Nvidia has unveiled its two upgraded 2019 Shield TV players starting at $150. They are powered by a 25% faster chip and now support Dolby Vision as well as PlayStation and Xbox controllers.
With Dolby Vision + Atmos
Nvidia is finally upgrading its Shield TV players but these are not the powerhouses that some had hoped for. After having launched the original Nvidia Shield back in 2015, the upgraded 2019 versions use a Tegra X1+ chip that is "up to 25% faster".
The company is no longer bundling its game controller, in part because Android TV gaming has never taken off. On the other hand, gamers can now connect PlayStation and Xbox controllers, in addition to the company's own game controller and other Bluetooth controllers. Like the current version, the new ones support Geforce Now game streaming.
Instead, Nvidia is positioning its two new players as streaming devices with gaming features on top. The standard version has a new cylindrical design while the 'Pro' version looks much like the previous version. The Pro version has more storage (16GB) and RAM (3GB) compared to the standard version (8GB storage and 2GB RAM).
- "These new models provide a big step up for Shield, which has consistently delivered groundbreaking innovations in the living room since its introduction five years ago," said Jeff Fisher, SVP of Consumer Business, Nvidia. "They deliver unquestionably best-in-class entertainment, supported by Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision and our breakthroughs in using AI to improve video streaming playback."
The new Android TV-based players also support the Dolby Vision HDR format, in addition to HDR10. On the audio front, Nvidia Shield now supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the two most popular object-based formats for immersive audio.
We already knew most of this thanks to leaked details earlier this month. In addition, the company is highlighting an 'AI upscaling' but it is limited to maximum 30fps. We have included the official specifications in the table below. There is also an upgraded remote with backlit buttons.
Nvidia Shield is widely considered to be the best Android TV device out there but besides actual TVs there is not much competition in the field. The upgraded X1+ chip in Nvidia Shield will not be significantly more powerful than the A10X in the two year old Apple TV 4K but Nvidia can now claim Dolby Vision + Atmos support, too.
The standard Nvidia Shield TV will cost $150 while the Pro is $200. They are available now in the US, Canada, and select European countries.
2019 Nvidia Shield TV - specifications
Nvidia Shield TV Pro: NVIDIA Tegra X1+ processor with a 256-core GPU and 3 GB RAM
Nvidia Shield TV: NVIDIA Tegra X1+ processor with a 256-core NVIDIA GPU and 2 GB RAM
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 Atmos (pass-through) and DTS-X surround sound (pass-through) over HDMI
Dolby Audio (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos)
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)
Nvidia Shield TV Pro: 16 GB*
Nvidia Shield TV: 8GB*
*Portion of storage occupied by system software
Expandable via microSD
802.11ac 2x2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0 + LE
Captive Portal support
HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 and CEC support
MicroSD card slot
Android 9.0 (Pie) powered by Android TV with Chromecast 4K built-in
SHIELD Experience Upgrades directly from NVIDIA
Built in Voice Control
The Google Assistant
Hands-free Voice Control†
Google Home compatible (Google Assistant)*
Amazon Echo compatible (Works with Alexa)*
> Microphone for voice search and commands
> Motion-activated backlit buttons
> Bluetooth connectivity
> IR blaster for control of volume and power on TVs, soundbars, or receivers
> Remote locator for finding a lost remote
> 2x AAA batteries included
NVIDIA GeForce NOW game streaming service (compatible game controller or keyboard/mouse is required)
NVIDIA GameStream (requires compatible GeForce RTX or GTX-powered PC)
Android gaming via Google Play Store