What is NVIDIA Shield TV?

The Nvidia Shield TV has established itself as a fantastic streaming video player for geeks in the last four years. Although it didn’t have the quality of an Apple TV, Fire TV, or Roku set, it offered a lot of cool features for users, such as the option to use it as a Plex server or — with a cheap dongle— a smart home hub

Today, Nvidia has upgraded Shield TV with a new design, a lower initial price, a much-improved controller, and a truly remarkable AI upscaling feature that sharpens HD videos on 4 K TVs. At a cost of $150, it’s still a pricey media streamer, but the additional features will make it worthwhile to non-nerds.

There are still some signs of the Shield’s inner geekiness. Having the most out of Shield TV needs some digging around menus, and Android TV’s fundamental tech continues to feel like an ongoing work. Although it’s easier to sell to a wider audience than the old Shield was, it’s not a clear winner over other high-end streamers, including Apple TV 4 K, Fire TV Cube, and Roku Ultra.



Nvidia Shield TV Features:

FAST, REAL FAST: The new improved NVIDIA Tegra X1 + chip makes SHIELD better than the previous generation by up to 25 percent.

DOLBY VISION·ATMOS: The combination of Dolby Vision HDR display with Dolby Atmos sound turns the television into an engine for entertainment.

A.I UPSCALING: Upgrade HD to 4 K video using AI technology. Crisper, smoother video upgraded to real-time 4 K resolution.

4K HDR: Everything in 4 K HDR. All your favorite shows are of the highest quality possible. Period.


The New Nvidia Shield TV Remote

The other big upgrade to the current Shield TV is the remote control. Gone is the unnecessarily thin profile of the previous Shield, which slid easily between couch cushions; instead, there is a triangular shape that is easy to grip and has some heft.

Perhaps better, Nvidia removed the old remote touch-sensitive volume control strip in favor of the physical power & volume controls, while also introducing specific forward & rewind keys. There’s also a programmable top button that can unlock applications, access the Settings menu, shut down the volume, turn on/off HD Upscaling, & more. Most users may have a concern with the large Netflix button at the bottom, but you can unofficially remap that one as well.

The Shield remote also features backlit buttons that have been there on cable remotes for years but have not yet transferred to streaming devices. You’re also going to find tiny raised ridges on remote play & microphone controls, so you can navigate your way without taking your eyes off the screen. This remote control’s interface is not perfect — I still haven’t got along with the vertical arrangement of Play / Pause, Fast Forward & Rewind Keys — However, it is still one of the best streaming remote controls I’ve ever used.


Nvidia Shield Tv & Nvidia Shield TV Pro: Which One to Buy?

Nvidia Shield Tv: A Compact & Modular Redesign

Pros

  • Ingenious, modular design
  • Fantastic Updated Remote Control
  • Remains the best experience of Android TV
  • Enhanced AI Upgrade is fantastic

Cons

  • Can run into problems with a few Android games
  • Not friendly to newbies out of the box

NVIDIA Shield TV upgrade is its special tube shape and remote redesign This is simplified and lightweight streaming system with enhanced processing power that still delivers the best experience you can get on Android TV.

Nvidia Shield TV Pro: A Subtle Revamp

Pros

  • Same sleek design on the Shield
  • Additional RAM, & double the storage on board
  • External Storage Can be used through USB Ports
  • The one that you want for Plex and Gaming

Cons

  • Lower internal storage compared with older Pro model
  • Costlier than the tube
  • Not sufficient new features to justify upgrade

The NVIDIA Shield TV Pro (2019) also looks & performs almost the same as the earlier Shield TV Pro model, that is great news because we enjoyed everything the older Pro model was able to do. Only drawback here is the down graded internal storage.

The Difference

Shield TV Shield TV Pro
Storage 8 GB 16 GB
Price $149 $199
Processor Tegra X1+ Tegra X1+
RAM 2GB 3GB
MicroSD Yes Yes
Ethernet Yes Yes
USB No Two
Dolby Vision Yes Yes
Dolby Atmos Yes Yes
GeForce gaming Yes Yes
AI upscaling Yes Yes
AAA gaming Yes Yes
SmartThings No Yes
Plex server No Yes

 

NVIDIA has made things much clearer this time around with a completely redesigned Shield TV that provides a spec boost over the older models in a curvy, sleek tube designed to take up hardly any room behind your screen. Nor is it a stick or a dongle, so it should easily fit between any TV shelf and wall. We assume the Shield TV is the most interesting product which is likely to appeal to more regular users who just want to plug something into their Television and get to watch.

The Pro series, however, has kept the very same edgy look as earlier Shield TV models. It can be programmed for managing smart devices as a SmartThings controller & there are two USB ports for linking external storage, keyboards or an OTA antenna. It also provides the full array of gaming services & features from NVIDIA alongside 16 GB of internal storage and speed upgrades of up to 3 GB RAM. This is the alternative built for more serious tech enthusiasts who enjoy tinkering and gadget accessorization.

It is worth emphasizing that both versions are still fantastic for gamers & support the entire library of games from NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW service & GameStream, but you may run into some difficulties on the Shield TV (non-pro) trying to run games from the Google Play Store which need 3 GB of RAM. This means you are better off sticking with the Pro model if you wish to download & play games like Doom 3 or Portal right on your Shield TV.



What all can you do with Nvidia Shield TV?

1) Play Your PC Games in a different room

You will need a PC fitted with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card to use the power of your gaming PC in a different room (e.g. living room). The NVIDIA SHIELD TV and your GeForce GTX compatible gaming PC will then have to be linked to the same network. You can wirelessly link the SHIELD TV to your router though it is recommended to connect via Gigabit Ethernet for the best experience. GameStream supports the 4 K (3840x 2160) and HDR resolutions. You can start configuring GameStream when both your gaming PC and NVIDIA SHIELD TV are linked to the network

You can activate GameStream on your SHIELD TV by following the steps below; download & install GeForce Experience on your GeForce GTX compatible PC. GeForce Experience may be already enabled on your PC if NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Drivers were installed.

  1. When enabled, open the GeForce Experience and sign in (or create an account if you haven’t already done).
  2. Then go to Settings-> SHIELD & enable GameStream. This ensures that your PC is GameStreaming ready
  3. Open NVIDIA Games app on your SHIELD TV & select My Library-> Set up GameStream.
  4. A prompt log in will appear–only sign in using the same information as used in the GeForce Experience.

cast games to nvidia shield tv

2) Play Together Locally

multiplayer on shield

NVIDIA SHIELD TV, along with GameStream, offers multi-controller access to local multiplayer games. SHIELD TV also supports many other non-SHIELD USB or Bluetooth devices, but use of the SHIELD Controller is preferred for the best experience.

3) Smart Home Hub

nvidia shield tv google assistant

If you want to use the SHIELD as a smart home unit, the lightweight bundled remote features an embedded microphone that allows Voice Search to communicate quickly with Google Assistant (not yet available in Australia). The lightweight remote control is good for communicating with Google Assistant if you are too far away from the SHIELD TV or do not want to use the game controller. You could ask questions about the weather, monitor the internet (e.g. spotify), order dominos and more with Google Assistant. You can also track your Nest surveillance cameras and control your smart devices, such as your thermostat, lighting, speakers and more.

4) Stream Films and TV Online

best-apps-to-stream-tv_1

NVIDIA SHIELD TV allows 4 K HDR video output alongside Dolby Atmos and DTS-X audio output. 4 K HDR video can be used by services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video -obviously non-HDR content is also supported. In addition to the above listed media apps, Google Play Movies & TV, YouTube, Crunchyroll, Sling, etc. are also available alongside local TV streaming services like those of tenplay, 9now, SBSondemand, 7plus, ABCiview and much more. Note that some local TV networks can include using the built-in Chromecast. YouTube 360-degree views can be viewed and interacted on the NVIDIA SHIELD TV, using the SHIELD Controller.

5) Cast from Your Mobile Devices

Need not to panic if your Android TV does not support a media app, as the NVIDIA SHIELD TV comes with integrated Google Cast Feature. It helps you to watch Cast apps on a large screen from your smartphone or tablet to the SHIELD TV.

cast from mobile android tv

 

NVIDIA SHIELD TV is available in two models–the cheaper version comes with the SHIELD Console and Remote which is ideal for consuming media, while the SHIELD Controller is included in the more expensive option. If you want to take advantage of GameStream, Steam Big Picture or play any kind of game on the NVIDIA SHIELD TV, then purchase the version that contains the SHIELD Controller. Should you want to diminish the footprint of the NVIDIA SHIELD TV unit, a vertical stand is also available. You will buy additional SHIELD Controllers individually, allowing you to play games with friends and family on the SHIELD TV.

What Buyers Feel About Nvidia Shield TV?