Most of you may have experienced the actual Apple TV in real life or seen it in the advertisement. It is one of the famous product line unveiled by Apple Inc. However, I believe not many people have actually got chance to have an internal view on the unit. Here it shows some of the internal hardware components beneath the stylish casing and some comments by engineering folks. Let’s take a look and judge before you decide to get one yourself.
If you expect to see some fancy stuff after opening up the casing, you will be disappointed. It looks not much difference as compared to traditional computer motherboard. That is right! It is actually an Intel Inside PC-based motherboard with some peripheral cards plugged on it. In there, you may not notice the core processor as it is covered by cooling fan. Instead, the most notable one is a white color power brick that ensure the right power ratings for normal operation. There are numerous ports such as USB2.0 port and HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) that support High Speed Media Streaming. Also you would be able to figure out where the wireless LAN module is embedded by looking on the cables and copper tape location. On the other side of the casing, you will find the easily replaceable PATA 4200RPM 40GB 2.5-inch hardisk.
Obviously, Apple engineer has concentrated more on the casing design as compared to internal hardware layout design. It seems that they finalized the mechanical design for the casing first and then shrink everything in to the box. With casing size constraint, Apple layout engineers may have a hard time to try to maintain proper layout for EMI and cooling mechanism. The cooling mechanism was taken care with only a single cooling fan in which a lot of tweaking really needs to be done to ensure the good air flow.
A much more details dissection of the component hardware layout revealed by an EMI (Electro-magnetic Interference) expert shows that there are quite a number of RF filters on various signal and power lines. This could be observed by bunch of choke coils on the high speed interfaces. Again, electrical designers and test engineers would have gone through these well to ensure its stylish casing design is not compromised!