Ever since NVIDIA launched the Shield TV in 2015 it features in lists of best Android TV boxes in the $200 budget range, although it can raise to close to $300 if you do not live in a country where the Shield TV is not officially sold.
The company launched a more compact version in 2017, and NVIDIA just officially announced upgraded Shield TV and Shield TV Pro 2019 models with a more powerful Tegra X1+ Processor delivering a 25% boost, as well as Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support.
As you can see from the photo above the Shield TV now has a completely different cylindrical design, while the Shield TV Pro keeps the traditional design of the box. However, both share many of the same specifications:
- SoC – NVIDIA Tegra X1+ processor with a 256-core NVIDIA GPU
- Memory & Storage
- Shield: 2 GB RAM; 8GB eMMC flash; MicroSD card slot
- Shield Pro: 3GB RAM; 16GB eMMC flash; MicroSD card slot
- HDMI 2.0b output up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDCP 2.2 and CEC support
- 4K HDR Ready
- Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10
- AI-enhanced upscaling for 720p/1080p to 4K up to 30 FPS
- Up to 4K HDR playback at 60 FPS (H.265/HEVC)
- Up to 4K playback at 60 FPS (VP8, VP9, H.264, MPEG1/2)
- Up to 1080p playback at 60 FPS (H.263, MJPEG, MPEG4, WMV9/VC1)
- Format/Container support: Xvid/ DivX/ASF/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MPEG-TS/MP4/WEB-M
- Dolby Audio (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos)
- DTS-X surround sound (pass-through) over HDMI
- High-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192 kHz over HDMI and USB
- High-resolution audio up-sample to 24-bit/192 kHz over USB
- Audio support: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WAVE, AMR, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, PCM, WMA, WMA-Pro, WMA-Lossless, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD (pass-through), DTS-X (pass-through), and DTS-HD (pass-through)
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0 + LE
- USB (Shield Pro only) – 2x USB 3.0 ports
- Power Supply
- Shield – Built-in
- Shield Pro – 40 W power adapter (5-10 W typical consumption)
- Dimensions & Weight
- Shield – 16.5 cm x 4 cm ∅ ; 137 grams
- Shield Pro – 15.9 x 9.8 x 2.6 cm; 250 grams
Both run Android TV 9.0 (Pie) with Chromecast 4K built-in, “SHIELD Experience” firmware upgrades directly from NVIDIA, Google Assistant and Alexa support, as well as premium apps such as Netflix, Prime Video, or Vudu.
The included SHIELD remote works over Bluetooth and is equipped with a microphone for voice search and commands, motion-activated backlit buttons, an IR blaster for control of volume and power on TVs, soundbars, or receivers, as well as a remote locator for finding a lost remote. It is powered by two AAA batteries which are included in the package.
The Shield TV and Shield TV Pro can be purchased on NVIDIA, Amazon and other shops for respectively $149.99 and $199.99, but you’d have to be a little more patient for the PRO version as it will only start shipping on November 5, 2019. More details about both models can be found on NVIDIA website.