Boxee Box Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

The Boxee Box is a cubist deviation from the traditionally rectangular set-top box. The oddly-shaped form factor forced D-Link to make the internals equally odd. But that also made it super fun to take apart!

We're also taking action against made-for-obsolescence devices with our Self-Repair Manifesto. Pay with a tweet and get a free poster!

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Edit Step 1 Boxee Box Teardown  ¶ 

  • Ladies and gentlemen, iFixit is proud to present the Boxee Box by D-Link.

  • It's hard to ignore how much taller the Boxee Box is than the Apple TV and Logitech Revue. This half-sunken cube will definitely stand out in your entertainment system.

  • Yet, we feel that the Box has build quality that rivals Apple's, and is much more solid-looking than the Revue. The front panel is made of glass sturdy plastic and displays a Boxee logo once you power on the device.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The Boxee Box looks huge when compared to the Apple TV, but it's really not that cumbersome in real life -- the Apple TV is just teeny tiny.

  • The Box' remote is only a tad bigger, but features a Qwerty keyboard that would come oh-so-handy on the Apple TV. Otherwise, spelling out "the lonely island" takes a while on YouTube.

  • It does remind us of a certain other Apple product, though...

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • We had to peel off Boxee's lime-green rubber base and the adhesive sheet underneath to expose four #1 Phillips and two #2 Phillips screws.

  • The #2 Phillips screws are clearly visible when you peel off the rubber base.

  • The #1 Phillips are recessed, so you'll need a screwdriver with a longer shaft to access them.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • The bottom cover of the Boxee Box pulls off fairly easily, exposing all of its boxy goodness.

  • The Boxee Box gives us everything we want, and nothing we don't need:

    • HDMI out

    • Optical and analog (RCA) audio out

    • Ethernet

    • Two USB ports

  • The RCA jacks are a great addition for people who want to hook up the Boxee directly to computer speakers or retro stereo equipment.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • A single #1 Phillips screw and a bunch of plastic clips hold the front panel to the side of the Boxee Box.

  • The front panel can be detached by disconnecting the connector for the status panel.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • A little bit of prying and the status panel can be removed from the front panel.

  • A soft white plate on the status panel disperses the light from a couple LEDs to illuminate the semi-transparent Boxee logo either orange (standby) or green (running).

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • The Boxee Box' wireless board is secured to the metal frame by more Phillips screws.

    • It certainly is refreshing to see common screw types in electronics. When you don't need special tools to repair devices, it's easier to fix it yourself.

  • The wireless board is held on by a data connector and a couple antenna cables.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • The wireless card assembly is composed of a Mini PCI-E wireless card and an interconnect board where the cable from the motherboard is connected.

  • On the back side of the interconnect board we found a Nordic Semiconductor NRF24LU1P transceiver.

    • This chip is most likely used to decode signals received from the awesome QWERTY wireless remote.

    • We recently found the same chip in the Boxee's direct competitor, the Logitech Revue.

  • The Mini PCI-E wireless card employs a Broadcom BCM4319XKUBG.

  • An remote control antenna is printed into the interconnect board right below the Mini PCI-E socket. This is positioned near the top of the device when it is assembled to aid in remote control reception.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Next come the dual USB ports, which are mounted on a small PCB.

  • The PCB is connected by two #1 Phillips screws, as well as a connector that runs to the motherboard.

  • A thorough USB board analysis reveals a 220 μF capacitor, a PTC Fuse to protect against faulty USB devices, ESD Protection hardware (Clamp diodes and series inductors), and two USB sockets.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • We progress by removing the fan and heatsink assembly from the CPU. It's time to find out what makes this baby tick.

  • Instead of using thermal paste, the Boxee Box uses a phase-change thermal pad much like the one found on the heat sink of the Logitech Revue.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • A couple strips of EMI tape and a few more Phillips screws hold a very triangular power board in place.

  • The tape is most likely placed around the exposed circuits to eliminate audio interference from the power conversion process.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • What do you find inside of an oddly-shaped device? An oddly-shaped power board, of course.

  • On this board we find:

  • This board is most likely used to convert the 12V received from the power adapter into the voltages used by the motherboard and all the accessory boards.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • After removing a couple more Phillips screws, the motherboard can be removed from the rest of the metal frame.

  • Once it's lifted out, the power button connector is the only thing keeping us from getting a closer look at the board.

  • Once the motherboard is out, the bottom metal frame can be removed from the plastic outer casing.

    • The power button switch and dual antennas are mounted to the bottom metal frame, making it one compact unit.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • After popping off the top metal cover, we find:

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • The other side of the motherboard:

    • Toshiba NF3662 TC58NVG3S0ETA00 1 GB NAND Flash

    • LB TS21C HF 1031S

    • Microchip PIC24FJ64GA004-I/PT 16-bit microcontroller

    • Nanya NT5CB128M8CN-CG 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM (1/2 total RAM capacity)

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • The Boxee Box's remote is very impressive. The front side has a basic directional pad with a select button in addition to separate play and menu buttons.

  • Instead of employing a full-sized keyboard like the Logitech Revue, Boxee Box engineers cleverly applied a mini QWERTY keyboard to the backside of the remote.

  • When we cracked the remote control open, we discovered a Nordic Semi NRF24LE1 for wireless connectivity to the Nordic Semi NRF24LU1P transceiver attached to the wireless interconnect board.

    • These are the same two chips found in the Logitech Revue's wireless transmitter and receiver circuits.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Boxee Box Repairability: 7 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

    • The Boxee has a separate power board that can be replaced independently from the motherboard, should it ever fail.

    • All Phillips screws were used inside the device, requiring you to have just one screwdriver.

    • Once inside, all components come apart pretty logically.

    • The green rubber bottom of the Boxee Box is difficult to remove, and will never look the same once you've removed it.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Was this a production board? What's with the rework at R12 (bottom left of the Atom, towards the ethernet port)? And the damaged-looking U707 IC (above center of Atom just below DIL socket)?

Hugo Vincent, · Reply

At Step 14 you can see an addition to R12 (at the HDMI port).

The little Diode looks like a last second EMI precaution.

It would be interesting to know if it is properly soldered.

Spunkhart, · Reply

Maybe instead of peeling off the whole pad, you cut just cut an X over each hole?

cityzen, · Reply

Yeah, good call - we wanted to make sure there wasn't anything funky under there.

Andrew Bookholt,

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