On paper, all of this adds up to what should be the best high-end streaming box you can buy. It only falls short of that unqualified recommendation due to an overall lack of software polish. To be fair, Android TV is a lot better than it was a few years ago, with far fewer gaps in its app catalog.
By comparison, Apple TV and Fire TV still do a better job at surfacing things to watch, while Roku is without peer in highlighting free content. Google Assistant voice controls are also spotty. None of those problems manifest on the new Nvidia Shield TV. Nvidia also goes above and beyond other Android TV devices on software features.
It has a multitasking menu invoked by double-tapping the home button , so you can quickly switch between apps, and you can use an Alexa-powered smart speaker to control basic playback. In my review of the previous Nvidia Shield TV from , I argued that its strength was in not catering to the lowest common denominator.
Those ifs and buts are no longer quite as necessary. Pros Impressive performance and AI-powered 4K upscaling Top-notch remote with backlit buttons Convenient home screen with no distracting banner ads. Price comparison from over 24, stores worldwide. Mentioned in this article. All the usual controls are here in pleasing rubberised form, as well as a dedicated Netflix key and a voice search button that activates the Google Assistant-aided microphone inside the remote.
A tap of any button ignites a subtle white backlight that illuminates most of the buttons on the remote — but not the navigation wheel, annoyingly — and then fades after a moment or two. The TV Pro soon launched into a software upgrade that delayed proceedings for about 10mins while it added new features such as a remote locator. Image 11 of Image 12 of Buy now from Nvidia. Now TV is absent, however. Those looking for a more complete streaming hub might want to consider the Roku Premiere or Roku Express instead, as these grant access to every UK service you can think of, not to mention that both are far cheaper.
And, really, if all you want is a streaming box for viewing content, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is total overkill. Image 9 of The improved clarity and vibrancy of the AI-enhanced images is plain to see. Image 14 of Using the pre-installed GeForce Now service, players can go far beyond the realms of standard Android TV gaming apps, however.
Once it launches, GeForce Now will allow players to access Triple-A PC titles through the Shield TV Pro and stream them onto a TV through the power of the cloud, with detail settings and frame rates comparable internet speeds depending to playing on a high-end desktop PC. Unfortunately, Nvidia did not respond to my application for GeForce Now beta access, so I was unable to try it out first hand.
Image 13 of Finally, the Shield TV Pro serves as a robust platform on which to play countless classic games. Unlike a plug-and-play retro console like the PlayStation Classic or SNES Mini , the Shield TV Pro runs emulators for classic consoles, while front-end launchers like the RetroArch and Dig apps found in the Play store let you organise and play all your individual emulators and installed games from one hub. As media streamers go, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is pretty much the complete package, allowing you to stream 4K HDR content, manage your personal media library and play games in a multitude of different ways.
Image 3 of So, should you buy one? Probably not.
As with all other Android TV devices, it can also stream content from various sources using apps, and also supports 4K resolution video. It is produced in two models, with the second Shield TV Pro model distinguished primarily by increased internal storage. In , Nvidia released a refreshed version of the 16 GB Shield, which has a smaller form factor that drops MicroSD and infrared support, comes with an updated controller, and is otherwise identical in hardware to the original model.
In , Nvidia refreshed the Shield TV lineup with upgraded processors, and revised the base model with a smaller form factor and less internal storage. The Shield can either contain 16 GB of internal flash storage or a GB hard drive, expandable via microSD card or removable storage. The console ships with one wireless controller; a wireless micro-USB-rechargeable remote with voice control and a headphone jack is sold separately   but is no longer available from official channels.
The Shield runs Android TV ; games optimized and ported for the device are offered through a separate Shield Store app. In addition to native Android gaming and game streaming, retro gaming emulation  is popular on the Nvidia Shield TV. Google Assistant support requires a new iteration of the Shield Controller. It has a revised form factor with a smaller size but no microSD slot, and is supplied with Shield Experience Upgrade 5. A revised Bluetooth remote control with no headphone jack and replaceable CR battery is now bundled, as well as an updated controller with an always-on microphone.
The model contains the same Tegra X1 system-on-chip as the model. Nvidia continues to market the larger, GB Shield Pro model. A gamepad is no longer included. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Digital media player by Nvidia. NA : May 28, Retrieved 5 May Android Police. Retrieved 4 May The Verge. Tech Up Your Life. Retrieved Purch, Inc. And, after having spent some time with the new gadget, I can attest that a little different equals a lot better.
Once you accept the Shield TV's strange design let's not mince words: It's an oversize cigarette lighter , it can do a whole lot. Not only can you stream top-notch PC games from your own collection; you can also enjoy fast-loading 4K HDR content and ambitious AI upscaling for p video. Then there's the Android TV OS, which offers thousands of apps, in addition to smart-home and digital-assistant compatibility.
The new Shield TV may still be a little too expensive for more casual videophiles, but for those who want to watch, game and bring their own equipment to the party, it's one of the best streaming players you can buy. It came out on October 28, Rather than a small box or dongle shape, the Shield TV is an odd black cylinder, which rests horizontally somewhere below your TV.
On one end, there's a power port and an Ethernet port; on the other, there's a microSD card slot, an HDMI port and a hard reset button. You probably won't need to use the button, but it's good to have. Once I got the device set up, though, I thought it looked rather cool. Since it has wires coming out of both ends, it resembles nothing so much as an oversize cable- management tube — and such a tube certainly doesn't seem out of place beneath a TV.
It's also heavy and sturdy enough that the myriad wires won't hoist it up and make it dangle. I do have one slight quibble: Depending on where your wires come from, the Shield TV's "Nvidia" logo might be upside-down. We live in a world of compromises. If you haven't checked out Android OS recently, though, it's worth pointing out that the interface is a lot better than it used to be.
While doing so is a little cumbersome, you can customize your home screen to put the content you want front and center, and get rid of the content that doesn't interest you. In case you haven't used it before, Android TV organizes content into rows. The first row you'll see will be all your favorite apps. Below that, there might be a whole row dedicated to Netflix, and the shows you're watching on that platform. Below that, you might get the same thing for YouTube, or games, and so forth.
It's pretty intuitive, and puts very little distance between you and what you want to access. Historically, I've complained about the Google Play Store on Android TV, which is a little abstruse, and doesn't do a good job of organizing content into browsable categories. However, a recent update has made it a lot easier to find what you're looking for — and, failing that, you can always just perform a text or voice search.
It's not as robust as something like the Roku search, or as deep as the Apple TV search, but I didn't have any trouble finding apps that I was looking for. Selecting this will bring you to a variety of Android games, but also to GeForce Now. While GeForce Now has been through a few different iterations, it's now a free game-streaming service. There are a handful of games available absolutely free of charge, such as Batman: Arkham City and Tomb Raider , but these are mostly holdovers from an earlier experiment.
For the most part, GeForce Now is a way to stream games that you've already purchased on Steam, UPlay and similar services. The way this works is actually quite clever. It's not always easy to figure out which games work and which games won't, but the Shield will let you know when you've picked an incompatible title.
The service also runs pretty smoothly, as I'll describe later. GeForce Now's current iteration can be a little clunky, but it works extremely well, particularly if you already own a lot of games on Steam. One of the biggest changes from previous Shield TV models is the new version's remote control. While older Shield TVs had remotes available, they also included controllers, which were the primary way Nvidia expected users to interact with the system.
This isn't really a problem, since you can now connect any controller you want — other Android controllers, Xbox One controllers and even DualShock 4 controllers. Pairing is painless, and I imagine that most people interested in buying a Shield TV in the first place already own at least one compatible peripheral.
But the Shield TV does come with a remote control, and it's a complete redesign. The new remote control is a black triangular prism, with two rows of circular buttons down the front. There's also a dedicated button for Netflix at the bottom, which isn't necessary, but doesn't do any harm, either. One cool feature of the remote is that it will automatically illuminate when you pick it up, so it's easy to see in a dark room. But for some reason, the buttons are quite dark themselves until the lighting kicks in, which makes the illumination something of a necessity, even in a moderately bright room.
It probably would have been easier to just make lighter-colored buttons. The remote also operates on two AA batteries: a step up from the coin-cell battery in previous Shield TV remotes, but a rechargeable peripheral would still be nice. Android TV has access to thousands of apps — although like most app stores, there's a lot more chaff than wheat.
Shield TV Pro streaming device comes with 4K HDR, Dolby Vision and Atmos having more storage & RAM with Plex media server. SHIELD TV delivers an amazing Android TV streaming media player experience, thanks to the new NVIDIA Tegra X1+ chip. Enhance HD video in real-time to 4K for. The new Nvidia Shield is modern, fresh and uses AI upscaling and Dolby Vision to make HD and 4K content look amazing.