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New NVIDIA Shield TV wishlist: All the features I want to see
The NVIDIA Shield TV family hosts arguably the best Android TV boxes on the market, bringing plenty of features and a ridiculously long commitment to software updates. It’s no wonder that Shield TV boxes have acquired a vocal following. The last Shield TV products were launched in 2019, but could NVIDIA launch a new product soon?
The NVIDIA Shield TV and Shield TV Pro models have long been our top recommendations for a more premium streaming experience. But there’s still scope for improvements, though. Here’s our wishlist.
Long-term update support (again)
All Shield TV models are still getting firmware updates, and this is a monumental achievement when you consider that the first model was released back in 2015. Not even Apple is keeping its iPhones updated for that long.
With that in mind, our top wish is that NVIDIA’s next Shield TV model retains a similarly lengthy update commitment. That way, the device continues to receive new features and handy improvements years down the line. These are expensive products, but when they last so long, the value is excellent.
A new processor (with cool tricks)
NVIDIA has used the Tegra X1 in the Shield TV series since 2015, and it stood out at the time thanks to great driver support and a healthy level of horsepower. Unfortunately, the chip is showing its age today.
Personally, I really hope a new NVIDIA Shield TV model uses a brand-new Tegra processor. It could enable snappier performance in general, much-improved gaming performance, and brand-new features.
Aside from NVIDIA features like ray tracing and DLSS for super-resolution in games, AV1 decoding would also enable higher-quality video at a reasonable bit rate. Perhaps it’ll have the same chipset as the NVIDIA-powered Nintendo Switch 2?
Better gaming support
Gaming was one of the original focus areas for the Shield TV series. NVIDIA offered a gamepad and also ported PC and console titles to the platform. Nowadays, the firm is pushing its GeForce Now cloud streaming service.
It’s a long shot, but I’d love to see a bigger focus on gaming from a new NVIDIA Shield TV. Game streaming is fine if you’re in a supported market with a decent internet connection, but something bigger would be cool.
Maybe NVIDIA could take the Netflix approach and offer exclusive Android games on its service. Or it could take the Steam Deck and Apple approach by delivering a translation layer for PC games. It’s an absolutely crazy idea that requires a lot of effort, but one can dream, right?
More AI features
NVIDIA’s clearly emphasized AI tech with its last few generations of RTX graphics cards. We previously saw AI-based upscaling for video on the last Shield TV, but I’d like to see more AI features on a new Shield TV or Shield TV Pro model. For example, I could totally see NVIDIA implementing AI-based features like live subtitles or even noise reduction for audio/video calls.
What features do you want to see from a new NVIDIA Shield TV?
Will there be an NVIDIA Shield (2023) or NVIDIA Shield (2024)?
The graphics company hasn’t confirmed whether it’ll launch a new NVIDIA Shield TV product at all, let alone in the next 18 months. We’ve also not seen any leaks whatsoever. So if the company is working on a new NVIDIA Shield TV Pro, “tube,” or something altogether different, it’s keeping things tightly under wraps.
It’s also worth noting that the company launched Shield TV products in 2015, 2017, and 2019. You would then assume that it would’ve launched new hardware in 2021, but that wasn’t the case.
An NVIDIA representative told Android Authority in September 2023 that the company had, “nothing new to share nor announce at this time,” when we asked about plans for a new Shield TV model. That doesn’t necessarily mean a new model isn’t in the works for a release at some point, but it strongly suggests you shouldn’t hold your breath for an imminent launch.
It’s also unclear if NVIDIA will continue the split between standard (the tube-shaped one) and Pro models as we saw with the 2019 line.
Whatever the situation, we know there’s plenty of demand for a refreshed Shield TV. In an Android Authority poll that accrued over 8,000 votes, over 95% of respondents said they wanted NVIDIA to release a new Shield TV model.
As for a release date, there’s no word on a new Android TV box from NVIDIA yet. Looking at previous launch dates doesn’t give us any clues either. There hasn’t been any rhyme and reason to these launches outside of the biennial releases, as you can see from the below:
- NVIDIA Shield TV (2015): May 28, 2015
- NVIDIA Shield TV (2017): January 16, 2017
- NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) and Shield TV Pro: October 28, 2019
However, considering the popularity and demand for the product, it would be strange if NVIDIA didn’t release a new version at some point in the near future. After all, the previous model is now four years old and counting.
Should you wait for a new NVIDIA Shield TV?
Simply put, you really shouldn’t wait around for an NVIDIA Shield TV (2023) model. There aren’t any credible rumors at all regarding a new model right now, suggesting that there isn’t anything on the cards for the final quarter of 2023, at the very least.
In other words, you should buy the current NVIDIA Shield TV model right now if you want a Shield streaming device. It’s a genuinely superb piece of hardware that NVIDIA will support for years to come. It’s worth noting that the cheaper model only has 8GB of storage that rapidly fills up, although there is a microSD card slot. However, one downside to this model for gamers is that it’s running the 32-bit version of Android, which means you can’t actually play any Shield-exclusive games that were ported from a console or PC. If any of this is an issue, grab the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro.
Those on the hunt for a recent Android TV box should check out the Chromecast with Google TV 4K model ($35.55 at Amazon). It brings a slick UI, Assistant integration, a dinky remote, and a very cheap price tag. In saying so, it lacks AV1 support (the non-4K model does have AV1 support, bizarrely), while storage expansion requires a USB-C hub. You should also keep the Xiaomi TV Stick 4K ($64.3 at Amazon) in mind, bringing a small form factor and decent performance. The only real downsides are the lack of AirPlay 2 support and the use of micro-USB connectivity.
Much better remote control
Lots of native 4K content