Partial teardown of 2nd-gen NVIDIA Shield TV

Since the new 2nd-generation NVIDIA Shield TV is physically much smaller than the previous model, yet has the same processor, I was curious what the fan setup looked like inside. Here is a partial teardown of the new 16GB model, along with instructions on how to get in yourself if you want to clean out the dust that will inevitably collect inside.

The NVIDIA Shield TV’s housing is secured by two easily accessible Philips head screws located on either side of the back. These screws are tiny and firmly held in by thread locking compound, so be sure you have the correct size screwdriver because these screws are very easy to strip.

Once you’ve removed the two screws, you need to forcefully slide the top of the housing towards the front of the device. There are four plastic clips along the back-top (above the IO) that need to be depressed slightly for the top of the housing to slide free. Wedge a thin flathead screwdriver or plastic shim between the top and bottom housing, where the four clips are located, as you slide the housing towards the front.

Once free of the four clips, do not slide the housing too far because there is a wire that goes from the top housing to the main board. This wire is for the green LED light on top of the Shield TV.

The LED wire connector needs to lift upwards to be disconnected. Wedge a small flathead screwdriver or plastic shim under the connector and pry one side upwards. If you don’t like the green LED light, you can leave this cable disconnected when reassembling.

Since I primarily just wanted to get a look at the fan and cooling setup, I stopped here, but you could easily remove the six torx screws to remove the main board. The processor is located under the metal strip on the left side of the image above. Unfortunately, more than half of the fan’s air intake is obstructed by the main board. The vent slot near the front of the device, located underneath, is the cool air intake for the fan, while the vent on the back next to the USB ports is the hot air exhaust. The metal block in the upper right is there to balance the weight of the device, since all the components are in the back.

With the housing in place, cool air must travel through the small amount of space between the fan duct and the Shield TV’s top housing. This was likely done because the bottom front of the device will probably be the coolest source of air, since many will place the Shield TV in a cabinet or shelf with an enclosed back. Placing the air intake vent on top of the device would result in a much less restrictive path for air to travel to the fan, but that likely wasn’t done for aesthetic reasons. To reassemble the Shield TV, simply reverse the steps, making sure to reconnect the LED wire by pushing the connector down into the plug, and not sliding it in from the side.

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15 comments
  1. clocks says:

    I could be remembering incorrectly, but I never remember the fan running on my 1st gen Shield. It seems to always run on the 2nd gen.

    Thanks for the tear down!

  2. sunrise495 says:

    Dumb question…. You have one of these devices? Where / how did you get it?

  3. Jay says:

    Elias, (or anyone else who owns a new Shield) can you comment on the amount of fan noise? I’m really sensitive to fan noise in electronics and hesitate to purchase anything with a cooling fan. Thanks!

    • clocks says:

      Seems quiet so far.

    • AFTVnews says:

      I want to put to put it through its paces for a few days of regular everyday use before commenting on fan noise and other aspects of the device.

      • clocks says:

        I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the device. After two days of playing with it, along with my Mi Box and FTV2, I think I am going to return the Shield. As a non-gamer, and someone that doesn’t do much 4k, I really don’t see much improvement with the Shield over the other two devices.

  4. SuperEyesHDR says:

    Now that there’s an official Amazon app on the Shield, is there any advantage to the Fire TV over the Shield? Please disregard the price and remote….just differences in the boxes themselves. Seems like Shield wins if you need HDR.

    • Rodalpho says:

      No, the ShieldTV is a dramatically superior device in ALL aspects other than price.

      It is over twice as expensive, so most people won’t discount that entirely. But if you do, get a ShieldTV.

  5. Gazdaman says:

    Its a shame they have removed the micro sd slot on the 2nd gen.

    Looks like the only way to expand memory on the non pro version is now with USB which is not ideal.

    Does the pro version have a micro sd slot do you know?

    I have a 1st gen with a fast128gb MicroSd and it runs great and the extra storage leaves lots of room for apps and games

    • Rodalpho says:

      I don’t really see the problem. USB flash drives are cheap as chips. You can buy a 128GB USB3 flash drive on Amazon for like thirty bucks.

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