Amazon claims the Fire TV is up to three times faster than the competition so naturally, you’re probably wondering what’s under the hood to achieve such levels of performance. Fortunately, the latest entrant into the streaming set-top box market has inevitably found its way to the dissection table of teardown specialist iFixit to satisfy such curiosity.
Unlike a smartphone or a tablet, the construction of the Fire TV is a simple affair that primarily consists of an upper case, lower case, heatsink and motherboard. Breaching the perimeter is easy enough and fortunately, everything on the inside is held in place with standard Phillips screws.
The heatsink is rather large – perhaps the Fire is an appropriate name for the box after all? It’s stuck on with plenty of extremely sticky glue so it’s best not to try and remove it. The power supply is separate from the actual machine so there wouldn’t be any disassembly required if it ever needed to be replaced.
The online retail giant hand-picked common mobile hardware to power the device. For example, the microphone is the same one that powers the Kindle Fire HD, the Wi-Fi / Bluetooth chip is identical to what’s found in the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX and the 2GB of Samsung RAM also showed up in the Moto X.
Using readily available hardware may sound like taking the easy way out but it’s actually a really good idea. In addition to having a solid reputation, the components in question likely rank high in terms of price versus performance.
The Fire TV earned a repairability score of six out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair). The simple construction is a plus but the single motherboard means there really aren’t any separate components to replace. If something besides the power supply dies, you’re likely best off to just replace the entire thing.