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Nvidia Shield TV review: Go-to streamer for PC gamers and geeks

"Eric Odom" (2020-07-18)


class="cnetReview row" section=""> Compared to the $50-ish Roku and Fire TV streamers of the world, the $150 Nvidia Shield has always been a relatively niche proposition. When all you need is YouTube, Netflix and Disney Plus, it's overkill. Nonetheless it remains a popular choice for geeks and gamers who want more extras and capabilities, including 4K HDR (now with Dolby Vision), built-in Google Assistant and an array of gaming options that makes Apple Arcade seem like a one-trick pony, especially for PC gamers.

7.7 Nvidia Shield 2 $190 at Walmart $150 at B&H Photo-Video CNET may get a commission from these offers. How it stacks up Apple TV 4K 8.7 $179 Roku Streaming Stick Plus 9.6 $60 Roku Ultra (2019) 7.9 $100 Like Cutting-edge streaming with 4K AI upscaling, Dolby Vision Native Android, cloud gaming and Steam Link options Improved Android TV interface with Google Assistant Don't Like Expensive Some issues understanding voice commands Slower than Roku to launch Netflix In addition to the GeForce Now game streaming platform, Android games store and GameStream ability for compatible PCs, another extra makes this device a head-turner for gamers: Steam.

As the Steam Link now lives on in software only, the Shield TV is one of the "cheapest" ways to get PC games from Steam to your TV screen. Yes, the Shield TV costs more than most competitors, and the price is tough to justify for "just a streamer," but once again geeks and gamers will find plenty of reasons to splurge. Is it a cigar? Or a USB power bank? Sarah Tew/CNET The latest Nvidia Shield TV comes in two versions: the the familiar-looking Pro version ($200) basic Shield TV reviewed here.

The Shield TV is the most covert device I can recall from the gaming company. It's roughly the size and shape of a runner's baton; at 6.5 inches in length the all-black Shield TV is designed to be tucked behind your television -- and there's not even any lights to tell you it's on. If I were a marketing guy, I'd call this the "Shield Ghost" or judi slot the "Ninja" or something. The Shield TV comes with a total of four ports, with two at each end -- one side houses a standard power socket (no adapter required) and Ethernet, while the other includes an HDMI port and a microSD expansion slot.

There is a single reset button, but sadly, there's no room for USB.  The end of the 6.5-inch-long device features an HDMI port and a microSD card slot  Sarah Tew/CNET Unlike in previous years there's no controller in the box, but you can connect compatible PS4/Xbox One/PC controllers over Bluetooth.      As far as speeds and feeds are concerned, this features an Nvidia Tegra X1+ processor with a 256-core Nvidia GPU and 2GB of RAM.

It offers 4K compatibility with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 as well as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X pass-through. The device is also able to upscale streamed content using its proprietary AI upscaling. Here's how the two new Shields compare with the previous version from 2017.