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NVIDIA SHIELD TV (2019): Everything You Need to Know

The NVIDIA SHIELD TV is one of the most powerful streaming players available. Here’s what you need to know before buying.

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NVIDIA has now released its new SHIELD TV streaming player lineup for 2019.

These are the latest Android TV devices to come to market and here we’ll cover everything you need to know before deciding if the SHIELD TV is the right streaming player for you.

This guide highlights how many new SHIELD TVs there are, as well as their main features, specs and pricing. If you would prefer to jump to a specific section, use the links below.

What is NVIDIA SHIELD TV?

NVIDIA SHIELD TV launched in 2015 and very quickly established itself as the go-to Android TV streaming player for many.

The SHIELD TV is a set-top box type of device. In other words, you connect the SHIELD TV to your existing home entertainment setup like you would any set-top box.

The SHIELD TV runs on the Android TV platform making it ideally suited to anyone heavily invested in Google’s ecosystem.

The streaming player comes with some pre-installed apps, including Netflix. Other apps, such as Hulu need to be downloaded and installed through the Google Play Store.

How many new SHIELD TVs are there?

There are two new SHIELD TV devices. There’s the “all-new SHIELD TV” and then there’s the SHIELD TV Pro.

The experience they offer is largely the same although the two models are aimed at slightly different buyers.

First, we’ll take a look at the all-new SHIELD TV.

All-new NVIDIA SHIELD TV

Of the two new SHIELD TVs, the all-new NVIDIA SHIELD TV is basically the entry-level NVIDIA streaming player. It comes with lesser specs and a more compact design.

All-New NVIDIA SHIELD TV (2019)
New SHIELD TV with an all-new look

Its compact form is one of its big selling points. Unlike other devices, the new SHIELD TV’s connectors are at either side of the device. Along with its tubular shape, this results in a unit that’s designed to be part of the cable.

You simply connect to one side, then the other, and then hide the new SHIELD TV away. That’s the idea anyway.

Overall, this is a version of the SHIELD TV for most buyers. It comes with enough of a gaming emphasis to appease most average gamers, and a very clear focus on video streaming.

For example, not only is this a 4K streaming player but it also comes with Dolby Vision and AI upscaling.

Dolby Vision is now fairly common on newer and premium products, but the AI upscaling less so. This is a feature that takes existing video and tries to up the quality to match the quality of the TV the video is displayed on.

Upscaling itself is not new, but what NVIDIA is doing is coupling those existing upscaling features with an AI algorithm to offer a more intuitive upscaling.

The AI upscaling does not work on all videos, but when it does it can boost the quality of videos from 720 and 1080p to match a 4K display.

All-new SHIELD TV specs:

  • Operating system: Android TV based on Android 9 Pie
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 8GB
  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra X1+
  • Audio and video: 4K, AI-Enhanced upscaling, Dolby Atmos, Digital and Vision HDR
  • Voice assistant support: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Wireless: Bluetooth 5.0, Chromecast, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and 5GHz
  • Wired: 1 x Ethernet, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x microSD

The NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro

The SHIELD TV is a device that’s always appealed to gamers as well as video streamers. You can game just fine with the all-new SHIELD TV but if you want the best gaming experience possible, then that’s the Pro.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro (2019)
SHIELD TV Pro sports a familiar SHIELD design

The SHIELD TV Pro comes with a bump in the RAM and storage department, a more traditional SHIELD TV design and is generally considered the more powerful player overall.

SHIELD TV Pro’s specs:

  • Operating system: Android TV based on Android 9 Pie
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra X1+
  • Audio and video: 4K, AI-Enhanced upscaling, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital and Dolby Vision HDR
  • Voice assistant support: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Wireless: Bluetooth 5.0, Chromecast, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and 5GHz
  • Wired: 1 x Ethernet, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0

How much are the 2019 SHIELD TV devices?

The all-new NVIDIA SHIELD TV costs $149.99. In comparison, the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro is $50 more, priced at $199.99.

Both of these prices are for U.S. buyers. Pricing will vary in other countries.

The all-new and Pro SHIELD TVs are now available to buy. You can pick them up from a number of retailers, including Amazon.

Gamers take note: although the Pro version is positioned as the gamers version, it does not come with a game pad. Both versions are only sold with the SHIELD Remote.

However, the SHIELD TV is Bluetooth-enabled. This does means you can use it with a number of different controllers. This includes the following:

  • Previous generation SHIELD Controller
  • Android and Bluetooth compatible controllers
  • PlayStation 4 DualShock controller
  • Xbox One controller.

What’s good about the new SHIELD TV Remote?

The new SHIELD TV players both come with a new remote control.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Remote (2019)
New SHIELD TV Remote is a major upgrade compared to previous remote

This is a major upgrade to the previous remote with a number of new features added. Here’s what’s new or noteworthy:

  • Bluetooth
  • Built-in lost remote locator
  • IR blaster
  • Motion-activated backlit buttons
  • Replaceable AAA batteries
  • Voice search

If I don’t buy the SHIELD TV, what else is there?

If you are looking for an Android TV device, then there are few dedicated streaming players available. What’s more, none of the others compare to the SHIELD TV in terms of power or performance.

The upside is they are also much cheaper than the SHIELD TV as well.

Here’s your main Android TV streaming player options:

  • Xiaomi Mi Box ($69.99)
  • Jetstream Android TV box ($69.99)

If you don’t really care about Android TV then you could opt for a streaming player that runs on a different operating system. These include players from Amazon, Apple, and Roku.

Here’s the full list of the major NVIDIA SHIELD TV alternatives

  • Roku Express ($24.99)
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick ($39.99)
  • Roku Premiere ($39.99)
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K ($49.99)
  • Roku Streaming Stick+ ($59.99)
  • Roku Ultra ($79.99)
  • Amazon Fire TV Cube ($119.99)
  • Apple TV HD ($149)
  • Apple TV 4K (from $179)

If you don’t want to buy a whole new TV or any of the streaming players mentioned above, then you could opt for a soundbar. This is a fairly new product category but one that’s starting to grow. While these are typical soundbars, they also give you access to the same streaming features.

Basically, these are soundbars with a streaming player built-in.

Major streaming player soundbars:

  • JBL Link Bar with Android TV ($399.99)
  • Nebula Soundbar with Fire TV ($229.99)
  • Roku Smart Soundbar with Roku OS ($179.99)

John Finn

By John Finn

John is the founder of Streaming Clarity and has been writing about smartphones and TV-related services and devices since 2014. John streams everything and genuinely believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between streaming services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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