Heat Issues - WTF

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Sean Dempsey, May 24, 2008.

  1. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    Okay, are we really supposed to just let the ATV burn like a ***** inferno 24/7? I just built a new house and new in-wall entertainment center, and I am having to build in a ventilation system just for the ATV.

    What is up with this? Do most people just unplug it or put it on a switch? I can't imagine that I am the only one with in a cabinet.

    why the HELL doesn't the system shutdown and stop producing boiling lava?
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    They've always run hot (and silent), although less hot with the Take 2 update.

    Haven't heard of anyone having to do anything special to accommodate the heat.

    If it shutdown when it wasn't being used, that'd make it a real pisser to remotely sync with.
  3. fuzorsilverbolt macrumors member

    May 19, 2008
    TVs dont turn off

    Interestingly some hardware uses more power when "off" then on. You should go to your favorite hardware store and install a green switch. It replaces electrical sockets and hooks up to a centralized switch that cuts the power to unneeded devices. This way the devices can't guzzle electricity even though they are "off".

    When you have a chance take a look at your surge protector with the shiny red light. Why does that light need to be on when the rest of the equipment is turned "off"?
  4. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    even when it standby, the thing is damn near too hot to touch. Certainly there's a way for apple to update the firmware to help this.
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    They could run a fan. The trade-off would be that your AppleTV makes noise. I think more people would be upset about that than the heat.
  6. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    The AppleTV already has a fan.
  7. markfc macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    Prestatyn, Wales, UK
    I don't get it, my AppleTV is always cool to the touch. I know I changed the original 40gb hd to a 160gb but that won't be making much difference.
  8. vendettabass macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2006
    Wellington, New Zealand
  9. kjr39 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2004
    I have no idea what you're talking about.

    I love cooking eggs on my Apple TV.
  10. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    When my Apple TV is in standby, it isn't hot at all.

    But it really really really annoys me there isn't a power-save mode on it. I forget to turn it off all the time, certainly ain't good for the hard drive to be on all the time like that.
  11. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    Is there a reason you need to constantly touch your AppleTV?

    The aluminum case edge acts as a baffle to dissipate heat. Aluminum is tremendously efficient at doing so. The reason that your AppleTV feels hot is because it is dissipating heat to the exterior of the chassis. If the device were cold to the touch, that would mean heat isn't escaping... BAD idea.

    There are other hardware that use baffles instead of fans, and this is common in audio and video equipment to minimize reliance on fans that generate noise. The difference is, the integration of baffles is usually rather inelegant. Apple has found a rather elegant way to incorporate it into the case design and for the most part it works just fine as long as you let enough clearance around the unit for air to flow freely.

    It's not hard to keep AppleTV properly ventilated on an audio shelf... just keep it alone on one audio shelf with the top and sides unobstructed for at least a foot.

    And stop touching it.
  12. mark34 macrumors 6502a

    May 18, 2006
    The Apple TV is indeed very hot. If your component rack needs a ventilation system due to the Apple TV then you probably needed one anyway. I have installed thermal systems in several locations in my home that contain A/V equipment.

    If you are enclosing your equipment (Apple TV or otherwise), you need some sort of ventilation system. How sophisticated of an active thermal system (versus just a fan and vents) you will need depends on the number and nature of devices, but I don't think the Apple TV on its own will tip the scale.

    If it is NOT enclosed (the rack and/or each specific component) then don't worry about the heat.
  13. speakerwizard macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2006
    it doesnt, it uses the case as a heatsync, so that it is silent and doesnt interfere with movie watching (like my noisy skyHD box) but there really is no need to actually touch an appletv as it has a remote and no on the box controls so it doesnt really matter.
  14. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    I'm pretty sure Dynaflash would know for sure, since he has had his AppleTV apart over the past month or so working on his eSATA drive extension.
  15. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Have you seen inside the Apple TV before?

  16. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005

    So there is a fan, but it doesn't do much other than move the heat evenly across the top of the unit (which is used as a heatsink)?
  17. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Trust me, it has one. I ran my eSata cable right between the fan and the Power Supply plugin for the logic board out the back. In the link above [EDIT: two posts above] its the large black plastic square at the top left in the top picture. It is very quiet, but trust me its a fan.

    However interestingly enough its on the bottom of the logic board between it and the base (picture is upside down) while the actual processor is between the logic board and the top of the atv with thermal paste between it and the top for enhanced heat conductivity just as others have noted. The top of the atv is indeed a heat sink. So while it has a fan, it does not directly push air onto the cpu as far as I can tell. At any rate, thats how mine is as well as every picture I have seen of one taken apart. Maybe your's is different ?

    Note, it does seem that with no internal hard drive, the atv runs a touch cooler, which would make some sense. Though I honestly cannot back that up with hard numbers and is very likely the 'placebo' effect.

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