We’ve stated it sooner than, however when you by hook or by crook overlooked it, we've been the use of SHIELD TV in our houses since 2015 and we like it. Again then, should you have been on the lookout for an ideal Android TV revel in, plus a candy gaming revel in, there used to be no more sensible choice. Now, in 2017, NVIDIA is again with an up to date set-top field, taking a look to reclaim its personal thrown within the Android TV ecosystem.
The up to date SHIELD TV package deal comprises up to date field hardware (appears similar, however in a smaller package deal),
eerily identical the similar inner specs, but in addition primary design adjustments for the SHIELD Controller and a minor trade for the SHIELD Faraway. General, NVIDIA has created what it believes is the most productive Android TV package deal available on the market, so for the final week, I’ve been the use of it continuous and I’m waiting to percentage my revel in.
Right here we move.
The Just right
Specifications at the SHIELD TV (2017) come with a Tegra X1 processor with 256-core GPU, 3GB RAM, 4K and HDR reinforce at 60fps, Dolby Atmos and DTS-X encompass sound cross thru over HDMI, 16GB of integrated garage (base type), twin USB 3.0 ports for expandable/adoptable garage and information switch, 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, gigabit ethernet, HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 and CEC give a boost to, and Android 7.0.
On paper, the SHIELD TV (2017) options the similar specifications as the unique SHIELD TV, however let it's recognized, that’s now not a nasty factor. The 2015 type of SHIELD TV used to be simply outperforming any festival it had and it continues to take action. In line with NVIDIA, even with the use of the similar specifications this yr, the SHIELD TV (2017) outperforms its present festival via 3x, at least in their own benchmarks. To me, as a mean dude who cares extra about actual global utilization than benchmark efficiency, I will be able to attest that the SHIELD TV (2017) plays nice, particularly with the addition of Android 7.0 “Nougat.” It’s a quick and clean revel in, just about the one factor I’m in reality desirous about. So long as I’m now not seeing any jank when switching between apps or enjoying video games, you gained’t listen any lawsuits from me, and to this point, all is easily within the jank division.
A facet of the unique SHIELD TV I moderately admired used to be the design. It wasn’t some undeniable, dull field with a HDMI port slapped at the bottom. As an alternative, it used to be an angular, alien-like design whole with NVIDIA’s inexperienced coloured gentle that might shine each time the field used to be powered on. If we have been judging units primarily based purely on seems to be, SHIELD TV used to be a very easy winner.
With the up to date field, NVIDIA didn't shy clear of its formidable hardware design, holding it just about similar when it comes to look and form. Then again, NVIDIA used to be in a position to take the similar parts of 2015’s field and jam them into a way smaller vessel, permitting house owners to put the SHIELD TV in a lot smaller confinements. Whilst having area for the unique SHIELD TV used to be by no means a topic for me, I’d believe that having a set-top field with a extra compact footprint may well be recommended to a few.
Because it stands, the SHIELD TV stays my selection as the most productive designed set-top field at the Android TV marketplace. There’s merely not anything that comes shut.
SHIELD Controller Redesign
Past the smaller field hardware, NVIDIA seems to have targeted immensely at the SHIELD Controller, probably the most two tactics consumers have of interacting with the SHIELD TV. In reality, when talking to at least one NVIDIA consultant, they said that they have been relatively embarrassed via the unique SHIELD Controller, with its slightly cumbersome frame. The up to date controller is round 20% smaller than the unique, and if I do say so myself, it feels completely terrific in-hand. I've been the use of the SHIELD Controller virtually solely to navigate the SHIELD TV’s menus and play video games, coming away extraordinarily inspired with its battery lifestyles, loss of latency when enjoying video games, and simply the entire really feel of the buttons and triggers.
Once I first noticed the up to date controller, I wasn’t moderately positive concerning the triangle-heavy design, however whenever you pick out it up and cling it, it’s an absolutely other tale. It’s as though each and every little ridge used to be designed to completely fit up with the form of a human hand, resulting in what used to be hours of gaming with 0 hand fatigue or soreness. Even if I'm going arduous on my Xbox over the weekends (Name of Responsibility, Battlefield, and so forth.), my arms may also be from time to time sore afterwards, so the truth that I wasn’t experiencing any problems after lengthy gaming periods had me praising the paintings NVIDIA has finished.
On height of that, for each the SHIELD Controller and SHIELD Far flung, NVIDIA added in an IR blaster, permitting customers to switch settings on their TVs and receivers. As a result of everybody turns out to like IR blasters, this used to be a smart decision, however I haven’t discovered myself the use of it simply but.
As I've already written, when you already personal a SHIELD TV (2015) and don’t assume it important to buy an up to date field, just get a new SHIELD Controller. You gained’t remorseful about it.
Gaming and Efficiency
For checking out the gaming side of the brand new SHIELD TV, I performed a couple of various things. My maximum playtime went to No Guy’s Sky, despite the fact that, as I had by no means performed it prior to and I in reality benefit from the “I’m all on my own” side of exploring and mining new worlds. It has its enjoyable moments, but in addition has intense area fight moments, too. Taking into account that the sport used to be being streamed from NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW west coast servers, and it if truth be told is relatively the method intense name, I got here throughout 0 efficiency problems. Whilst the sport itself does have a couple of insects (random crashes, slight body price drops when getting into new celebrity techniques), none of that I will be able to characteristic to SHIELD’s efficiency.
I additionally downloaded and performed a couple of video games in the community from Google Play, comparable to Alto’s Journey, By no means On my own, and Resident Evil 5. Throughout that point, the whole thing used to be buttery clean and I got here throughout no problems. That is no surprise to me, although, as I performed the similar actual titles on my older SHIELD TV up to now and not had any issues. Supplied they run the similar Tegra X1 processor and 3GB RAM, I wasn’t anticipating to have any problems within the first position. In concept, whilst some would possibly assume NVIDIA didn’t do sufficient to improve the specifications discovered within the SHIELD TV, it’s nonetheless one among, if now not the most productive acting Android TV field you'll be able to purchase.
With acquire of a SHIELD TV, players will in finding get right of entry to to GeForce NOW, NVIDIA’s paid subscription recreation streaming carrier. That is what I used to flow No Guy’s Sky, which isn't a loose recreation to play. Past NMS, there are a lot of different gaming titles, with others being added all the time. For me, it’s exhausting to mention whether or not GeForce NOW is a smart funding, taking into account I in most cases stick with just one style of gaming, being FPS. I’m a large Name of Responsibility and Battlefield man, either one of which I play with pals at the Xbox One. As a result of my on-line pals are there and I’m already invested in Xbox’s ecosystem with my library of video games, I don’t know if including any other per thirty days expense for get entry to to GeForce NOW can be a just right factor. Then again, for those who don’t personal a PS4, Xbox One, or devoted gaming PC, GeForce NOW makes a large number of sense. With a subscription, you get loose get right of entry to to numerous titles, plus the power to shop for different AAA titles and easily flow them from the cloud. If you wish to recreation, however don’t have a cash tree for your yard for brand spanking new consoles and bodily video games, it kind of feels like a just right purchase.
Without reference to whether or not I feel it value it or now not, I will be able to say that streaming video games at the SHIELD TV has been my favourite factor to take action a long way and it really works flawlessly.
Incorporated at the SHIELD TV is the most recent construct of Android TV, in response to Android 7.0 “Nougat.” This has been my first revel in with the up to date Android TV, and thus far, there’s a lot to love. There’s an up to date app switching choice you'll be able to get right of entry to through double-pressing the House (Circle) button, plus NVIDIA has inbuilt its liked Percentage menu.
With Percentage, skilled SHIELD tool house owners will know what I’m referencing, however it lets in customers to percentage pronounces of no matter is happening in your display. As an example, if I’m in a gaming consultation and about to tackle a chairman degree, I will be able to get started streaming the motion directly to Twitch by the use of a connected account. If whole gameplay sharing isn’t your cup of tea, this Percentage UI could also be the place customers can snap screenshots, all accessed via lengthy urgent the House button. Customers too can save recorded movies for later modifying and importing to be achieved.
Past that, Android TV continues to be lovely barebones. There’s a slide-out gadget for getting access to the Settings menu, permitting customers to head thru all the fundamental choices you’d be expecting to peer. From right here, you'll be able to tweak your community settings, account settings, garage settings, and the entirety else.
Personally, Android TV has gotten a lot better, because of a much less is extra means. If you boot up, you’re met with tips for YouTube movies and video games you'll be able to play, plus an inventory of already-installed programs. I imply, in reality, what else do you wish to have? From what I will be able to inform, Nougat has helped smoothen up the revel in, so I’m thankful for that.
Worth and Availability
The most recent SHIELD TV package deal begins at $199 for the bottom 16GB style, with a PRO type additionally to be had at $299. The PRO style differs in one means, being that the SHIELD TV comes with 500GB of garage, aimed toward those that would possibly love to have their very own media server for streaming functions or simply in point of fact want a ton of native garage for video games and apps. You will have to additionally observe that the PRO type doesn’t move on sale till past due January, however is to be had for pre-order in any respect taking part shops. For the typical individual, despite the fact that, the usual style will have to be simply advantageous, coupled being able to make the most of USB 3.0 ports for extra garage wishes.
Summing up the entire package deal, $199 is a killer deal. Whilst the SHIELD Faraway was a $50 accent, it's now bundled in, giving extra worth to the package deal.
NVIDIA has a just right monitor report in updating its units. From my revel in, the SHIELD TV has been no exception, with a significant update positive to return one day this yr, being the update that brings Google Assistant integration and NVIDIA SPOT make stronger. From what I will be able to inform, NVIDIA really cares about having the most recent and biggest tool within the palms of its customers, and that's evidenced through the corporate’s transparency on every occasion updates are made to be had. There's a dedicated webpage to trace what tool is to be had and what it accommodates, in contrast to different OEMs that simply push updates with out going into element with what’s inside of. To me, that is what all shoppers will have to call for.
In case you choose to buy a SHIELD TV, you'll be able to relaxation confident that NVIDIA has your again with the tool updates.
Someplace within the Center
16GB of onboard garage is all you get with the bottom style of SHIELD TV, which in 2017, does appear a bit of small. 32GB, like smartphones, will have to be the naked minimal nowadays. Making an allowance for the SHIELD TV is exactly a media intake software, with customers downloading numerous apps and video games, it simply turns out herbal to up that base garage slightly.
For somebody who feels this manner, although, your sentiments were addressed, technically. Because of adoptable garage at the Android OS, customers can merely throw in a USB flash force and up that garage to a extra appropriate capability. In fact, top capability USB drives don't seem to be loose, in order that is an added expense that some would possibly not need to pay. However, moveable garage has develop into a lot more reasonably priced, with NVIDIA recommending a Samsung 128GB flash drive that prices simply $33 on Amazon. That’s now not dangerous in any respect.
Level being, in what may just simply be a transfer to stay the cost down, NVIDIA idea it fantastic to incorporate a small quantity of garage at the SHIELD TV. Whilst there's a option to building up garage, it calls for an additional step by way of the consumer, which will have been have shyed away from through merely upping the bottom capability just a bit bit. Whilst I may just simply refill 16GB of garage, it will be a little harder to refill 32GB. I don’t play that many video games. Be mindful, too, that the 2015 base style featured a SD slot for additonal garage, one thing that used to be got rid of (most likely because of loss of area) at the new type.
Once more, this isn't a deal breaker factor, supplied there are answers (purchase a flash pressure or purchase a 500GB PRO type), however one thing I felt important to deal with.
This is an engaging perception that I've been throwing round, and perhaps an important level I've to make at the new SHIELD TV. At it stands, the SHIELD TV (2017) is largely the similar actual revel in I had with my 2015 style. Sure, the brand new one has Nougat and a brand new SHIELD Controller, however as soon as the 2015 style receives the similar 5.0 Improve, it is going to once more be equivalent. As a shopper, I will be able to additionally acquire a brand new SHIELD Controller after which I in point of fact have the similar revel in throughout each fashions. The one time this may increasingly trade is when Google Assistant is made to be had for the 2017 type. At that time, proudly owning the brand new SHIELD TV shall be like proudly owning a brand new product.
My level is, I actually like the brand new SHIELD TV, however it doesn’t precisely be offering anything else other during the last one, particularly as soon as the 5.0 Improve is to be had for older devices. On height of that, NVIDIA and Google have clarified that Google Assistant will come to all Android TV packing containers in the future, so when all is claimed and completed, there will have to be not anything right here to make present SHIELD TV (2015) house owners disenchanted. This can also be noticed as an excellent factor within the eyes of previous SHIELD house owners, however then there’s not anything actually thrilling concerning the new one. It in reality is only a smaller field with a battery controller.
In my eyes, because the 2015 and 2017 style are so identical, I'm wondering why NVIDIA didn’t choose to attend to free up the more recent type till Google Assistant used to be waiting for rollout. It will have given everybody a explanation why to pick out up the brand new field in an instant and make the most of the ones candy new options. Why now not watch for NVIDIA SPOT to be waiting for free up, too? If that they had waited till then, you in reality have one thing to excite attainable consumers. As an alternative, NVIDIA used this ready-to-ship hardware and the idea that of NVIDIA SPOT to make its CES keynote just a little extra thrilling. Whilst I will be able to perceive the transfer, it simply makes this SHIELD TV release appear just a little underwhelming to me. It’s now not that the underlying hardware and device is lackluster, it’s that you'll be able to in finding the very same factor in a type from 2015. Am I the one one that unearths that bizarre?
Much more humorous, whilst the specifications from 2015 are getting used on this new hardware, it’s nonetheless a greater revel in than anything available on the market. Such things as this make me respect NVIDIA’s willingness to fully overdo it with SoC efficiency and GPUs.
The Now not-so-Just right
Replaceable Battery for SHIELD Faraway
In an try to in finding one thing incorrect with SHIELD TV, I will be able to say that NVIDIA’s transfer to head with replaceable batteries at the SHIELD Faraway is lovely foolish. In line with NVIDIA, a recent battery at the SHIELD Far flung will have to ultimate a few calendar yr of moderate utilization. Out of the field, my SHIELD Far flung seems to be at about 75%, that means I’ve were given about 3/4 of a yr left of lifestyles. That’s vulnerable.
Moreover, NVIDIA doesn’t pass out of its method to give an explanation for what form of battery you wish to have, or how one can open the battery slot at the backside of the far flung. For someone who asks, you’ll need CR2032 batteries, two of them. To exchange, press a sharp object (pen, SIM removing device, and so forth.) into the ground of the SHIELD Far flung and the tray will come out.
I’ll admit, this factor is a nitpick, however microUSB charging gave the impression simply nice to me at the 2015 style.
Writing a verdict for the brand new SHIELD TV is lovely darn simple. It’s the most productive Android TV field available on the market. Duration. It’s were given the gaming efficiency, thrilling new options coming, unbelievable controller, and NVIDIA backing it up with rapid updates. As a shopper, you'll be able to’t ask for a greater revel in. Whilst one may just argue that freeing the field with out its upcoming Google Assistant function is a lame transfer, the reality is, it’s coming, and in the end, that’s all that issues.
In case you are out there for an attractive Android TV and gaming revel in, you could be loopy to not pick out up a SHIELD TV.