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.