Complete with an all-new design and a host of upgrades that users of the previous NVIDIA Shield, Nvidia’s new SHIELD TV is faster, smarter, and even more portable. I’ve had my hands on one for the past few weeks, and it’s becoming one of my favorite streaming devices.
I’ll preface by saying that I have always loved and still use my original SHIELD TV Pro. It sits in my living room, and we use it for everything including Disney+, Netflix, even Quiplash on Game Nights with family and friends. But the new SHIELD TV (emphasis is now placed on “Shield TV”, assuming to distinguish between models since there’s no numerical separation), the SHIELD TV now comes complete with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
With Dolby Vision and Atmos, the SHIELD TV transforms your viewing experience with ultra-vivid imaging thanks to artificial intelligence that improves the image and listening quality, giving you the most 4K HDR experience in any streaming player. Compared to your standard display, Dolby Vision delivers colors and contrasts that can be up to 40 times brighter for colors and blacks that are 10 times darker. What does this mean for us? It doesn’t matter whether you’re watching IT: Chapter 2, or NFL Sunday Ticket, the images displayed are more refined and crisp, regardless of the viewing angle.
The SHIELD TV is a power-horse as well, thanks to the latest NVIDIA Tegra X1+ processor that upscales typical HD video to 4K. Enabled from the SHIELD TV’s own settings, your standard way of streaming is no more.
While I’m not much of a PC gamer, I’d be remiss to not say that the SHIELD TV not only allows you to stream the latest PC games from the cloud but you can download Android Games from the Play Store to cast from your GeForce PC in 4K HDR with NVIDIA GameStream.
If you look aesthetically at the SHIELD TV, you’ll notice they’ve gone from the “Console” look of the past to a more cylinder approach which in my practice is great for tossing in your luggage for a trip out of town. This for me is a delight because I’ve tried traveling with other streaming sticks, and while the NVIDIA SHIELD isn’t as thin as the Amazon Fire Stick, it’s compatible with much more, including a newly reimagined remote that puts the Fire Stick to shame. The new remote features motion activation and backlit buttons, something I’ve longed for from many other streaming devices.
The remote is customizable with a programmable button and voice-based controls, so using Google Assistant you can tell your SHIELD TV to open up IPTV Streamers (my favorite app on this platform), or even to check the weather. Since the remote is Bluetooth based, you can even control your TV thanks to its IR Blaster. I’ve been working with my TCL TV to get this to function properly since its a ROKU television, but haven’t quite found a solid fix aside from when it’s actually in HDMI mode.
What surprised me most about the new remote, though, is its built-in lost remote locator. As someone who will get up to go to the kitchen during half time and sit back down only to immediately start searching for the remote, the locator is a welcomed addition.
If you don’t have a Smart TV with apps preinstalled, or you simply stream everything and want to use the Android Play Store platform to get all of your apps (and sideloads), the SHIELD TV is probably the best for this. With over 500,000 movies and 5,000 apps and games, there’s a LOT of content to consume including fun games to play with family and friends. I suggest QUIPLASH because it’s the closest thing to Cards Against Humanity for my friends with similar senses of humor.
The Shield TV is available now for $149 and comes complete with a Gigabit Ethernet port and dual-band Wi-Fi. You can purchase one for yourself by clicking here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Great to toss in a bag and travel with; Over 5k apps work flawlessly, including Amazon
What Needs Improvement: Controller should be included in the Bundle