Shield Android TVby Nvidia

  • Shield Android TV
  • Shield Android TV
  • Shield Android TV
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
A solid product. Despite some flaws, it's still a good value.
76%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • The Shield Android TV has a powerful Tegra X1 processor and a snappy interface, so gaming and browsing through the menus are a breeze.
  • The console supports 4K streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube.
  • The Shield has good conversational voice search capability and a comfortable, familiar controller.

CONS

  • The Shield Android TV is expensive for a set-top box--almost twice as expensive as other options.
  • You're limited to games on the Android TV store and your PC--if you have a compatible Nvidia graphics card. The Shield Android TV can't compete with a dedicated gaming console.
  • The remote is sold separately, so you'll have to use the Shield Android TV with the included game controller.
The Nvidia Shield Android TV is a powerful Tegra X1-powered streaming set-top box that also plays Android games and streams games from your PC, assuming you have a compatible Nvidia graphics card. Though this slim console is pricey compared to other streaming set-top boxes, its gaming prowess and its support for 4K streaming video is unparalleled. While it's not going to replace your Xbox One or PlayStation 4--its graphics quality is closer to the last generation gaming consoles--it's a good choice if you enjoy Android games and want to play PC titles on your big screen.
NameShield Android TVXbox 360 SPS3Forge TV
ManufacturerNvidiaMicrosoftSonyRazer
Techwalla Score
76%
88%
87%
49%
List Price$200$180$200$100
95%

With the HDMI 2.0, your Shield can output 4K video content from UHD-capable games or UHD videos to your TV at a smooth, powerful 60 frames p…

With the HDMI 2.0, your Shield can output 4K video content from UHD-capable games or UHD videos to your TV at a smooth, powerful 60 frames per second; one very useful feature to have as 4K TVs replace HD TVs in man households.

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90%

The device sure isn’t at the level of the PS4 or Xbox One in terms of graphics, but I would say it’s on par with the last-generation console…

The device sure isn’t at the level of the PS4 or Xbox One in terms of graphics, but I would say it’s on par with the last-generation consoles. It’s definitely one of the top performers in the Android TV ecosystem.

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90%

As a strict movie/video-watching machine, the Shield is the best set-top box out there. The Shield supports Hulu, Netflix, Plex, Kodi, Googl…

As a strict movie/video-watching machine, the Shield is the best set-top box out there. The Shield supports Hulu, Netflix, Plex, Kodi, Google Play Movies & TV, YouTube, and more.

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84%

Like most other Bluetooth gaming controllers, NVIDIA's takes plenty of cues from the Xbox 360/One design, save for a few twists.

Like most other Bluetooth gaming controllers, NVIDIA's takes plenty of cues from the Xbox 360/One design, save for a few twists.

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79%

If you haven't already figured it out, SHIELD is the device to buy if you want Android TV. It smokes Nexus Player, and I honestly don't see …

If you haven't already figured it out, SHIELD is the device to buy if you want Android TV. It smokes Nexus Player, and I honestly don't see the Razer Forge even coming close (especially without Netflix out of the box).

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76%

Speaking of speed, navigating the interface is nice and fast. After having endured slower (and sometimes even sluggish) UI elsewhere, I foun…

Speaking of speed, navigating the interface is nice and fast. After having endured slower (and sometimes even sluggish) UI elsewhere, I found the snappiness of Android TV especially refreshing.

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70%

The Shield looks like some alien relic you would find as the MacGuffin in any number of science fiction films with warring planets all in se…

The Shield looks like some alien relic you would find as the MacGuffin in any number of science fiction films with warring planets all in search of its ultimate power.

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70%

What does a faster processor mean in terms of performance? You can play better looking games, apps and menus load faster and videos, especia…

What does a faster processor mean in terms of performance? You can play better looking games, apps and menus load faster and videos, especially those in Ultra HD, will buffer without issue as long as your internet connection is up to snuff.

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60%

You can also stream games from your own computer over your home network with Nvidia's GameStream feature, but you need a powerful system wit…

You can also stream games from your own computer over your home network with Nvidia's GameStream feature, but you need a powerful system with a GameStream-ready Nvidia graphics card.

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60%

As for software, Android TV has made some great leaps in the last year, and its app support is much better than it used to be, although it c…

As for software, Android TV has made some great leaps in the last year, and its app support is much better than it used to be, although it can’t quite match Roku (Amazon Instant Video is a major missing piece).

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60%

If you have an early 4K TV that lacks built-in 4K streaming apps, or an Nvidia-equipped PC and an interest in streaming games elsewhere, the…

If you have an early 4K TV that lacks built-in 4K streaming apps, or an Nvidia-equipped PC and an interest in streaming games elsewhere, the Shield is worth a serious look.

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The system comes with enough horsepower to appeal to hardcore Android gamers thanks to the great NVIDIA Shield game controller, which comes …

The system comes with enough horsepower to appeal to hardcore Android gamers thanks to the great NVIDIA Shield game controller, which comes with the NVIDIA Shield TV. There’s also a powerful NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor with 256-core graphics processor.

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Right out of the box your Shield Android TV will be sitting horizontally in your entertainment center, and while there aren't any rubberized…

Right out of the box your Shield Android TV will be sitting horizontally in your entertainment center, and while there aren't any rubberized feet on the console its considerable weight (654g) means it won't be sliding around as you plug in various cables to the back of it.

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The optional Shield Remote is the elegantly styled, lighter weight counterpart to the 0.75lb Controller — about 0.5lbs. lighter, weighing in…

The optional Shield Remote is the elegantly styled, lighter weight counterpart to the 0.75lb Controller — about 0.5lbs. lighter, weighing in at just about a quarter of a pound.

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NVIDIA is well aware that they can't compete with the game consoles for first-run AAA games, so their focus here is going to be on a sort of…

NVIDIA is well aware that they can't compete with the game consoles for first-run AAA games, so their focus here is going to be on a sort of best-of-the-best approach of bringing older, well received games to the console and a user base NVIDIA believes is distinct from the traditional game console crowd.

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I don’t know where a silicon chip manufacturer got a design team, but damn can Nvidia build a sleek-looking product. The Shield Android TV i…

I don’t know where a silicon chip manufacturer got a design team, but damn can Nvidia build a sleek-looking product. The Shield Android TV is as angular as a stealth fighter, clearly inspired by the classic F-117A Nighthawk.

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The Shield falls on the more expensive end of the spectrum of media streaming boxes, but it justifies the added cost with considerably more …

The Shield falls on the more expensive end of the spectrum of media streaming boxes, but it justifies the added cost with considerably more power, a smooth interface and robust gaming capabilities.

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Hooking up the NVIDIA SHIELD is pretty easy as you just need to plug in the power cable and the HDMI video/audio output and you are done. Pl…

Hooking up the NVIDIA SHIELD is pretty easy as you just need to plug in the power cable and the HDMI video/audio output and you are done. Plugging other devices into the USB port or using a wired Ethernet connection are optional.

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If the Shield had Amazon Instant Video (it’s unlikely that it will ever be on Android TV), I would probably switch to using it over other pl…

If the Shield had Amazon Instant Video (it’s unlikely that it will ever be on Android TV), I would probably switch to using it over other players because of its beautiful picture and sound quality.

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Speaking of peripherals, the SHIELD controller looks similar to that of the SHIELD Portable, and the layout should be familiar to most gamer…

Speaking of peripherals, the SHIELD controller looks similar to that of the SHIELD Portable, and the layout should be familiar to most gamers.

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At some point we reached the era in which PC games of the very recent past were able to be ported to Android, and NVIDIA has been working cl…

At some point we reached the era in which PC games of the very recent past were able to be ported to Android, and NVIDIA has been working closely to make certain the biggest and the best were brought to SHIELD first.

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Beyond just gaming, whipping through Android TV’s menus is a breeze, with no signs of jank or lag. Everything runs smoothly at 60FPS.

Beyond just gaming, whipping through Android TV’s menus is a breeze, with no signs of jank or lag. Everything runs smoothly at 60FPS.

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Dish's ever-improving Sling TV app is there as well, meaning there's a way to watch both ESPN and HBO right now even without standalone apps…

Dish's ever-improving Sling TV app is there as well, meaning there's a way to watch both ESPN and HBO right now even without standalone apps from either of those content providers.

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Nvidia’s Shield is more like a shrunk down console than a big media streaming device, and it even offers an optional stand accessory that ca…

Nvidia’s Shield is more like a shrunk down console than a big media streaming device, and it even offers an optional stand accessory that can let you use it like a vertical monolith atop your desk.

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66% Said they'd buy it again. Would You?
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