In the world of ‘Smart’ TV’s Google’s Android TV platform has become a big name over the last few years. Nvidia’s Shield TV has been the premium model in the Android TV set top boxes, and after launching updated Shield and Shield Pro models in the US last October, Nvidia has today announced the new Nvidia Shield TV and Shield TV Pro are coming to Australia.
The Shield TV and Shield TV Pro include some pretty nice updates from the previous model with a new, faster Tegra X1+ processor, which Nvidia says gives it a 25% performance boost. This new processor can handle improved 4K upscaling, using AI to better improve the look of your videos.
Nvidia is also launching Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support with the new Shield TV, which means your videos will both look AND sound great. Local streaming service Stan has announced they will soon offer Dolby Vision support, but you can still stream Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos content through Disney Plus, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
There’s some subtle, and not so subtle differences between the two units, to start with the Shield TV now comes in a tube shaped casing, while the Shield TV Pro comes in what is essentially the same case as the original.
Specs for both differ slightly with 2GB RAM, 8GB storage (with microSD card slot) on the Shield TV, while the Shield TV Pro model bumps you up to 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage and two USB 3.0 ports to plug USB drives into.
|Shield TV||Shield TV Pro|
|Processor||Nvidia Tegra X1+||Nvidia Tegra X1+|
|Expansion||microSD||2x USB 3.0 (Type A)|
|Wireless||802.11ac 2×2 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
|OS:||Android 9.0 (Pie) powered by Android TV™ with Chromecast 4K built-in|
Nvidia is also introducing a new Shield TV remote with the new Shield TV, but it’s also compatible with the older Shield TV and will go on-sale in Australia separately, although Nvidia wasn’t able to give us any pricing or arrival dates at this stage.
The new Shield TV remote control is bigger than the previous remote, with motion activated backlit keys so it lights up and it’s less easy to lose, but if you do lose it then there’s a locator function built-in to help you find it.
Another welcome change from the original is that remote now uses AAA batteries to save you having to charge it.
The remote includes built-in IR and Bluetooth, with the IR included for controlling volume on the TV. There’s also now dedicated fast forward and rewind.
The remote also includes a mic with Google Assistant built-in, but Nvidia also works closely with Amazon to bring Alexa to the Shield TV Experience, which also gives them access to Amazon Prime Video, Twitch and other services.
In terms of software the Nvidia Shield TV will launch with Android 9.0 Pie, which includes access to the Google Play Store which includes access to an expanding list of Android TV compatible apps, including for most TV streaming and terrestrial services.
In terms of updates, Nvidia has an ‘Always up to date’ philosophy with Shield and say they’re committed to keeping the Shield up to date with regular software updates – which they call Shield Experience updates.
There’s companies that commit to updates, but when Nvidia says they intend to keep the Shield up to date, I believe them. The Shield TV has the distinction of being one of the longest supported Android TV devices on the market. The original launched with Android 5.1 and has been updated to Android 9.0 nearly five years after it originally launched.
The Shield TV’s hardware and software stack offers access to a unique gaming experiences. They have exclusive games and also excellent controller support. The Nvidia Shield controllers are great – but there’s no new controller being launched this time around, but all your old Nvidia Shield TV controllers, as well as 3rd party controllers like Xbox One and Playstation Dual-Shock controllers and more will work with the new Shield TV too.
The Nvidia Shield TV also allows PC gamers to cast games from their GeForce PC in 4K HDR with NVIDIA Gamestream. Unfortunately there’s no word on their streaming games service GeForce Now launching here in Australia.
In terms of pricing the new Shield TV will be priced at $249.95 RRP, while the Shield TV Pro will go on-sale for $349.95 RRP – though it appears resellers are selling the SHIELD TV from $289.95 and SHIELD TV Pro for $399.95 and this pricing may continue to change according to market conditions.
You’ll be able to get your hands on both models from Harvey Norman, Kogan, Mwave, Scorptec, Umart, Centrecom, PLE and more – but head over to the Nvidia website to check them all out.
If you’re after a review stay tuned, we’ve got the new Shield TV on the bench and first impressions are good.