NVIDIA has introduced new versions of its SHIELD TV set-top-boxes featuring an all-new design as well as based on an improved Tegra X1+ SoC. The new STBs support all the features its predecessors do and add support for Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Atmos audio, as well as a new AI-powered upscale algorithm. With the launch of the new devices NVIDIA somewhat changes concept of its STBs as they no longer come with a gamepad.

The new NVIDIA SHIELD TV devices use the company’s new Tegra X1+ SoC that is said to be 25% faster when compared to the original one launched over four years ago. The chip essentially has the same feature set and Maxwell graphics, so games developed with the original SoC in mind will work with the new one without any problems. Meanwhile, since the Tegra X1+ is made using a more advanced process technology, this allows NVIDIA to offer the new SHIELD TV in a more compact form-factor. At the same time, the new SoC is paired with 2 GB of RAM (down from 3 GB) as well as 8 GB of NAND flash storage (down from 16 GB previously), which can be expanded using a microSD card. The SHIELD Pro has 3 GB of RAM as well as 16 GB of NAND storage, but no longer has a hard drive.

NVIDIA made its new SHIELD TV smaller than the predecessor in a bid to better compete against compact streaming media device, such as Google’s Chromecast/Chromecast Ultra. From connectivity standpoint, the new STB features Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, a GbE port, an HDMI 2.0b output with HDCP 2.2, and a microSD card slot. Meanwhile, it no longer has USB 3.0 ports, possibly to save space and simplify design. Those who need USB 3.0 should buy the SHIELD Pro with two USB Type-A ports.

NVIDIA SHIELD STB Family
  SHIELD TV
(2019)
SHIELD TV
Pro
(2019)
SHIELD TV
(2017)
SHIELD TV Pro
(2017)
SHIELD Android TV
(2015)
SoC Tegra X1+ Tegra X1
(4
× Cortex A57 + 4 × Cortex A53,
Maxwell 2 SMM GPU)
RAM 2 GB 3 GB 3 GB LPDDR4-3200
Storage 8 GB NAND
microSD
16 GB NAND
USB
16 GB NAND
USB
16 GB NAND
500 GB HDD
microSD
USB
16 GB NAND
500 GB HDD (Pro only)
microSD
USB
Display Connectivity HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 (4Kp60, HDR)
Dimensions Height 40 mm
1.57 inch
98 mm
3.858 inch
130 mm
5.1 inch
Width 40mm
1.57 inch
159 mm
6.26 inch
210 mm
8.3 inch
Depth 165 mm
6.5 inch
26 mm
1.02 inch
25 mm
1 inch
Weight 137 grams 250 grams 654 grams
Power Adapter integrated ? 40 W
I/O Wireless 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1/BLE
USB - 2 × USB 3.0 2 × USB 3.0
1 × micro-USB 2.0
IR - - - IR Receiver
Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet
Launch Product Bundle Shield Remote Shield Controller
Shield Remote
Shield Controller
Launch Price $149.99 $199.99 $199.99 $299.99 Basic: $199.99
Pro: $299.99

When it comes to decoding capabilities, the new SHIELD TV can decode H.265/HEVC, VP8, VP9, H.264, MPEG1/2, H.263, MJPEG, MPEG4, and WMV9/VC1 video. Meanwhile, the STB does not support AV1 as well as VP9.2 codecs because they are not widespread at the moment. The new SHIELD TV can playback 4Kp60 HDR, 4Kp60, Full-HD 60 fps content, and can upscale 720p and 1080p content to 4Kp30 using an AI-enhanced algorithm. It is unclear whether the algorithm relies on a new hardware block that is present only inside NVIDIA’s Tegra X1+, or uses a combination of hardware and software, which means that it could be enabled on previous-generation SHIELD TV consoles too

NVIDIA's 2019 SHIELD TV STBs
Video
4K HDR at 60 FPS H.265/HEVC
4K at 60 FPS VP8, VP9, H.264, MPEG1/2
1080p at 60 FPS H.263, MJPEG, MPEG4, WMV9/VC1
HDR HDR10, Dolby Vision
Containers Xvid/ DivX/ASF/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MPEG-TS/MP4/WEB-M
Audio
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)
High-Resolution Audio Playback up to 24-bit/192 kHz over HDMI and USB
High-Resolution Audio Upsample up to 24-bit/192 kHz over USB

The new SHIELD TV STBs come with a redesigned SHIELD remote with improved ergonomics and more buttons. The unit has a built-in microphone for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa; motion-activated backlit buttons; Bluetooth connectivity to connect to the player; and an IR blaster to control volume and power on TVs, soundbars or receivers.

Being based on Android TV/Android 9.0 (Pie) platform, the SHIELD TV ships with a variety of content deliver apps, including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, Vudu, Google Play Movies & TV, Plex, Google Play Games, NVIDIA Games, and Google Games. End-users may install additional apps themselves if they need to.

Because of the simplified design and the lack of bundled gamepad, the new NVIDIA SHIELD TV media players are cheaper than their predecessors: the base model costs $149.99 (down from $199.99), whereas the Pro model is priced at $199.99 (down from $299.00).

Related Reading:

Source: NVIDIA

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  • Katana - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    Sorry to say, but you've been the troll. Alistair clearly said from the beginning the ATV 4K with the A10X was faster, which it is.

    This refresh by Nvidia is pathetic, still pushing nearly five year old hardware for the same price. 25% faster than the original Shield from 2015? WTF?
    Reply
  • Beaver M. - Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - link

    Oh please... The $35 Raspberry isnt even able to deal with 4K, much less with HDR or 60 FPS. Reply
  • Morbius007 - Monday, November 4, 2019 - link

    Did you see the hardware is not the same, its a new chip, welcome to 2019. Reply
  • Fulljack - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    "Nintendo's Switch uses a weaker version of the SoC from the 2015 Shield."

    Before Nvidia release refreshed 2019 Shield TV, Nintendo actually release refreshed Switch based on the same Tegra X1+

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/14651/nintendo-anno...
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Does roku now finally support hevc? Last time I checked shield tv was the only really versatile box. Albeit in these 4 years it's become near irrelevant as my tv can do all that stuff itself. It had it's place but know it either needs to be sub $100 or get new hardware and more features. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - link

    https://developer.roku.com/en-ca/docs/specs/stream...

    Appears to support it for awhile now, although it doesn't mention which specific hardware models.
    Reply
  • Celos - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    "The way I see it, there's a fairly obvious market for Apple TV" which is essentially the same market for the Shield in the Android ecosystem. Given that most of the world doesn't use Apple devices, I'm kind of surprised this is somewhat baffling to you.

    As for the options you listed: Chromecast is essentially a stream receiver. It doesn't have a remote or built in UI, you use other devices to pick the content and then cast it to the Chromecast. It's a wonderful device (I own like 3), but it's a completely different experience from Android/Apple TV. Roku is another fine choice, but comes with its own ecosystem and Shield has some other uses, like game streaming, that Roku doesn't cater to (to my knowledge).

    As far as being a gaming device, I have no clue, but I'd be surprised to learn it's doing any better than Apple TV.
    Reply
  • Morbius007 - Monday, November 4, 2019 - link

    I have 2x Apple TV boxes, the latest 4K compliant ones, they struggle to play most 4K files from my plex server, and sure they work with Streaming services but the remote sucks, its a pain to use, and they aren't cheap, at least they weren't when I got them about 18 months ago. $259.00 if I remember.. I just got a new Shield Pro and I love it compared to my Apple TV, the remote alone makes it a far more pleasant experience, add to that the friendly way Android pulls logins and Wi-fi settings from my phone, great. Picture quality on my 4K TV is beautiful and it is very snappy in terms of running with my other hardware.

    Additionally, over the last 18 months apple has basically let the apps store coast when it comes to updates to many apps we use, good enough seems to be the operational reality. I know its not up to apple to update the apps, but many of them are buggy and have problems with lock up and crashing. Android isn't perfect either but it seems that the Shield just runs smoother with the same apps.

    I admit I am a bit concerned with security in all this but in terms of picture quality, as well as the benefit of being able to use my HD Home-run OTA gear from a central solution, it is a full range solution. Really like it.
    Reply
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    How much did Netflix pay to have its own dedicated big button and logo(tm)?
    *smiles and rubs hands*
    Reply
  • webdoctors - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Seems the older models were cheaper since they came with the game controller?

    I have 2 Shields, one I got just last month. I hope I get the upscaling AI update, but regardless I've gotten years of updates from my first one. Hope other companies take note.

    Most consumers that just stream netflix and dont have an amplifier or proper HD can get by with their crummy built in smart TV . This is for folks that want ATMOS and HDR and a variety of streaming apps (i.e. like Disney+ which you don't get on your Vizio TV streaming platform).
    Reply

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