NVIDIA Announces a More Affordable Android TV Streamer

Posted on September 21, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Music + Videos with 13 Comments

On the eve of the Apple TV 4K launch, NVIDIA has responded with a more affordable version of its Android TV-based Shield TV set-top box. The Shield TV now starts at $179, the same price as Apple TV 4K.

There’s no announcement that I can find—I found out about this from Android Police—but looking at the NVIDIA Shield TV website, it appears that what NVIDIA has done is create a version of its set-top box/gaming console that no longer includes the game controller. And it has lowered the price of this version to match the new Apple TV 4K.

Android TV is one of those weird things that, like Android Wear, has never taken off despite the popularity of Android and its surrounding ecosystem. I’ve been using an Android TV-based Mi Box on and off all year, but mostly just as a 4K-capable Chromecast because the built-in UI is so lousy and non-configurable. (Its biggest asset is the clean and simple hardware remote, which is not available on actual Chromecasts.)

But the NVIDIA Shield has always been of interest. To date, the firm has sold two versions, a 16 GB version with remote control and game controller for $199, and a 500 GB Pro version for $299.

The “new” NVIDIA is basically the 16 GB version sans game controller (a $60 extra). So it delivers what most people would expect from a living room streamer: Minimal onboard storage and a simple hardware remote control. Like the Apple TV 4K, it supports 4K and HDR video at 60 fps and Dolby Atmos and DTS-X surround sound. But it runs on Android TV, of course, making it better suited for the Google ecosystem. You can also expand its storage over USB, something Apple would never allow.

So this is very interesting. My Apple TV 4K is arriving tomorrow, and I hope to get some time with it before I head off to Orlando for Ignite. But I’ve been thinking about replacing the Mi Box. And maybe this is the right choice.

The new Shield TV arrives October 18, but you can pre-order it now.

 

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Comments (13)

13 responses to “NVIDIA Announces a More Affordable Android TV Streamer”

  1. david.thunderbird

    P u that stinks Nvidia joined Apple in its overpriced STB land... Oh wait they were always there!

  2. mjw149

    Who knew that Android TV was still a thing?

  3. Bats

    Wait a second. LOL...didn't Paul just buy the his Mii box earlier this year and loved it?

    For a guy who complains about not being able to afford the new Pixel XL 2, he's buying alot smaller things (Apple TV) to replace the one's he just spent money on.

    Sometimes... I just don't get this guy. (lol)

  4. ilovemissy85

    Paul I have the Nvidia Shield Tablet and love it. Its amazing that you can play the newest PC games on an Android tablet. It also has HDMI out so you can play it on your 75 inch big screen. I subscribe to Nvidia for $7.99 a month you get all kinds of top notch PC games and Android games , they change to different ones each month . The tablet has top notch graphics and is very snappy .

  5. hack-o-holic

    I've been using my Mi-box since the day it was released and love it. I don't get the comment about the "UI is so lousy and non-configurable". If you want to spend triple what you did on your Mi Box to get this "new" shield, then go for it but they are both Android TV so unless I am misunderstanding something you will just have a faster and MUCH more expensive box with the same "UI is so lousy and non-configurable".....


    I use the menu for exactly two things... 99% of the time I use it to fire up Kodi and stay there and once in a blue moon I open You Tube for my daughter to watch cat videos...

  6. lecter

    It's worth mentioning that while the Shield supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the Apple TV 4K does not (at least not right now, there seems to be no hardware reason for the lack of it).

  7. TroyTruax

    One aspect of the Nvidia Shield that gets overlooked is that the Shield can be an all - in - one solution as both a Plex server and the box that displays the content. With the Plex pass you can also view your content when away from home.

  8. Awhispersecho

    I just want to say that I have been very surprised and disappointed that after all this time and all the talk of set top/streaming boxes you have done over the last couple years, you have never even tried the Shield. I almost find it irresponsible on your part. The same way I feel when you and Andrew talk about VR without having used a Rift or Vive alongside a powerful gaming PC. Mentioning and giving opinions on the set top box/streaming device market without having used the very best one doesn't make much sense.


    Paul, get 1, in fact see if Nvidia will loan you the Pro version with the controller and all. Spend a couple weeks with it and really get to see what it does. You will love it and never look back. You'll even be able to return your new Apple TV. I am not a Google or Android fan, I've made that clear many times. But the Shield TV Pro is really that good.

  9. Tony Barrett

    Both Philips and Sony use Android TV as their SmartTV interfaces, but Google's own Nexus Player was discontinued ages ago, and Google haven't really given Android TV much love in the last 18 months. nVidia's Shield is probably the best AndroidTV box out there, and nVidia still seem to be serious about it, which is good. I have a Nexus Player, and it's ok, but I tend to use my FireTV more, as Amazon are still developing for it. All those Chinese Android boxes, like the MiBox, are *not* running Android TV, but just a custom home screen running on stock Android, and usually a pretty old version at that.

    After all being said though, it does appear Google are releasing Android 8 with a brand new 'TV' interface on the Nexus Player. That's pretty impressive for a device released in 2014, but because they never released a successor, I guess they'll keep this going for one more round at least.

  10. SvenJ

    I don't get something. "To date, the firm has sold two versions, a 16 GB version with remote control and game controller for $199....The “new” NVIDIA is basically the 16 GB version sans game controller (a $60 extra)." How does the new one, $199 - $60 controller become $179?


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