NVIDIA Shield 2019 review – TechSwitch

    Nvidia has a brand new household of Android TV-based streaming gadgets, as tipped early through a few leaks from on-line shops. The new Nvidia Shield TV ($149) and Shield TV Pro ($199) exchange the prevailing Shield TV technology of {hardware}, which debuted in 2017. Both new Shields supply new Tegra X1+ processors, which outperform the predecessor chip by about 25 p.c, and make doable one among this Shield’s new spotlight options: AI-powered 3K up-conversion for HD content material.
    Both Shield TV and Shield TV Pro additionally help Dolby Vision HDR content material, in addition to Dolby Atmos encompass sound. The variations between the 2 gadgets heart primarily round bodily design, with the Shield TV adopting a cylindrical tube design, and the Shield TV Pro wanting extra like its predecessor (principally a small set-top field kind issue). The Shield TV Pro additionally will get extra RAM (3GB vs. 2GB), extra storage (16GB vs 8GB) the flexibility to transcode 1080p streams when appearing as a Plex Media Server, help for the SmartThings Link to show it right into a SmartThings good house hub and superior Android gaming help, together with two USB 3.0 ports.

    I’ve been utilizing the Shield TV for round per week now, and that is undoubtedly a worthwhile improve for anybody trying to get the very best expertise out there in an Android TV house theater machine. Nvidia has clearly executed lots to survey the market, take a look at all the pieces that’s come out within the two years because it final up to date this {hardware}, and supply generational enhancements that assist it stand out from the group in significant methods.
    Android TV now ships on a whole lot of good TVs, and there have been many generations of Roku and Amazon Fire TV gadgets launched since we final noticed a brand new Shield from Nvidia – all of which provides as much as needing to actually do one thing particular to ask for $149.99 from customers to spend money on a brand new devoted streaming media field. Nvidia has all the time delivered a whole lot of worth for the upfront price of their streaming {hardware}, with constant updates over the lifetime of the gadgets that add loads of new options and enhancements. But this new {hardware} packs in some glorious options not doable with software program alone, and which might be additionally distinctive if you look throughout the choices out there on this class.
    AI Upscaling
    Chief among the many additions Nvidia has made right here is the AI upscaling made doable with the brand new Tegra X1+ chip. You may need heard of ‘upscaling’ earlier than, and also you would possibly even assume that your TV already handles that nicely. But what you most likely don’t know is that usually content material from streaming media sources doesn’t really get upscaled by your TV, which suggests you probably have a 4K show however are sometimes watching YouTube or different providers with giant portions of non-4K content material, you may not be getting probably the most out of your {hardware}.
    Nvidia has addressed this with on-device 4K upscaling, which is powered by on-device machine intelligence that has been educated on a deep neural community to show each 720p and 1080p indicators into a lot sharper, 4K-equivalent pictures. Having used this on a wide range of content material, together with media streamed from YouTube, non-4K Netflix content material and stuff from Plex, I can attest to its potential to supply visibly sharper pictures that look nice, particularly on my LG C8-series OLED 4K TV.
    The Shield TV’s tech is educated on standard films and TV reveals, and so does a remarkably good job of guessing what the 4K model of the HD picture it’s ought to correctly appear like. Considering that there’s a ton of content material on the market that hasn’t been made out there in 4K, regardless of now a whole lot of TVs supporting that decision, this can be a massive benefit for Nvidia, and once more one which they uniquely supply amongst their friends.
    Dolby Everything
    These new Shields additionally help Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, throughout extra providers than anything on the market available on the market proper now. These HDR and encompass sound modes actually do supply the very best audio-visual expertise you may get, supplied you have got TVs and audio output gear that helps them, however what you may not know is that even on different streaming {hardware} that technically help these requirements, they may not be supported throughout all providers.
    Shield TV helps Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos throughout Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Vudu and Movies Anywhere, so you have to be getting probably the most out of those applied sciences, too. I requested concerning the forthcoming Apple TV+ service, which is rolling out to Roku gadgets, as an example, however Nvidia didn’t have any information to share simply but – it does seem to be it’s a good suggestion to remain tuned on that entrance, nevertheless.
    Like AI Upscaling, Dolby help throughout all the pieces may not seem to be a giant aggressive benefit, however it’s completely a call tipping issue for people who find themselves searching for the very best A/V expertise in a house streaming machine.
    New and Improved Remote
    Nvidia is transport the brand new Shield TVs with a model new redesigned distant within the field. There’s a devoted ‘Netflix’ button, which is a pleasant contact, however the distant general is simply an enchancment over each Shield remotes previous, and different competing remotes, in each method. It’s powered by AAA batteries (included) and it has a brand new pyramid-shaped physique design that makes it simpler and extra nice to carry.
    There are additionally numerous new buttons! Yes, Nvidia really put buttons on their distant management – what a novel idea! Whereas the distant from the final technology gave the impression to be adopting a whole lot of the questionable decisions Apple has lengthy been making on their remotes, this one feels prefer it’s made with people in thoughts, with devoted play/pause, again, ahead, quantity and different buttons. A wealth of buttons.
    This distant additionally has computerized backlighting, which is able to serve you nicely when utilizing it in a darkened room. Because of the bulkier physique design, it additionally stands on its finish, and there’s a misplaced distant discovering operate, too. Chalk up a win for human-centric design with this distant, it’s a pleasure to make use of.
    Simple bodily design
    The design of the machine will not be flashy, however it’s good. There’s an Ethernet port, an influence connector, an HDMI port and a micro SD card slot, dividing throughout each ends of the tube. This makes it excellent for putting behind a console or media bench, on the bottom or subsequent to your different energy cables.

    It nonetheless supplies hardwired connectivity choices in case you do issues like in-home recreation streaming or GeForce NOW cloud gaming, and it affords expandable storage through the microSD slot.
    Bottom Line
    Nvidia’s new Shield is a good choice for anybody searching for a flexible streaming machine, with entry to all of Google’s Play Store apps for Android TV, and help for the most recent AV requirements. It’s actual bonus benefit is that AI upscaling, nevertheless, which is one thing that Nvidia is uniquely poised to do nicely, and which works a good distance in making that $149.99 worth level seem to be an incredible worth.

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