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Nvidia Shield Android TV Console Review

Today we take a look at the latest addition to Nvidia's Shield line of gaming devices. No mobility here, this new Shield is for the living room!

Entertainment On Shield

In addition to games, Shield also supports Android TV apps. With the increasing popularity of 4K TVs, Nvidia ensured that it would be able to meet the new standard with an HDMI 2.0 port with HDCP 2.2. The amount of 4K content is still small, but popular apps such as Netflix already have a few titles available in the higher resolution, such as House of Cards and Daredevil.

Netflix does recommend a constant 25Mbps for 4K resolution, so unless you’re paying a lot of money for that much bandwidth, and you own a 4K television, you won’t be able to try it out. However, I was surprisingly able to have a somewhat-consistent 4K stream at home even at 23Mbps, but for most of the time, the Shield was able to easily push a 1080p stream to the TV thanks to its Gigabit Ethernet port.

Aside from Netflix, users can download a variety of other apps for video such as YouTube, Hulu Plus, and Sling TV. More apps are on their way soon such as HBO Now, the premium channel’s standalone app, which was initially released on Apple TV. You can also rent and download movies and shows through Google’s store. It won’t exactly replace your cable box in terms of channel availability, but there’s more than enough TV content available on the Shield that you might consider dumping the cable box.

  • jasonelmore
    keep the shield devices coming nvidia! that gpu score.. can't wait to see it in their tablet next month.
    Reply
  • Per Wigren
    FINALLY a review that tests GameStream. I can't believe how there can be so many reviews out there and just about no one that bothers to try this rather major feature, considering it's produced by Nvidia and comes with a gamepad... Thank you!

    The result is rather discouraging, however. Did you use it at 1920x1080 at 60 FPS? Was the game set to that resolution on the PC as well?
    Reply
  • Valld
    Nice review, just a few mistakes in the specifications:

    1. There are moving parts inside - the cooling fan, clearly visible on the photo
    2. Bluetooth version is 4.1/BLE, not 2.1
    3. Micro SD card slot supports cards up to 128Gb, not 2Tb
    Reply
  • Dunofrey
    One more correction, the shield pro has a 500 gb hybrid drive not a 200 gb drive.
    Reply
  • Eggz
    Interesting! People with HTPCs will be looking for something given that Windows 10 won't have Windows Media Center any more.

    I think that creates an open market, and I'm curious to see whether Ceton will hire some programmers to come up with a piece of software that supports all of the WMC functionality, and whether they or anyone else will solve the OnDemand functionality issue that's now exclusive to cable boxes.
    Reply
  • Zepid
    What a shit review. No codec information, no playback benchmarks for local media. No information as to if you can mount USB storage to be readable natively by Android apps (as in can I plug in a USB HDD and see it without doing anything in say... VLC). Because Android TV doesn't support this by default without a root or custom ROM, I assume Nvidia has this feature enabled but ZERO REVIEWERS have bothered mentioning it.
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    Where's the gamepad review? Stream Dark Souls I/II to the thing and really hammer on the d-pad with weapon swaps / item use, and report back. Thanks! :)

    "Git gud casul."
    Reply
  • Emanuel Elmo
    I made this correction before and nobody seems to have corrected it.

    The $299.99 model of the shield comes with a 500GB HDD and NOT a 200GB HDD.

    I will say this again that it can be confirmed off of the Nvidia website.
    Reply
  • thrus
    Something that bugged me early in the article since your internet was only 23Mbps you couldn't reliably stream 4k from Netflix, but the gigabit port make HD work fine. If the port was all that mattered it far exceeded the recommended 25Mbps for 4k as well. The gig port had nothing to do with your streaming, heck an old 100Mbps port would be 4 fold the required throughput for 4k. keep the specs in the specs section and don't try to shoehorn them in where they are irreverent.
    Reply
  • deppman
    I have the 500GB Shield. The Talos Principle can be set to 1080p rendering and it looks and performs very well. I'm not sure why it defaults to 720p rendering. The Wi-Fi results in less lags and hiccups than the Shield Tablet, so game streaming is better nearly glitch-free IF your network isn't busy. Video streaming is flawless, and even Chromecast improves. Also, Google just released 600 more TV apps, so selection is greatly improved. Now if I could only install a browser.
    Reply