The Amazon Fire TV Recast among the best ways to stream and record over-the-air channels through a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. It has a lot of great features, but the one thing I’m asked about the most is if there’s a way to pull recordings off of the device. Since Amazon doesn’t provide that functionality, it might be possible with a bit of creative exploration. The best way to do that is to access the device’s hard drive. To start things off, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to take apart the Fire TV Recast, as well as a close look at its components.
To get into the Fire TV Recast, you have to remove 4 Torx T10 screws located under the rubber pad on the bottom of the device. You don’t have to peel back the entire rubber pad, which is held down by a sheet of double-sided tape, to get to the screws. Just peel back each corner a bit and you’ll be able to remove the screws without disturbing too much of the rubber pad.
Once the 4 screws are removed, the bottom lifts right up. Just be careful not to snag or break the clear light pipe that redirects the LED light from the circuit board to the front of the Fire TV Recast. The circular stamps on this component indicate it was manufactured on August 6, 2018.
With the bottom removed, the underside of the sole circuit board is revealed. All components of the Fire TV Recast are attached to a plastic tray that slides towards the front of the device and then lifts free from the top housing. You can see the empty space along the front where the tray slides into to free itself from a pair of retaining clips.
Before the inner tray can slide free from the Fire TV Recast’s top case, a metal nut on the tuner’s coax connector must be removed.
A pair of retaining clips along either side of the back of the Fire TV Recast need to be pushed aside so that the inner tray can slide towards the front of the device. I found that pushing the upper case outward and the inner tray downward slightly was enough to slide the tray free.
Once the inner tray, and all of the components that are attached to it, have slid past the two retaining clips, the entire innards of the Fire TV Recast can be lifted up and out of the device’s upper housing.
With the components out, you can see how everything is mounted. A Nidec UltraFlo T80T12MMA7-57 80mm fan near the front, rated at a speed of 2,000 RPM and sound output of 17.5 dB, blows air into a chamber created by the tray housing and the circuit board. A foam gasket along the top of the tray helps keep the cool air from blowing past the chamber. Mounted upside down in the chamber is a standard 2.5-inch spinning hard drive.
To remove the hard drive, disconnect its SATA data cable and power cable from the circuit board and remove the 4 Torx T10 screws holding it in place. The drive will drop down and slide out of the tray. If you’re going to remove the circuit board, you can disconnect the fan cable also.
The drive in my 1TB Fire TV Recast seems like an off-the-shelf Western Digital WD10JUCT spinning 2.5-inch drive. It spins at 5400 RPM, has a 16MB cache, and a SATA/300 connection with a 3 Gbps maximum transfer speed. The drive in the 500GB Fire TV Recast is a Western Digital WD5000LUCT with identical specs. These are AV-class drives, which are made specifically for DVR applications, so that they can last longer when left on 24/7.
With the hard drive and fan disconnected, the circuit board can be released from the inner tray by pushing back a pair of large clips. Large metal plates, which I assume are aluminum heat sinks, cover the majority of the circuitry. The metal plates are all held down by spring-loaded plastic clips.