either Mac or Windows iTunes. While not tying you to a Mac, Apple still forces you to use iTunes. The Apple TV would be a more compelling product if you could play content from any network resource.