- 1 Nvidia Shield TV Pro Streaming Media Player Pros
- 2 Nvidia Shield TV Pro Streaming Media Player Cons
- 2.1 Expensive
- 2.2 Only a few features
- 2.3 No micro SD card slots
- 2.4 AI upscaling need some improvement
- 2.5 Reported some apps not functioning properly
- 2.6 Requires good internet connection
- 2.7 Performance as a gaming console is also lackluste
- 2.8 No physical or even digital copies of the games in the device
- 2.9 Many apps not supported by Nvidia
- 2.10 Conclusion:
- 2.11 The Review
- 3 Nvidia Shield Android TV Pro
The Nvidia Shield Android TV Pro is, according to Nvidia, the “ultimate streaming media player for the modern living room”. The third generation of the Nvidia Shield TV, which was first released by Nvidia in May 2015, this digital media player not only works as a media server, but also as a streamer device, digital video recorder, video game console, and even a smart home hub.
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro Streaming Media Player runs on the Tegra X1+ processor chip, giving the media player a whopping 256 cores. The device runs on the Android 9.0 “Pie” OS. It also has the Plex media server built in.
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro also has 3 GB RAM and 16 GB storage. All this hardware is needed, to run all the features it claims it is capable of.
One of the Nvidia Shield Android TV Pro’s main draws is the capability to enhance video in real time to 4K resolution. This is important, especially since some major streaming services and video sharing platforms, like Netflix and Youtube, have reduced the resolution their videos play at to 480p, or Standard Definition. The feature is possible due to the AI upscaling that the digital media player does.
Normal upscaling, where the video is stretched out to a higher resolution, tends to result in the video being dampened and/or fuzzy. This is because the pixels that are already present are also stretched out. AI upscaling, in contrast, uses a deep learning model to predict a high resolution image that, when downscaled, would look like the original.
This removes the fuzziness and/or dampening of the video, resulting in the video being truly upscaled. What’s more, the digital media player does all of this in real time, which means that videos are upscaled immediately while being played.
The Nvidia Shield Android TV Pro also uses the Dolby Vision-Atmos. The Dolby Vision-Atmos combines the imaging technology present in the Dolby Vision HDR with the surround sound system of the Dolby Atmos to deliver media with 4K visual resolution and enriched sound depth and fidelity. This ensures that events like movie nights are stunning experiences indeed.
The previously listed features all aid in the Nvidia Shield TV Pro’s purpose as a streaming media player. It supports multiple streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu Plus, and HBO.
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro can also support, in addition to streaming services and video sharing platforms, other apps listed in the Android TV Google Play store, like Spotify and NordVPN. This is because the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is an Android TV Device. This offers unparalleled freedom in the apps that the user can install. It also has an internet browser built within it.
Another feature is that the Nvidia Shield TV Pro can also work as a gaming console. Specifically, the digital media player does so through three ways. First, it can connect to a PC, allowing the user to play any games stored within. The owner can also play games through the GEFORCE NOW, a cloud gaming service that Nvidia owns. Lastly, the owner can directly download games from Android TV App store, to play on the Nvidia Shield TV Pro.
The device also comes with a SHIELD controller, a specially designed game controller. The Nvidia Shield TV Pro can also support other USB game controllers.
All of the previous capabilities require the internet to function. Thankfully, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is capable of connecting to the internet, both through wired and wireless means. Whether through the Gigabit Ethernet or the dual band AC Wi-fi, the device has the means necessary to function as a streaming media player would. The device also has Bluetooth capability, in case it has to connect wirelessly to other devices.
The remote controller included with the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is advanced, with the remote being motion-controlled. It also has Bluetooth, IR control and voice control. It even has a remote control locator in it.
Finally, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is capable of functioning as a smart home hub, being compatible with Google Home, Alexa, and Echo. Voice commands can be used to play music, control the lighting of the house, and other similar actions.
And so with all these features, is the Nvidia Shield TV Pro actually worth buying?
Nvidia Shield TV Pro Streaming Media Player Pros
Switch out between streaming services
General consensus among all users has been that the Nvidia Shield TV Pro has performed admirably as a media streaming device. Due to being capable of supporting multiple streaming services, the user can switch out between streaming services at will.
For example, one can watch “The Boys” on Amazon Video Prime, then switch to Disney+ and watch “Pinnochio”. A lot of users said that there was minimal to no stuttering present while using all of the streaming services.
Another good thing about the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is the built-in Chromecast. What’s more, every single test has resulted in the Chromecast working seamlessly. This is very good, since Chromecast tends to be slow when used on other devices.
The AI upscaling is considered to be one of the best features of the Nvidia Shield TV Pro. Upscaling done by other devices, like TVs, has resulted in blurry videos, due to the problems listed above.
It has gotten to the point that it is recommended by some that video upscaling capability be turned off in devices to experience the best video quality. In contrast, the AI upscaling has ended up actually fixing the issues present in normal upscaling.
Also supplementing the experience was the surround sound system, which has worked perfectly. This has resulted in a superior video viewing experience, comparable to viewing a movie in a theater.
USB 3.0 ports
Another new feature Nvidia Shield TV Pro is the existence of USB 3.0 ports along its body. This allows the device to connect with other peripherals, like USB game controllers and keyboards. This increases the flexibility in which the device can be used.
Tegra X1+ processor
Since the Nvidia Shield TV Pro uses the Tegra X1+ processor with its 256-core Nvidia GPU, this means that the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is very fast, especially when compared to its previous versions. This means that it is able to run the AI upscaling with no lag at all.
The processor is probably one of the reasons why the upscaling is so smooth, especially since AI upscaling uses a lot more resources, due to how it works. This also translates to a better gaming experience, since the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is able to run games without much issues.
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro has no issues when functioning as a game console.
Another improvement is the remote. The previous remotes have all been reported as bad, having faulty control and design. The new remote, in contrast, has been reported to function “as a remote should”. The remote is also comfortable to the touch, and easy to find, due to the inbuilt remote locator.
The capability of the Nvidia Shield TV Pro as a game emulator is not to be understated.
Due to the Dolphin emulator present in the device, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro can successfully emulate past consoles like the Gameboy, the SNES, and even the PS2. Because of this, the owner can relive their childhood playing their favorite games, or just play good retro games. In addition, the small storage space is not an issue for emulators, since the amount of space they take up is very small.
This might not hold true for emulators of more recent consoles, however. In addition, the game can run games from Steam with no issues. The amount of games that can be stored in the device is limited, however, due to the small storage space.
Nvidia Shield TV Pro Streaming Media Player Cons
However, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is not without its flaws. Costing 199 dollars upwards, the device is expensive. This is extremely obvious when compared to its competitors, like the Roku Ultra, which costs at around 69 dollars, and the Fire TV Cube, which costs at around 99 dollars.
What’s more, the 199 dollars is for the device itself and its remote only. All essential accessories, like HDMI cables, USB controllers, and USB cameras, are bought separately. Not even a stand for the device was included.
This means that the buyer needs to spend potentially hundreds of dollars to fully realize the potential of the Nvidia Shield TV Pro. This is very egregious, when you consider that previous versions actually have game controllers included with them.
Only a few features
Another complaint about the price is that the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is too expensive for what is essentially a small hardware update. Only a few features, like the new remote, the AI upscaling, and the presence of USB ports, are considered to be brand new.
The rest are features which the 2017 or even the 2015 version of the NVidia Shield TV Pro already have.
Other features have not experienced any improvements, with some having even downgraded. Take for example the storage. The storage has been reduced from 500 GB to a depressing 16 GB.
No micro SD card slots
There are USB drives and micro SD cards with bigger data capacity. What’s even worse is that there are no micro SD card slots to improve the device’s storage. There are also still no headphone jacks for private listening.
AI upscaling need some improvement
The AI upscaling that it has marketed as one of its outstanding features has given mixed results to some users. In some cases, the upscaling has improved the video. In other cases, the upscaling has resulted in the video becoming uncanny to the viewer. The color matching has also been reported to be broken, with videos becoming muted or using incorrect colors. Nvidia, however, has released a hotfix that, well, fixed the issue.
Reported some apps not functioning properly
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is, generally, very prone to glitching, there have been reported cases of supported apps not functioning properly. Users of streaming devices like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu have reported stuttering and lagging. This has spread out to other apps, like Twitch and GEFORCE NOW.
Requires good internet connection
Also a problem is that the Nvidia Shield TV Pro requires good internet connection, or its streaming capability will suffer. It is generally not a problem in countries with good internet infrastructure. However, if you live in a place where internet accessibility is at a premium, then you are going to have problems. Your Nvidia Shield TV Pro might end up being a useless hunk of metal.
Performance as a gaming console is also lackluste
Its performance as a gaming console is also lackluster, especially when compared to dedicated gaming consoles like the Playstation 4, the Xbox One, and even the Nintendo Switch. The amount of games that are offered by the Android TV app store is very few, with most of them being mobile games made for Android phones. Of course, there is GEFORCE NOW, which has a lot more excellent games covered.
However, this also brings with it some problems, since GEFORCE NOW is a cloud gaming service, with all the troubles that comes with it. This means that without a good wired internet connection, you cannot make use of the games in the GEFORCE NOW properly or at all.
No physical or even digital copies of the games in the device
Other problems include the fps during gameplay fluctuating, alongside the fact that there are no physical or even digital copies of the games in the device, since GEFORCE NOW runs on a subscription model. There is also the fact that GEFORCE NOW has been in closed Beta for years, which means that it is probably full of bugs. These are all good reasons on why it is not recommended to subscribe to GEFORCE NOW.
And even if one has good internet connection, the problem is that the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is, as a gaming console, redundant. If you have access to GEFORCE NOW, then why not just play the games on the PC. Of course, the device can connect to a PC and play the games stored within, but what’s stopping the owner from just playing the games on the PC itself, or even cutting out the middleman and connecting the PC to the TV itself?
One can even argue that it is easier to connect the PC to the TV, since a HDMI cable is all that is required. In contrast, connecting the PC and the TV through the Nvidia Shield TV Pro might involve some trouble shooting, since the owner is trying to connect two or even three devices wirelessly.
Many apps not supported by Nvidia
There are also problems regarding the apps being supported by Nvidia. Apparently, there are a lot of apps that cannot be installed on the Nvidia Shield TV Pro.
This should not be a problem, since the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is an android device, which means that it should be able to support all apps that are found within the Google Play app store. The only reason for this problem is that Nvidia, for some reason, is controlling what can be and cannot be installed on the device. Needless to say, this lowers the amount of freedom an owner has in choosing what apps to run.
There are also some issues regarding the usability of spme third-party accessories with the device, like gaming controllers and mouses. Apparently, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is not capable of properly supporting third-party accessories, which might be problematic for some who wish to save money by buying accessories belonging to other brands.
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is an excellent media streaming device and smart home hub. The AI upscaling is superior to normal upscaling, and it shows. However, it is expensive for what it offers, and it doesn’t offer much else. Aside from the AI upscaling and a few other features, it is functionally the same as the previous versions. As stated before, when its competitors are priced at less than a hundred dollars, using the device is harder to justify.
As a gaming console, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is only recommended if you like streaming games. Even though the device works as an excellent console emulator, the small storage space and the limited game library means that only a limited amount of games can be enjoyed. The cloud gaming service is, simply put, not worth your time, due to the sheer amount of issues present. If you really need to play games, just buy a dedicated gaming console, or even a PC.
Overall, you should buy the Nvidia Shield TV Pro if you care about the AI upscaling or the other new features. However, if you don’t care about the new features, or even just have the 2017 or 2015 versions of the Nvidia Shield TV Pro, then you should just use available alternatives, because the device is just far too overpriced for what it offers.
Nvidia Shield Android TV Pro
The Nvidia Shield Android TV Pro is, according to Nvidia, the “ultimate streaming media player for the modern living room”.
- Switch out between streaming services
- Built-in Chromecast
- AI upscaling
- USB 3.0 ports
- Tegra X1+ processor
- Game console
- Set does not include a hdmi 2.0 cable
- Remote control cannot be changed
Quality of material