Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tuning in to the Apple TV

Dave Carey of Portelligent has a good teardown of the Apple TV posted this week. There are plenty of good teardowns of the Apple TV out there these days with the late March review from Ars Technica being one of my favorites. But I like Dave's article for its system-level insights, his good comprehensive pictures and because it makes two interesting points on interconnects.

The Apple TV implements WiFi on a daughter card. Carey suspects that's to make upgrades to 11n easier as well as to enable tough negotiations with Broadcom and any potential future suppliers who know they could easily get swapped out.

Separately, he notes the USB port "is nominally restricted to use for diagnostics, [but] the hacker community has devised workarounds to open [it] up to accept mice, keyboards and other USB peripherals." My guess is this was done as a nod to the studios to close a door to unauthorized copying and burning of premium videos from the iTunes store. How ironic this comes to light the same day Apple announces DRM-free songs are now available on ITunes.

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