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Two long years have passed since our last encounter with an Apple TV. Today on our teardown table, we have a shiny new Apple TV 4K plucked straight from the technology orchards of Cupertino. So what are we to do with Apple's first 4K HDR streaming device? Binge-watch Stranger Things? We definitely thought about it… but nah, we're tearing this sucker apart!

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  1. We all know this little black obelisk is packing some serious 4K chops, but let's see what else is new in this revamped Apple TV: 64-bit Apple A10X Fusion chip
    • We all know this little black obelisk is packing some serious 4K chops, but let's see what else is new in this revamped Apple TV:

    • 64-bit Apple A10X Fusion chip

    • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi‑Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, IR receiver, and HDMI 2.0a

    • ... and in the remote:

    • Glass touch surface

    • Dual microphones

    • Accelerometer and gyroscope

    • Bluetooth 4.0, IR transmitter, Lightning connector

  2. We're excited to dig into a new TV offering from our favorite UFO-dwelling tech company in Cupertino—but first, let's compare Apples to 4K Apples. The newest Apple TV doesn't tower over its predecessor this time around, but we did notice a couple of key differences in the design. The bottom panel has been redesigned for what looks like some serious thermal venting.
    • We're excited to dig into a new TV offering from our favorite UFO-dwelling tech company in Cupertino—but first, let's compare Apples to 4K Apples.

    • The newest Apple TV doesn't tower over its predecessor this time around, but we did notice a couple of key differences in the design.

    • The bottom panel has been redesigned for what looks like some serious thermal venting.

    • Bye-bye, USB-C port.

  3. Before we pop the box open, our partners at Creative Electron provided some fancy X-ray scans. X-ray vision reveals a new circular object which seems to coordinate closely with the new exhaust ports on the bottom panel.
    • Before we pop the box open, our partners at Creative Electron provided some fancy X-ray scans.

    • X-ray vision reveals a new circular object which seems to coordinate closely with the new exhaust ports on the bottom panel.

    • Is it a fan? A particle accelerator? A portion of the Contact ring?

    • Alright, our interest is piqued. It's time to crack this black box open and see what this 4K upgrade is all about.

  4. We take a familiar access route through the underside of the Apple TV 4K. Just like with its single-K sibling, the Apple TV 4K features repair-friendly plastic clips that secure its bottom panel.
    • We take a familiar access route through the underside of the Apple TV 4K.

    • Just like with its single-K sibling, the Apple TV 4K features repair-friendly plastic clips that secure its bottom panel.

    • These clips are a little more stubborn than what we've seen before—but still, they're not terribly difficult.

    • No moat of glue or uncommon screws? This upgraded unit gets a 1 Up as a reward.

    • Peeling back the rear panel reveals a beefy fan secured by some Torx screws.

  5. After pulling out the T7 Torx screws, we meet Apple TV's biggest fan! It looks like Apple merged the new fan with the heat sink/EMI shield assembly from the Apple TV 4th Generation—combining them to form one whopper of a cooling solution. This Voltron of a thermal assembly suggests that 4K HDR capability comes with a significant increase in thermal output.
    • After pulling out the T7 Torx screws, we meet Apple TV's biggest fan!

    • It looks like Apple merged the new fan with the heat sink/EMI shield assembly from the Apple TV 4th Generation—combining them to form one whopper of a cooling solution.

    • This Voltron of a thermal assembly suggests that 4K HDR capability comes with a significant increase in thermal output.

    • With the twist of a few more Torx screws, the assembly is disassembled—revealing a replaceable fan driven by a Nidec brushless motor.

    • A replaceable fan is good news for owners. Otherwise, we're guessing that a failed fan would quickly mean a failed device.

    • This new fan assembly is apparently secured by an identity disk. TRON, is that you?

  6. We're pleased to see that Apple keeps with the tradition of easily removable logic boards for the Apple TV 4K. Apple APL1071/343S00198 64-bit A10X Fusion processor
    • We're pleased to see that Apple keeps with the tradition of easily removable logic boards for the Apple TV 4K.

    • Apple APL1071/343S00198 64-bit A10X Fusion processor

    • Broadcom BCM57762 Gigabit Ethernet Controller

    • SK Hynix H9HCNNNBRUMLQR-NLH 2 GB LPDDR4 RAM and SK Hynix H9HCNNN8KUMLQR-NLH 1 GB LPDDR4 RAM for a total of 3 GB

    • Apple 343S00150 (similar part number to the 338S00055 custom memory controller found in the Retina MacBook 2015)

    • Murata 339S00381 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Module

    • Toshiba THGBX6G8D2LLDXG 32 GB flash memory

    • Megachips MCDP2920A4 DisplayPort 1.4 to HDMI 2.0 converter

  7. IC Identification, continued: Apple 343S00151-A0 power management
    • IC Identification, continued:

    • Apple 343S00151-A0 power management

    • Winbond W25Q80EWUXIE 8 Mb serial flash memory

    • Texas Instruments INA213 current sense amplifier

    • Texas Instruments LMV331 low-voltage comparator

    • Dialog Semiconductor mixed signal array

    • Texas Instruments TPS62130B step-down converter

    • Texas Instruments TPS715A01DRV 80 mA LDO regulator

  8. We don't run into any surprises here; the heat sink remains much the same as its predecessor from 2015. We take a moment to pluck a familiar pair of presumed power posts from the body of the heat sink.
    • We don't run into any surprises here; the heat sink remains much the same as its predecessor from 2015.

    • We take a moment to pluck a familiar pair of presumed power posts from the body of the heat sink.

    • During our Apple TV 4th Generation Teardown, we suspected that power was transmitted to the logic board via the heat sink screw posts. It looks like this is still the case with Apple TV 4K.

    • With the heatsink and posts out of the way, the only thing left to do is remove the power supply board.

  9. The new power supply is rated for 12 V at 1.083 A. This is a modest bump up from the 0.917 A power supply in the Apple TV 4th Generation. Again taking a design lead from its older sibling, the Apple TV 4K eschews internal wiring between the power supply and logic board.
    • The new power supply is rated for 12 V at 1.083 A. This is a modest bump up from the 0.917 A power supply in the Apple TV 4th Generation.

    • Again taking a design lead from its older sibling, the Apple TV 4K eschews internal wiring between the power supply and logic board.

    • The use of conductive posts in lieu of wiring probably saves internal real estate, and it eliminates the possibility of pinched or bent wires during assembly.

    • NXP Semiconductor TEA1833LTS switch mode power supply controller

  10. There's all the bits! Now to reassemble this thing and binge-watch Stranger Things for real... And special thanks Creative Electron for sending us some sweet X-rays all the way from the other hemisphere!
    • There's all the bits! Now to reassemble this thing and binge-watch Stranger Things for real...

    • And special thanks Creative Electron for sending us some sweet X-rays all the way from the other hemisphere!

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    • Plastic clips hold the case together for easy opening.
    • Modular components make for easy disassembly and repair.
    • The power supply is modular and features a removable AC-in jack.
    • Standard Torx screws hold everything together.
    • All major components are soldered to the logic board, meaning fixing any port problems will require board-level soldering or a full board replacement.
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Just sanity checking what my eyes are telling me - are both the inner and outer rings of that moving fan parts, or is the outer ring just an air channel?

Edit: ok the last breakdown picture shows the outside is not part of the fan

tipoo - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Got off the phone with Apple. No USB means a corrupted firmware means you will have to send in the device for recovery/restore. You will at least have to pay shipping. Apple stores should be able to recover/restore as well. Don’t exactly the USB pads on the PCB. Maybe the four pads on the left of the bottom image. Anyone?

Kemal NottaTurk - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Maybe they'll allow it to be done through the ethernet port….

Andrew spoelstra -

I just had this happen with the 12.4.1 update. Blinky LED & no video out at all. The bad news is the Genius Bar / Store Techs have no more access to do a factory restore than the user does. IOW: none. Nothing on Ethernet either. (That was straight from the GB guy’s mouth.) If there are USB pads on the board they don’t know about them.

And if this happens out of warranty it’s a $150 board swap. I advise turning off the auto-install for OS updates.

Michael Cashwell -

Any more detailed info (part numbers) on the remote?

techno_freak - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

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