Not content with completely obliterating the competition with one killer Android TV device, Nvidia now has two set-top boxes — one cheaper, redesigned unit for the mainstream and another more traditional upgrade over the Shield TV (2017) for hardcore gamers and streaming addicts.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new Nvidia Shield TV and Nvidia Shield TV Pro.
Nvidia Shield TV (2019)
Looking for the best of Android TV on a budget? Meet the “all-new Nvidia Shield TV.”
Sporting a fresh, cylindrical look, a redesigned remote, and a reduced price of $149.99, the 2019 Shield TV is the entry-level model intended for streaming fans who aren’t necessarily “gadget geeks,” Nvidia said in a press release.
The biggest hardware upgrade over the previous generation is the Tegra X1+ processor which provides a 25% improvement over the regular Tegra X1 and enables AI upscaling to transform 30fps HD content (720/1080p) into 4K. This fancy AI trickery is done in real-time via a deep learning neural network and is compatible with streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube, and more.
As well as full Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos support, the other major change is the remote which mercifully ditches the previous generation’s touch-sensitive volume controls for more traditional, backlit buttons.
In addition to dedicated power, fast-forward, and rewind buttons, there’s also a customizable button and another for quick access to Netflix. The entire remote is now shaped like a triangular prism too. Existing Shield TV owners will also be able to upgrade to the new remote separately for $29.99 at a later date.
Related: 10 best Android TV apps!
The Shield TV (2019) comes with 8GB internal storage which is expandable via a MicroSD card slot, has 2GB RAM, and supports gigabit ethernet & 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
We got a chance to play with the new Shield TV early and Android Authority’s Kris Carlon gave it a resoundingly positive recommendation, stating that it “nails the basics and packs more power and media support than anything else on the market.”
You can read even more of our thoughts in our full Nvidia Shield TV (2019) review.
Nvidia Shield TV Pro (2019)
The Shield TV isn’t just about movies and TV shows, of course — it’s also built for gaming. The regular Nvidia Shield TV (2019) has all the game-centric features we’ve come to expect from Nvidia’s boxes and access to Android games via the Play Store, but if you want the best gaming experience you’ll want to upgrade to the Nvidia Shield TV Pro (2019).
Unlike the new vanilla Shield TV, the Pro looks almost exactly the same as its predecessors, though it does come with the refreshed remote. What you do get, however, is 3GB RAM and double the base storage at 16GB. That enables the Pro to run more demanding Android TV games, though both have access to AAA PC titles through GeForce Now.
The Pro is the Shield of choice for gamers.
The Pro has 2x USB-C ports (useful for attaching an external hard drive) and supports gameplay recording and broadcasting to Twitch. It also has Plex Media Server support, is SmartThings Link ready, and can be transformed into a live TV and local DVR box using a USB tuner.
Nvidia Shield TV and Shield TV Pro (2019): Price and availability
Both the Nvidia Shield TV (2019) and Shield TV Pro (2019) go on sale from today, October 28, in the US. The base model costs $149.99, while the Nvidia Shield TV Pro (2019) is priced at $199.99.
What do you think of the new 2019 Shield TV boxes? Let us know in the comments!