Throughout my life I have bought countless devices, it would be impossible to count everyone. Yes, I can count on my fingers (hands and feet, surely) the number of "junk" that I never regretted buying and that remained by my side for years. Beyond appliances, there is a media player in my house that has been used since I acquired it, almost three years ago: Nvidia Shield TV.
This media player, which is also game console and Google Chromecast, has Android TV and of a hardware that, even today, continues to be a pointer in the type of device to which it belongs. On top of that, the manufacturer keeps it updated and free of setbacks, something that, let's face it, is not exactly common in Android. Therefore, the Nvidia Shield TV Be part of my recommendations, there is nothing better. Or maybe yes.
Nvidia Shield TV 2019: new cylindrical design and new remote control
The new Nvidia Shield TV 2019 draws attention for its cylindrical design and for the new remote control with programmable button.
New Nvidia Shield TV Pro: the perfect Android TV to play
Nvidia has launched a new video player and game console in the cloud, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro, which can already be seen on Amazon.
Nvidia usually renews its range of Android TV every few years. And recently brought two new models to the market: the player with more features, and similar design to the previous players, and a more compact one with a curious cylindrical appearance. Precisely, the cylindrical Nvidia Shield TV has been in my house for two weeks. And I can say it: it's still the Android TV to recommend.
Features of the Nvidia Shield TV
I must emphasize that the analysis refers to the model that I have in my hands, the Nvidia Shield TV «normal», not Pro. Although, by extension, you should not go too far from this Pro model: what I reflect in this analysis can be moved to the higher model. Even to the previous models: despite the time span between generations, there are no exaggerated differences. This is good and also bad since, put to compare in price, I think it comes more into account acquire a previous model If this is discounted.
Let's not move on, let's see how the new one is Nvidia Shield TV after the spec microscope. As you can see, it is a hyper vitaminized player for any content you want to put on the big screen, be it streaming series such as recorded videos or games.
- NVIDIA Tegra X1 + processor.
- 256-core Maxwell GPU.
- 2 GB RAM
- 8 GB of internal storage expandable to via micro SD.
- Video up to 4K HDR at 60 fps (H.265 / HEVC). Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10.
- Dolby Audio (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos) and DTS-X surround sound (pass-through) via HDMI.
- Bluetooth: 5.0 / BLE.
- Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0b and Micro SD.
- Android TV 9.0 Pie.
- Chromecast 4K integrated and Google Assistant. Compatible with Amazon Alexa.
- Remote control included.
A cylindrical design that moves away from any other television player
Although in pictures it already surprises, taking it out of the box leaves you dumbfounded. It's not too big, it looks solid and very compact, but it's your cylindrical design which leaves speechless, also with certain doubts. Although the comparison may seem risky, the new Nvidia Shield TV is like a black goat's curling cheese with cable entries at each end.
Personally, I am not convinced by the design. Next to the TV it does not look good since it is not aesthetically attractive, nor the output of the cables, at both ends of the cylinder, is comfortable neither for behind the television nor for the front. According to Nvidia, the player is designed to be placed on the floor, just to the cable strip; something that does not convince me either since, in this way, it accumulates much more dirt.
The cylindrical design is designed to place the Nvidia Shield TV on the floor, not next to the TV
Leaving behind the design controversy, the Nvidia Shield TV offers no complications: just plug it in, and extend the HDMI cable to a free TV connector, so it is almost ready to work. A minimum configuration with guided steps, and with the help of the phone, facilitates the first start. In this sense, good for Nvidia.
One last detail to mention is the design of the remote control. This changes radically with respect to the previous controls to assume a triangular profile. Following the food analogies, the Shield TV remote looks like a Toblerone with buttons, without this being inconvenient. It has more of those buttons than the previous command, dispenses with the touch guide and significantly improves one of the main problems of previous controls: batteries. They stop being a button to need two AAA, much more common and cheap. And they are included, of course.
It has no rival playing content at maximum quality, both videos and games
One of the keys that characterizes the Nvidia Shield TV since its birth it is a multimedia player capable of making a TV smart, but it goes much further: thanks to Android TV, it is a Chromecast Ultra, it offers installation of Android applications and games … And it has a very attractive integrated service for the gamers: GeForce Now. With this combination, the Shield TV is unbeatable, especially if you have games purchased at Steam or a subscription to Uplay, for example.
In terms of performance, the Nvidia SoC, the renewed Tegra X1 + (same processor as that of the Nintendo Switch), gives everything the machine needs and much more. Come on, you do not have to worry at all about the content you want to play because it sure chews without mercy. 4k playback, HDR videos, high quality graphic games … You can with everything. And with enormous quality: the leap to compatibility with 4K HDR not only improves viewing on this high contrast content, it is also capable of scale any movie or series from 1080p to 4K until almost looking native. What Nvidia has achieved with the artificial Intelligence of the new Shield TV is impressive.
Apart from the usual Android games, many of which are the same ones that you would install on your smartphone, the Nvidia Shield TV has exclusive games for the platform that squeeze the Tegra X1 + to the fullest. And not only that: with GeForce Now You have access to streaming games of the highest quality, from titles included with the purchase to all that you have acquired through platforms such as Steam. That is, GeForce Now is a kind of Google Stadia (Nvidia took it out much earlier) for the PC games you have already bought. Simply connect the game controller to the Shield, start the streaming service and log in with your Steam or Uplay account.
Analysis of the Nvidia Shield TV: new design and much more power
After renewing their Android TV I had to try them. And here is our analysis: this is what you can expect from the new Nvidia Shield TV. Highly recommended.
If we talk about games, we must mention that The physical control is not included in the package: in the photo above appears the command that I bought with my old Shield. There is no major problem to connect a remote control since the Nvidia Shield TV includes Bluetooth 5.0: just pair them and you will be playing in seconds. Although, if you are going to take advantage of the player as a console (I recommend it), it is best to invest in its original remote.
The experience of play, and reproduction, is excellent: if you have a good television, and a sound system at the level, you will not miss anything. Great video quality, excellent contrast, surround sound … All through the included HDMI output. Further, The Nvidia Shield TV offers micro SIM socket (ideal for loading movies or series locally) and RJ45 input for wired internet connection. Obviously, it does not dispense with WiFi, but an ethernet cable will always be better if you are going to play with GeForce Now.
One last detail is that you don't need a physical control to play with the Nvidia Shield TV: the triangular remote itself is valid for a good amount of casual Android titles. Thanks to the control buttons, games like Real Racing 3 or Crossy road They are suitable for TV.
Nothing new in terms of software: Android TV 9 Pie with the Nvidia layer
The advantages of having a Android TV in the player are notorious: apart from having enabled the installation of Android apps and games (They must adapt to the needs of the system, not all Google Play is suitable), the Shield TV comes with a Google Chromecast Ultra, so you can send a good amount of multimedia content from the mobile to the TV. Just press on the Chromecast icon on the phone screen, select the Shield and voila.
The player is updated to the latest version of Android TV: 9 Pie. In addition, it includes improvements to Shield Experience, a layer that improves the use of the system including services such as the aforementioned GeForce Now or the huge amount of improvements to enhance video and audio, such as compatibility with Dolby Atmos systems or the scaled to 4K using Artificial Intelligence. It offers a clean Android TV experience with add-ons that enhance the user experience.
From my point of view, this Shield TV (and the rest) paves the way for almost any streaming platform on TV; And always with the highest quality available. Movistar +, HBO, Amazon prime Video, the future Disney +… And, of course, Netflix. It is already advanced by the dedicated button on the remote: Netflix is one of the strengths of this device. And without having to launch that platform from the button: it is configurable for any other app, just go to the settings.
A safe bet if you didn't have an Nvidia Shield TV before, you lack Smart TV or you want to take advantage of 4K scaling
Is not the Android TV cheaper than you can find, yes it is the most powerful you will have at your fingertips (the Shield TV Pro it would be somewhat above the basic model). It is perfect for all the needs of the family in terms of entertainment, whether watching TV such as accessing YouTube, Spotify or enjoying Android games. And it also offers streaming access to the most current PC games, also to the huge collection of titles on platforms such as Steam. All from the sofa and with the convenience of using the remote control (s) and the telephone.
For me it is essential, I already said it at the beginning: Nvidia Shield TV gets a huge juice. In addition, the manufacturer is the only one that continues to update its Android devices after years of bringing them to market, a guarantee for the current model. What above includes the 4K scaled from 1080p and HDR playback, two additions that you will appreciate for good on your TV. At least as long as it is compatible with these two standards.
It's a great recommendation as long as you don't have a previous Shield TV. In that case, I don't think it's worth changing unless you're looking for the specific improvements of the new models. If you don't have a Smart TV, and you want to try Android for the TVs, Shield TV is the best gateway. It will hold you years without being short.
It is not a cheap media player, that is clear: the Nvidia Shield TV of this analysis amounts to 159.99 euros. Even so, and putting all its advantages and possibilities in perspective, I can assure you that it is worth what it costs. If you put a Shield TV in your living room you will check it in first person.
Get on Amazon your new brand new Nvidia Shield TV