NVIDIA – Shield Android TV – 8GB – 4K HDR streaming media player review

NVIDIA - Shield Android TV - 8GB - 4K HDR streaming media player review
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Can you play Fortnite in NVIDIA – Shield Android TV? Games for everyone, on Google Play Games and GeForce NOW*, including AAA games like Fortnite. Using the power from the latest NVIDIA Tegra X1+ processor, upscale HD video to 4K using the power of AI. Crisper, clearer, video enhanced to 4K resolution in real-time. Know about more benefits in NVIDIA – Shield Android TV – 8GB – 4K HDR streaming media player review.

Pros & Cons – NVIDIA – Shield Android TV – 8GB – 4K HDR streaming media player

Pros 

  • Impressive performance and AI-powered 4K upscaling
  • An excellent all-around gaming hub
  • Top-notch remote with backlit buttons
  • Now with Dolby Vision
  • Convenient home screen with no distracting banner ads

Cons 

  • Tube design is a bit awkward
  • No gampead or HDMI cable included
  • Setup takes some fine-tuning
  • Android TV OS still lacks polish

Specifications

  • Processor: Nvidia Tegra X1+
  • Dimensions: 40mm diameter, 165mm length or 98 x 159 x 259.3mm
  • Weight: 137g or 250g
  • RAM: 2 or 3GB
  • Storage: 8 or 16GB + microSD card
  • Software: Android TV (Android 9 Pie)
  • Format support: up to 4K @ 60Hz, Dolby Vision, HDR10, Dolby Atmos, TrueHD and Digital Plus, DTS-X
  • Connectivity: wifi ac, Bluetooth 5, gigabit ethernet, HDMI 2.0b (HDCP2.2), 2x USB 3.0 (Pro only)

Price – NVIDIA – Shield Android TV – 8GB – 4K HDR streaming media player

The new Nvidia Shield TV comes in two versions: a £149.99 media streamer and a “Pro” alternative for £199 that is aimed more at gaming. The optional Shield Controller costs £59.99.

The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is available to buy now, priced at $199.99 (£199.99). That gets you the console itself, a new-and-improved remote control (which we’ll discuss in detail shortly) and access to 20 great (if ageing) PC games that can be streamed over the internet as part of the GeForce Now service.

For comparison, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K costs £49.99, Fire TV Cube costs £109.99, the Google Chromecast Ultra costs £69 and the Apple TV 4K costs £179.

The main competitor in this price bracket is the Apple 4K TV, a compact set-top box powered by Apple’s A11 Bionic chip. It has 32GB of internal storage and support for HDR10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. At £180 from Amazon, it’s still a hefty investment, and it’s not without its flaws.

Compare NVIDIA – Shield Android TV – 8GB – 4K HDR streaming media player vs Roku Ultra

NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV 4K HDR Streaming Media PlayerRoku Ultra 2020 Streaming Device HD/4K/HDR/Dolby vision
Connectivity TechnologyEthernet, Wi-FiBluetooth, USB
Item Dimensions6.5 x 1.57 x 1.57 inches4.9 x 4.9 x 0.8 inches
Item Weight0.85 lbs7.90 ounces
Model Year2019
Supported Internet ServicesAmazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Vudu, HBO, Browser, Disney +
Total HDMI Ports11
Total USB Ports

NVIDIA – Shield Android TV – 8GB – 4K HDR streaming media player review

Design

It is a tube of gray plastic measuring 6.5 inches long and 1.57 inches in diameter. the tubular design is meant for laying on the floor alongside your other A/V cables. The chassis is plastic through and through but it feels well constructed.

Connectors

There’s an HDMI port and a microSD card slot on one side, and a power connector and ethernet jack on the other. It also has a button that triggers a sound on the remote to help you find it. Inside, there’s 8GB of storage and 2GB of RAM.

 It does have a pair of USB ports for connecting external hard drives, game controllers, TV tuners, or other accessories. It also has more storage and RAM than the tube: 16GB and 3GB respectively. There is a single reset button

Processor

The Shield TV loads and buffers 4K HDR content very fast — much faster than $50 competitors like the Roku Streaming Stick+ or the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. If you’ve got fast Wi-Fi, the Shield TV offers 802.11 ac support; otherwise, you can plug in an Ethernet cable. The Shield TV is a powerful device, sporting a Tegra X1+ processor, 2 GB RAM, 8 GB storage, and support for Dolby Vision and Atmos.

4K content

Even on a 4K TV, most content still streams in 1080p or 720p, so you’re seldom making the most of the fancy panel you paid for. While most televisions have their own basic upscaling algorithms that can fill in some details in non-4K content,

Upscaling

The Shield TV’s ace in the hole is Nvidia’s new AI upscaling technology, which takes HD content and turns it into 4K with some very impressive results. While practically every TV or set-top box can handle basic upscaling of content – stretching HD content to fit a 4K screen with four times as many pixels – Nvidia’s technology is a cut above, particularly when viewing highly detailed scenes.

Game

The Shield TV also has one feature that most Android TV systems lack: Nvidia Games. 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 (2013), but these are mostly holdovers from an earlier experiment.

Apps support

Android TV has access to thousands of apps — although like most app stores, there’s a lot more chaff than wheat. At the very least, you’ll be able to get just about every major channel, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Spotify, Pandora, Vudu, YouTube and just about every channel-specific streaming app out there.

Content search

Google Assistant is built into Android TV and works like a cross between an Android phone and a smart display such as the Nest Hub Max. Press and hold the mic button on the remote to talk to Assistant.

You can control playback in apps, such as playing, pausing or skipping to the next track in Spotify or even a particular time in a song, movie or TV show. You can launch apps, adjust the volume or search for shows, movies or tracks via voice. Ask Assistant to play Lost in Space and it will offer to play it via Netflix or Google Play Movies.

Remote

The Shield’s voice remote is great for in-depth genre searches, smart home control, and general information, and it can even launch content directly in certain apps such as Netflix and YouTube.

Setup

To install the Nvidia Shield TV Pro, first make sure your TV is off, then connect the Shield to your TV using a certified HDMI 2.0 cable — simply plug one end of the HDMI 2.0 cable into your Nvidia Shield and the other end into your TV. Take the power cord that came with your Nvidia Shield TV Pro and plug one end into the device and the other end into a wall outlet. A green light will turn on if you did it correctly. After that, turn on your TV and select the correct HDMI input. That’s all there is to the physical setup of the Nvidia Shield TV Pro.

NVIDIA – Shield Android TV – 8GB – 4K HDR streaming media player customer review

Bought for Gamestream

Not gonna lie, I bought this mainly for gamestream, then as streaming device second. Gamestream is a headache to setup but once you have 1) really good gaming rig, 2) fix whatever bugs there are, this is capable of gamestreaming 4k60 even with a very fast 5ghz wifi (I have Ac3150 beamforming router with AC1900 beamforming capable card on the rig). So far I’ve played Rocket League, a few Assassin’s Creed games, and tried Battlefield V Campaign for the lol. Stutters only come if someone walks through the hallway between the router and the office where the Desktop is situated. Aside from that, the 4k60 stream is excellent and the wireless xbox360 gamepad input lag is bearable to singleplayer games. Don’t bother trying on games that require no input lag at all.

The AI Upscale is a pleasant surprise and Netflix standard streaming looks like a legit 4k stream. Compared to when I stream directly from my Smart TV. On the other hand, my 4k HDR streams from Disney Channel is working flawlessly with my HDR capable TV.

On another note, my Dolby digital sound is going through the the shield, then to TV then to TV’s HDMI ARC connected to a samsung Dolby 5.1 Soundbar + wireless soundwoofer & rear speakers. So I can attest that Dolby passthrough works. Not sure about Dolby atmos though.

It is also good for running android games or if you subscribe, Nvidia’s GeForce Now. Also, the price is pretty high up there so the only worth it specs from this device is the gamestream and the AI upscale. If you can’t justify that cost, you should try looking at other cheaper streaming device then.

Side note, turn on HDMI-CEC on the shield and your tv. This will allow you to turn on the Shield, the TV and the Sound bar all at the same time with just the Shield’s remote. Also, turn on the HDMI-CEC volume control (alongside in the TV settings). I only need the Shield’s remote through this setting to turn on, and even mute and adjust volume.

By raikagezero at Best Buy

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