What is NVIDIA Shield?
NVIDIA Shield is a streaming media player for Android TV that comes with 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos sound, enabling you to view your favorite movies and shows in 4K and high definition (HD). Produced by NVIDIA in 2015, the device originally targeted the gaming community as a micro-console where you could play downloaded games or stream online games.
Even now, as the NVIDIA Shield TV becomes more focused on TV streaming, it still caters to gaming enthusiasts as it lets you take your favorite games to the big screen. Seeing as it serves multiple purposes and comes with Google Assistant integration, the device lets you anchor all your entertainment and smart home devices in one place.
How much does NVIDIA Shield cost?
The basic NVIDIA Shield TV costs $149.99, but NVIDIA provides discounts every now and then. This makes it a much more affordable option than the 32GB Apple TV 4K, which will set you back $179. But it’s slightly pricier compared to other media streaming devices like the Fire TV from Amazon.
Besides this, you can also get the more advanced version, the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro for $199.99, which comes with a faster processor and a few additional features. Prices for the NVIDIA Shield TV may vary depending on where you look, though you’ll likely get the best deals through Amazon or the official brand website.
NVIDIA Shield at a glance
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NVIDIA Shield streaming services and apps
NVIDIA Shield comes with a few built-in apps for streaming games, music, and videos. As it runs on the Android TV operating system, it has all the Google Play apps such as Google Play Movies and TV, Google Play Music, and Google Play Store.
Other built-in apps include Amazon Music, NVIDIA Games, and YouTube. NVIDIA Shield Pro even has an NVIDIA Share app that lets you capture and broadcast your games, which is something to consider for serious streamers.
In addition, you can use the NVIDIA Shield to enjoy leading paid streaming services such as:
Amazon Prime Video
An Amazon Prime Video subscription starts at $8.99/mo. on its own and gives you access to some of the most popular movies and shows. But you also get Prime Video as a part of your Amazon Prime subscription, which costs $12.99/mo. and comes with several shopping benefits.
With 14,000+ titles in its collection, this service beats all its competitors when it comes to library size. This extensive library includes well-loved classics and popular hits as well as original programming such as Carnival Row, Good Omens, Hunters, Mad Dogs, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
The service also lets you stream on up to 3 devices at a time and download videos for offline viewing. But the best part is that it supports 4K and HDR streaming, so you can test the full potential of your NVIDIA Shield.
You can also watch Netflix using the built-in app on your NVIDIA Shield TV. Netflix has the second-largest content library among leading streaming services — it lets you access over 3,800 titles. This includes hit original programming such as Atypical, Making a Murderer, Mindhunter, Santa Clarita Diet, The Ted Bundy Tapes, and The Umbrella Academy.
The Basic Netflix plan starts at $8.99 — the same as a standalone Prime Video subscription. But this plan only allows a single video stream at a time and doesn’t let you stream in HD. Opt for the Standard plan ($12.99/mo.) for 1 additional stream and HD streaming. To get ultra-high-definition (UHD) streaming, you need the premium plan, which costs $3/mo. more and allows up to 4 simultaneous streams.
The NVIDIA Shield TV also lets you enjoy live TV streaming through YouTube TV. For $49.99/mo., this streaming service gives you access to local and national sports events, news, and more. The service features over 70 channels, including ABC, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, Fox Sports, HGTV, and TNT.
YouTube TV lets you stream on up to 3 devices at a time and share your account with up to six family members. The best part is that it comes with unlimited cloud DVR storage, so you can record movies and shows and save them for up to 90 days.
NVIDIA Shield features
Audio and Visual
The main highlight of the NVIDIA Shield is its superior audio and video quality, which gives you an enhanced streaming experience.
Both the NVIDIA Shield TV and NVIDIA Shield TV Pro come with Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10. You can watch up to 4K HDR playback at 60 frames per second (fps), which is one of the best video resolutions available in the current market. It even allows AI-enhanced upscaling at up to 30 fps so you can stream HD videos in 4K. This further enhances your streaming quality by giving you crisper, clearer videos.
NVIDIA Shield also comes with Dolby Atmos, a 3D surround sound technology that takes you into the game or video. This is perfect for gaming enthusiasts as it creates the feeling of actually being inside the game instead of just playing it on a screen.
Another notable feature of the NVIDIA Shield is its built-in remote locator. This lets you detect where your NVIDIA Shield remote is in case you misplace it. So you no longer have to tear the room apart just to find one lost item.
The NVIDIA Shield TV works with virtually any TV or monitor that supports HDMI. You just need an HDMI cable and an internet connection to set up the device. But note that 4K and HDR TVs require an HDMI 2.0 compatible cable to get optimal video quality.
In addition, the device comes with built-in voice control and works with Alexa and Google Assistant. So you can easily search for videos and control settings using voice commands.
The final cut
Considering the kind of streaming quality it offers, the NVIDIA Shield TV is worth the investment for avid entertainment fans. Pro gamers should also consider getting the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro as it comes integrated with NVIDIA Share to capture and broadcast your games. With that said, casual fans on a budget might also want to consider more affordable alternatives like the Amazon Fire TV.
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