NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV A pretty awesome Android TV box
It surely took a while - but Nvidia have released their Shield game console slash SHIELD Android TV box to the European Benelux market and, being based in the Netherlands, as such we have received a sample for review. The Android TV box based unit is a little gem as it properly takes over your Smart TV experience, but can also function as a simplistic game console, next to that you can use Nvidia Grid to stream games (subscription based) and if you install Kodi you can expand this unit towards a fully fledged Ultra HD ready media player.
Nvidia has two models available in the market, the 'regular' version with 16GB internal storage, and also a 500 GB model. Both units come with that nice Nvidia controller, yet Nvidia currently includes a free remote, which I can already tell you, is probably the best media remote we have tested to date.
Nvidia submitted their smaller 16GB version of the Nvidia Shield set-top console, the unit is priced at 200 USD/EURO, the 500GB model adds another 100 bucks to that pricing. The SHIELD Android TV is powered by a Nvidia Tegra X1 processor with a 256-core based Maxwell GPU equipped with 3GB RAM all running Google’s Android operating system. Once we connect the unit to a viable 5G WIFI network (Gigabit Ethernet also supported) the unit automatically tries to update itself rapidly towards Android v6, also known as the latest Android Marshmallow.
The NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV is up-to snuff with the latest technologies, considering you'll be using the unit likely in your living room and on your big screen telly, the Nvidia Shield includes 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound support with 4K Ultra HD video compatibility. Connected to our 65" Samsung Ultra HDTV the HDMI 2.0 connection kicked in nicely at 2160p60 thus HDMI 2.0 kicks in right out of the box.
The SHIELD Android TV comes with wide connectivity like the aforementioned Gigabit Ethernet jack and even USB 3.0 ports. But it is the year 2016 and of course everything is wireless, the Nvidia Shield includes wide and proper wireless support by Bluetooth 4.1 BLE and wireless WIFI on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Proper and fast WIFI is needed as the Nvidia Shield Android TV console can be used to stream games over the Nvidia cloud based games service GRID, we'll actually have a look at that later on in the review.
So, basically we can do three primary things with the Nvidia Shield TV console:
Smart TV functionality including Android apps
Android gaming/ cloud based game streaming
Media functionally for content playback; photos / Music / Kodi / Netflix etc.
There are plentiful Android TV based solutions out on the market that are much cheaper, even Google's own Chromecast at 35 EURO/USD is competing here but we do like to mention the game streaming functionality that Nvidia offers. Also the Nvidia Shield TV console can playback Ultra HD 60P over HDMI 2.0 while it has support for high definition audio at 192 kHz, meaning Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD (and with a few tweaks even Dolby Atmos) are supported as well. All in all we have a lot to cover with the unit, have a peek at a photo and then let's head on-wards into the review.
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