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New NVIDIA Shield TV emerges online: Is this more than a minor refresh?

Nvidia's new Shield TV has emerged on the Google Play Developer Console, but how does it stand out from the 2017 TV box?

Published onJune 17, 2019

The NVIDIA Shield TV and controller.

The NVIDIA Shield TV is one of the best Android TV (and Android) devices in general, owing to its beefy GPU and steady stream of meaningful updates over the years. Fortunately, it seems like NVIDIA has a new device up its sleeve.

According to XDA-Developers, a new NVIDIA Shield TV codenamed “mdarcy” has surfaced on the Google Play Developer Console’s Device Catalog. The listing shows that it largely has the same specs as the 2017 NVIDIA Shield TV (codenamed “darcy”), so that means 3GB of RAM and the Tegra X1 chipset.

One noteworthy tweak however is the presence of Android Pie, which would be a pretty solid upgrade over Oreo. Android TV based on Pie brings more relaxed system requirements, and a streamlined setup process if you have a smartphone. Other noteworthy Pie upgrades include autofill support, automatic app installs via the Play Store, and a streamlined settings menu.

The 2017 NVIDIA Shield TV.

According to XDA, the new Shield TV box might be running a tweaked version of the Tegra X1 chipset. It’s unclear exactly how this processor would be changed, but NVIDIA could use a smaller manufacturing process which reduces heat and improves sustained performance. A smaller manufacturing process also opens the door for higher clock speeds, so this could also be an option if NVIDIA is indeed shrinking the Tegra X1.

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The NVIDIA Shield Android TVs 2017 Android TV box.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen evidence of new NVIDIA hardware in 2019, as a ROM developer previously found references to a new controller and remote earlier this year. The company didn’t confirm or deny that it was working on these peripherals at the time, but we’d expect the accessories to be paired with the new Shield TV.

There are plenty of features we’d like to see in a 2019 Shield TV box though, such as more RAM, newer CPU cores, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 6, and Google Stadia support. What would you like to see though? Give us your thoughts below!

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