Nvidia today announced that it's updated the Shield TV with artificial intelligence-assisted upscaling, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support. The company introduced its first Shield TV Pro, too, and both models feature the new Tegra X1+ processor.
All of the new Shield TV models' headlining features arrive courtesy of the Tegra X1+. Nvidia said the processor offers up to 25% better performance than its predecessor, which doesn't come as much of a surprise, given that the Tegra X1 debuted in 2015. It would've been a bigger shock if the new Shield TV set-top boxes continued to use the company's four-year-old chip.
Nvidia offered precious few details about the Tegra X1+. We know the version used in the new Shield TV features 2GB of RAM, while the version used in the Shield TV Pro ups that to 3GB. It's powerful enough to offer 4K HDR streaming with support for Dolby's audiovisual technologies, too, as listed above. So the new Shield TV models clearly needed a bit more "oomph."
Nvidia redesigned the device with a tubular chassis designed to be a bit less ostentatious, but it also nixed the previous-generation Shield TV's dual USB 3.0 Type-A ports in the process. The new Shield TV also features just 8GB of internal storage.
Nvidia probably figured those concessions would irk existing Shield TV owners who rely on those ports. So it introduced the Shield TV Pro, which keeps the same design as the 2017 model as well as the dual USB 3.0 Type-A ports. Aside from those differences (and the accompanying price increase) the Shield TV Pro is the same as the Shield TV it's debuting alongside.
Both of the new Shield TV models include an updated remote that offers motion-activated backlit buttons, a customizable button, Bluetooth 5.0 support, voice control, an IR blaster and a built-in locator for when it's lost in the couch cushions. The usual assortment of playback and navigation options are there too, of course, although the pyramidal shape might take getting used to.
Otherwise both Shield TV models appear to be more of the same: they offer access to some 5,000 apps via the Play Store, come with Google Assistant built-in and support Nvidia's GeForce Now game streaming platform. Unless someone's looking for a low-profile set-top box, the new Shield TV offerings have the same appeal as their predecessor, just with support for 4K streaming.
Nvidia said the Shield TV and Shield TV Pro are available now for $150 and $200, respectively, and offers more details about both on its website. A number of accessories can also be found in the Nvidia store.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.