It's going to depend on the devices you've already got set up at home. It’s a high quality controller and for the most part is comfortable to use. AI upconversion works wonders with high-definition cartoons. In other words, the Nvidia Shield TV isn’t for everyone, but it’s an unbeatable streaming device for nerds with money to spend on their nerdy hobbies. Nvidia’s excessively powerful streaming box won’t appeal to everyone, and that’s okay. T he Nvidia Shield TV is a refined version of the best Android TV box for years, packed with impressive new AI-based upscaling technology and a novel space-saving design.. Streaming Media Players.

Update, January 28, 2019: This review was updated in its entirety to reflect the Nvidia Shield TV’s place in the current media-streaming landscape.
This kind of power has its downsides. If you predominantly watch HD content from Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play or BBC iPlayer et al on your 4K TV then the Shield TV is the box to buy. With the additional configurations, the Nvidia Shield TV aspires to be a more mainstream product, yet there are still some issues that hold it back on the hardware front.

It’s the ideal streamer for media hoarders who want to build a cheap a Plex server, for cord-cutters who want to roll their own over-the-air DVR, for Kodi enthusiasts (with that media center’s morally dubious third-party plug-ins), for a certain breed of living-room gamers, and for people who just want as much computing power as they can get. The X1 is an eight-core, 64-bit system-on-chip paired with a 256-core, Maxwell-based GPU and 3GB of RAM that makes the Shield TV ludicrously powerful compared to rivals like Amazon's Fire TV box, and a capable gaming machine.

Around the back is the all-important HDMI 2.0 output for 4K video, along with two USB3 ports that you can use to connect external storage. Game Consoles. How to Control Your Roku With an Amazon Echo, Sony Details Which Streaming Services Work on PS5 at Launch, Deal Alert: Get Amazon's Fire TV Stick 4K for $5, Fire TV Stick vs. Google Chromecast vs. Roku: Affordable Media Streamers Compared, Grab Google's New Chromecast for Free With a YouTube TV Subscription, Roku Redesigns the Roku Ultra and Launches a Roku Streambar, Amazon Echo Dot With Clock (4th Generation) Review. It’ll handle basic HDR10 without issue, but it doesn’t support Dolby Vision or HDR10+, which can adjust color output on a scene-by-scene basis. ), Nvidia has since discontinued the Shield Pro and added a remote-only bundle for $180. On top of all that, Shield supports the popular media center software Kodi without the arcane sideloading methods that Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV require, and the $40 SmartThings Link is an inexpensive way to connect all kinds of smart home devices. We've had My5 on the Nvidia Shield which also uses the Android TV OS for a while now. It works remarkably well with 1080p animation, bringing out the lines in cartoons and making them look super crisp on a 4K TV. The other end holds an HDMI port, a microSD card slot, and a reset button. I also linked the Shield TV to my Steam account and played some GeForce Now-compatible games from my library. But despite Nvidia’s admirable commitment, Android TV remains in a state of limbo. While practically every TV or set-top box can handle basic upscaling of content – stretching HD content to fit a 4K screen with four times as many pixels – Nvidia’s technology is a cut above, particularly when viewing highly detailed scenes. A wide variety of games are available through the service, both à la carte and through a subscription membership. Back and Home buttons, along with volume and playback controls, sit below the pad, with a dedicated Netflix button below them. For one thing, it’s the only streaming box that can double as a Plex media server for either local USB storage or mounted network hard drives. Nvidia has created the most highly-specified media streamer to date with the Shield Android TV. Nvidia's Shield TV is a feature-packed media streamer that's great for games, but Android TV is still lacking, Video outputs: HDMI 2.0, Networking: Bluetooth (SBC), Dimensions: 210x130x25mm, Streaming formats: UPnP (via Chromecast), Plex, Internet streaming services: Netflix, TuneIn Radio, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music, Plex. The tube has an HDMI socket and microSD card slot in one end. Cityscapes look incredibly crisp and detailed, while faces, cars and even wildlife are all significantly improved even compared to basic upscaling. You can ask Google Assistant just about anything, control your smart home devices, set timers and alarms, see the weather forecast (on the display), and so on. Even worse, the remote uses a touch-sensitive strip to control volume instead of discrete buttons. A vertical touch-sensitive pad below it adjusts the volume by swiping up and down, and there's another private listening headphone jack in the base. New hide-away design, great remote, top performance and impressive HD to 4K upscaling make for a killer smart TV box, Last modified on Wed 26 Feb 2020 07.04 GMT. It's the ABC of BBQ! Apps other than TV and video streaming services are also available, including Android games and Nvidia’s GeForce Now game-streaming service, which has both paid and free tiers of PC games and works surprisingly well.

Jared Newman covers personal technology from his remote Cincinnati outpost. Those similarities aren’t a bad thing. We'll get a better sense of the differences between the streaming game services when Stadia gets closer to launch.

The Shield TV isn’t cheap, coming in at £150, but it’s fast and feature-packed, will be supported for a long time and has one of the best remotes you can buy. Best mid-range phone: Don’t waste a fortune on a flagship, Find the best indoor Freeview aerial for a low price, What’s new on Now TV and Sky in November 2020, Best Samsung phone 2020: Intergalactic warfare, The best budget smartphones money can buy, Samsung Galaxy A21s review: The ‘s’ stands for savings, LG CX review: The best OLED TV is £500 off, Xiaomi Redmi Note 9: Another budget superstar, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: The cheapest 4K streamer. As of Home Assistant 0.101, if a key is needed for authentication and it is not provided by the adbkey configuration option, then Home Assistant will generate a key for you..

Then there are all the standard Assistant functions.

All Rights Reserved. Holding the back button brings up quick access to the settings menu, while the menu button in the top right can be customised to launch particular apps, settings or functions. You can have a smart display or an entire TV wrapped around the basic Chromecast capabilities, so take your pick. We have preserved our original review here. To date, the Nvidia Shield TV is the only device that’s done this idea justice. Android TV powers the Shield TV, offering an Android-based core built around a lean-back interface filled with media-streaming apps and features. While you can navigate the Android TV interface and even use the voice search functionality perfectly well with the gamepad, it’s a more cumbersome and unwieldy process. The Google Chromecast seemed like an unassuming little device when it arrived in 2013, but in the years since it's transformed the way a lot of us watch movies and shows – making it easy to get content up on any of the best TVs with Wi-Fi and HDMI connections. Android TV also supports Google Cast, so you can stream video from your phone or tablet from any compatible app. Now that we’ve scared away most prospective buyers, let’s talk about why the Nvidia Shield TV is still worth considering for everyone else. On the Shield TV it’s fast and easy to navigate in a way it often isn’t on smart TVs. Precise volume adjustments become nearly impossible, especially if you’re not sitting squarely in front of the TV from less than 10 feet away. Certain apps, such as DirecTV Now and Nick Jr., are absent from the platform, while others, like Hulu, support it only halfheartedly. What’s new is the form factor. The idea is you hide this small tube behind your TV in series with the cable without taking up any significant space. It features 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, though you won't find any USB ports on it.

There’s also a disconnect between Android TV’s on-screen apps and Chromecast: If you launch something via one method, you can’t control it via the other. With practically every other streaming device, hitting left or right on the remote gives you an instant 10- or 15-second skip so you can easily move forward or back in a video. It’ll answer questions, command smart home devices, stream footage from smart cameras and hundreds of other things. You can use your controller of choice to play Android games, but more importantly, the Shield also includes GeForce Now games streamed from Nvidia's servers. As well as being a Chromecast, the Lenovo Smart Display doubles up as a Google Home speaker. At $149.99, it's still one of the more expensive media streamers out there and it isn't capable as a standalone game system. Don't forget these dinky Chromecast dongles are also able to mirror screens from Android devices (through the Google Home app) and work with Google Home speakers too (so you can say "hey Google, start playing The Crown on the bedroom Chromecast" for example). AI upconversion doesn't do much for live video or animation lower than 1080p. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Only the Apple TV 4K has a wider selection of apps than available on Android TV. The Shield TV comes with a two-year warranty, but Nvidia doesn’t currently offer a repair, recycling or trade-in programme, ultimately making it disposable. While cheap 4K streaming devices have gotten faster over the last two years, the Shield TV still holds a noticeable edge. But it is the impressive AI upscaling that is the killer feature. The new Shield TV doesn’t mess with the formula.

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