Repair or upgrade Apple TV first generation:
Date: August 2013
If you need to repair, replace or upgrade your Apple TV, here are some options:
The Apple TV first generation uses a 40-pin PATA (EIDE) hard drive, not SATA interface. You can upgrade it to a bigger drive.
You can upgrade it to support full HD (1080P) instead of the 720P half-HD it comes with. To do that, you will need to remove the wireless network card (WiFi) and substitute it with a BCM970015 Broadcom Crystal HD PCI Express mini card Hardware Decoder. So you'll need to rely on the ethernet port for internet connectivity. Furthermore, the embedded MacOS will need to be replaced with a version of Linux, which is widely available on the web.
The Apple TV generates about 27 watts. The aluminum case is also used as a heatsink. You could remove the rubber cover on the bottom. It rans hot, and there is no power button, which I consider it to be a major design flaw. Here is another article and video on how to add a power button.
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