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NVIDIA SHIELD TV (16GB)


£165.00

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£189.90

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£189.94

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£189.99

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£189.99

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£189.99

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NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro (500GB)


£279.88

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£279.99

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£279.99

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£279.99

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£400.00

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All your stuff, all in one place, all available when you want it? What could be better? The NVIDIA SHIELD TV streaming media box is possibly one of the most diverse in terms of supported apps, and is available in a slightly underachieving 16GB version, or in a whopping 500GB Pro version. Would a middle-of-the-road 32GB option have been appreciated? Definitely. But for now I’ll take what I can get.

 

The Pros

Quite simply, the NVIDIA Shield TV does what it says, and it does these things well. That’s not something you see too much of these days in the competitive world of technology. Streaming? It’s fast. Super fast. Fast to the point where you’re going to wonder how on earth you’ve managed with direct streaming from Smart facilities for all these years. 4K? It’s got it. Sure, 4K content is still more elusive than Lord Lucan, but it never hurts to be prepared. We’ve got a massive selection of apps and other features here, including an integrated Chromecast and pre-loaded Plex, and sound quality is top notch with Dolby Atmos. Notably lacking, sadly, is Dolby Vision, but video quality is still pretty darn-tooting impressive.

 

New For 2017

NVIDIA SHIELD TV sound familiar? That’s because it is! First introduced in 2015, NVIDIA have now launched their new and improved 2017 version which is more compact although still aesthetically bizarre (more on design later). New for 2017 is the classic remote control, which is now included alongside the original gamepad controller (there’s also a remote-only option for the 16GB version), although responsiveness leaves something to be desired. The 2017 Shield has also lost its power button somewhere along the way, meaning there’s no happy medium between on and unplugged at the wall.

 

Holding Its Own

Streaming media is hot right now, so how does the NVIDIA SHIELD TV hold up against the competition? Actually, it’s doing surprisingly well. The SHIELD boasts better overall hardware than the Fire TV, making it more on par with the much-celebrated Apple TV. However, in my opinion the Shield does go above and beyond with a few added extras, like expandable storage, and a much greater range of supported apps, including Youtube, Google Play, and Spotify, for example. It’s everything you want, under one roof.

 

Design

Eeesh. Where to begin… OK, the NVIDIA SHIELD TV looks like it has stepped straight out of Miami Vice, and that’s being kind. I think I must have missed the memo about art deco being back in fashion. The SHIELD is one of those things that looks OK now, but is going to age quickly, and age badly, much like my once-cool avocado bathroom suite. The sharp lines and strange angles aren’t in keeping with today’s sleek hardware; NVIDIA may argue that it gives them an edge, but I’d beg to disagree in this instance.

And the gamepad controller isn’t much better. With its peculiar diamond pattern that looks like something out of the Crystal Maze, you do have to question its aesthetic longevity. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Crystal Maze as much as the next guy (the Reckless Rick years, thank you very much), but I don’t necessarily want memories of the Aztec Zone every time I sit down at the end of the day to watch TV.

 

Final Thoughts

The elephant in the room… The price. Anyone who does a bit of research will undoubtedly notice that there’s a price gap between the Shield and its competitors; a price gap that’s somewhat unexpected for a mere 16GB. So is it worth it? I’d say so. If you’re venturing down the 4K path (or even if you’re just toying with the idea), and if you don’t really want to be tied down to select content like you are with Amazon’s Fire TV which is Amazon-focused, then NVIDIA SHIELD it is. Yes, NVIDIA SHIELD is Android-based, but it actually has a pretty decent selection of ‘outside’ apps, like Amazon Video, iTunes, and all that jazz.

At the end of the day, if you’re in the market for a 4K streaming media box, then there’s nothing wrong with the NVIDIA SHIELD TV. At all. OK, so not everyone is going fall head over heels for the overall design, but it’s what’s inside that counts, and what’s inside is enough to rival the likes of Amazon and Apple. That’s pretty good if you ask me!

What’s in the Box

  • NVIDIA SHIELD TV Media Box
  • SHIELD Controller

– Mic for voice search
– Hands-free voice support
– Headset jack for private listening
– Dual vibration feedback
– IR blaster for TV volume & power control
– 60+ hour gaming battery life

  • SHIELD Remote

– Mic for voice search
– IR blaster for TV volume and power control

  • Apps

– NVIDIA Games
– Netflix
– Amazon Video
– YouTube
– Google Play Store
– Google Play Movies & TV
– Google Play Music
– VUDU
– PLEX
– Photos and Videos

NVIDIA SHIELD TV
Design86%
Usability / Connectivity70%
Video Quality79%
Channels / Apps65%
75%Overall Score
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