Nvidia Shield Android TV Console Review

Per Wigren

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Apr 14, 2015
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FINALLY a review that tests GameStream. I can't believe how there can be so many reviews out there and just about no one that bothers to try this rather major feature, considering it's produced by Nvidia and comes with a gamepad... Thank you!

The result is rather discouraging, however. Did you use it at 1920x1080 at 60 FPS? Was the game set to that resolution on the PC as well?
 

Valld

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Jun 8, 2015
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Nice review, just a few mistakes in the specifications:

1. There are moving parts inside - the cooling fan, clearly visible on the photo
2. Bluetooth version is 4.1/BLE, not 2.1
3. Micro SD card slot supports cards up to 128Gb, not 2Tb
 

Eggz

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Interesting! People with HTPCs will be looking for something given that Windows 10 won't have Windows Media Center any more.

I think that creates an open market, and I'm curious to see whether Ceton will hire some programmers to come up with a piece of software that supports all of the WMC functionality, and whether they or anyone else will solve the OnDemand functionality issue that's now exclusive to cable boxes.
 

Zepid

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Jan 14, 2014
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What a shit review. No codec information, no playback benchmarks for local media. No information as to if you can mount USB storage to be readable natively by Android apps (as in can I plug in a USB HDD and see it without doing anything in say... VLC). Because Android TV doesn't support this by default without a root or custom ROM, I assume Nvidia has this feature enabled but ZERO REVIEWERS have bothered mentioning it.
 

clonazepam

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Where's the gamepad review? Stream Dark Souls I/II to the thing and really hammer on the d-pad with weapon swaps / item use, and report back. Thanks! :)

"Git gud casul."
 

Emanuel Elmo

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Mar 21, 2014
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I made this correction before and nobody seems to have corrected it.

The $299.99 model of the shield comes with a 500GB HDD and NOT a 200GB HDD.

I will say this again that it can be confirmed off of the Nvidia website.
 

thrus

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Apr 20, 2015
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Something that bugged me early in the article since your internet was only 23Mbps you couldn't reliably stream 4k from Netflix, but the gigabit port make HD work fine. If the port was all that mattered it far exceeded the recommended 25Mbps for 4k as well. The gig port had nothing to do with your streaming, heck an old 100Mbps port would be 4 fold the required throughput for 4k. keep the specs in the specs section and don't try to shoehorn them in where they are irreverent.
 

deppman

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Aug 15, 2013
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I have the 500GB Shield. The Talos Principle can be set to 1080p rendering and it looks and performs very well. I'm not sure why it defaults to 720p rendering. The Wi-Fi results in less lags and hiccups than the Shield Tablet, so game streaming is better nearly glitch-free IF your network isn't busy. Video streaming is flawless, and even Chromecast improves. Also, Google just released 600 more TV apps, so selection is greatly improved. Now if I could only install a browser.
 

somebodyspecial

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Not sure why this was tested in a house without the ability to test the device to it's max. I mean in USA FCC just passed 25mbit/sec as BROADBAND. Cox already responded sending out ads here saying such. You can no longer call your service "BROADBAND" if it is below 25 and that is supposedly $29.99 here (IIRC on the ad, 50 is $54.99). Not sure what you call expensive, but that is NOW bottom rung in USA for broadband. Nobody wants to sell vs. the competition here saying "high speed internet", while they're advertising "full BROADBAND unlike company X who has crap service". You won't last long if you can't sell your service as broadband as most people in the usa know what this term means (in some way shape or form...LOL).

It's pretty ruthless here in ads. Just checking cox their ad is "with century link watching sports can slow down your internet"...LOL. Imagine the field day they'd have if you couldn't post the word "broadband" in your ads. 'With company X they can't even hit broadband speeds, So join us now and get in the fast lane for TRUE BROADBAND'. I'm paraphrasing here but you get the point. I'm not sure when the date they have to comply with the new FCC rules kicks in (already?) but it would seem most would want to use the word broadband. I didn't pay any attention when the ad came as we're on 50 already. Since they have to get networks some time to get in order it probably isn't in quite yet, but its coming.

I really wish you would have loaded a browser (who doesn't load firefox or chrome at least?) and tested more stuff and at least thrown in Intel's latest also (surface 3 for example) for some benchmarks too. I think more of the review should have covered PLAYBACK of local vids also as that is a major problem I have with roku etc. Format support sucks on roku and makes it useless vs. my blu-ray.
 

THJulio

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Jun 3, 2015
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Nice review, just a few mistakes in the specifications:

1. There are moving parts inside - the cooling fan, clearly visible on the photo
2. Bluetooth version is 4.1/BLE, not 2.1
3. Micro SD card slot supports cards up to 128Gb, not 2Tb
Thanks for the notes, Valid and Dunofrey. We're updating the article.
 

THJulio

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I made this correction before and nobody seems to have corrected it.

The $299.99 model of the shield comes with a 500GB HDD and NOT a 200GB HDD.

I will say this again that it can be confirmed off of the Nvidia website.
Thanks Emanuel Elmo. You're right. We're updating the article. Totally appreciated!
 

Emanuel Elmo

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Mar 21, 2014
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because if I can stream Assassin's Creed Unity from my PC to my shield or my shield tablet at 1080p at 60FPS connected to a 55 inch TV is a far better experience than on a PS4 or xbox 1. (and yes I have done this at my house using my shield tablet). Woo and the best part is that I don't have to pay a subscription fee to play online (Grid is a different story though).

granted my opinion.
 

Emanuel Elmo

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I can atest to gamestream and I had a much better experience. I stream GTA V, Assassins Creed Unity, Borderlands: the Pre-sequel. All to my Nvidia Shield Tablet (remember this is less powerful). Streaming was smooth and never hiccuped for me. All my games on my pc are set to 1440p. But streaming to the Shield Tablet everything was at 1080p @60fps and as I said was very smooth and was super pleased with it and yes it was over my wireless connection. My computer is hardwired but my Shield tablet was not and no I don't have a AC type router for wireless.
 

brando56894

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Nice in depth review, I've been waiting for a good one! I have a few problems with it though: you guys are a well respected tech site (at least in my opinion, I've been reading your articles for easily 7 years), but did you really just call 25 Mbps "expensive" and "a lot of bandwidth" ??? Did you forget that just a few months ago the FCC mandated that 25 Mbps was the bare minimum to be called "broadband"? That's the base package for a lot of ISPs, at least it is for Comcast, and it's about $40-$60! The next step up is 150 Mbps for about $10-$15 more! What ISP do you have at your house and where do you live that you're only getting about 13-23 Mbps?! At those speeds of course your experience is going to be shit, 23 Mbps is about 2.8 MB/sec which you could probably only stream 720P on, let alone 1080P or 4K, that's what I'd expect a non-tech savvy person to have, not a tech reviewer for a large site. I live in NJ and I have a Verizon Fios 75/75 Mbps pipe along with about 100 channels for the "expensive" (according to you) price of $60! Granted Fios isn't available everywhere, and it's actually more expensive and slower (on the downstream, way faster on the upstream) than what I had with Comcast (150 Mbps/20 Mbps, I was getting a steady 14 MB/sec download from Usenet sometimes as high as 19 MB/sec). Any gamer or tech enthusiast worth their salt knows that 25 Mbps just isn't going to cut it for anything beyond browsing and streaming in 720P without waiting for it to buffer a lot.

Also another mistake you made, you said that "the Buffalo router has a theoretical max of 1.3 Mbps", I'm assuming that's supposed to be 1.3 Gbps.
 

ET3D

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Mar 12, 2012
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How well does an SD card work for offloading games off main storage? On my Galaxy Tab S the SD card is nearly useless. Moving games to the card results in most of the data remaining in main storage.
 

billymac10

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I'm wondering if it's possible to Gamestream 4k to the Shield from another Nvidia based computer. For example, if my 4k capable rig is in the office, say with SLI 980ti's, I hard wire everything and both displays are 4k capable, would there be enough throughput without much latency to stream a 4k game to the living room? Even if everything else were capable, would the Shield give you an option to do this? This could really save a lot of money on hardware for those seeking the 4k gaming experience.
 

CaptainTom

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May 3, 2012
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"There’s finally a device that you can plug into your TV that’s got the horsepower for some great entertainment experiences."

You mean a PS4? lol. Yeah it costs twice as much but it is also 4-6x stronger and actually has games you can play. Hell a PS3 is under $200 and plays blu rays! This device is completely pointless at its price point.
 

CaptainTom

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because if I can stream Assassin's Creed Unity from my PC to my shield or my shield tablet at 1080p at 60FPS connected to a 55 inch TV is a far better experience than on a PS4 or xbox 1. (and yes I have done this at my house using my shield tablet). Woo and the best part is that I don't have to pay a subscription fee to play online (Grid is a different story though).

granted my opinion.
Or you could - ya know, just plug your PC right into the TV and get a FAR better experience. Lol what online games will you be playing with Grid?
 

Emanuel Elmo

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Mar 21, 2014
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because if I can stream Assassin's Creed Unity from my PC to my shield or my shield tablet at 1080p at 60FPS connected to a 55 inch TV is a far better experience than on a PS4 or xbox 1. (and yes I have done this at my house using my shield tablet). Woo and the best part is that I don't have to pay a subscription fee to play online (Grid is a different story though).

granted my opinion.
Or you could - ya know, just plug your PC right into the TV and get a FAR better experience. Lol what online games will you be playing with Grid?
of course I could. But that isn't the point. I don't like having people in my office and even if I do having people huddling around a 27 inch 1440p IPS monitor does not make sens. So if I want to play any multiplayer games from pc, I can stream those to my big 55 inch monitor where more than 10 people can sit comfortable and game.

But to answer your question about the games on grid. I have already played:

Fear 3
Dirt 3
Batman Origins
Witcher 2
Darksider II
Red Faction armageddon
Devil May cry 4

Granted are these older games? yes, are we going to see any NEW triple AAA titles on Grid, maybe. But I wouldn't hold my breath. But all of those games look stunning never the less and ran very well on my shield tablet.

With Grid you really do nee a fast reliable connection. I only have a 50Mbps pipe. So when stream from Grid I can only get 720p. :(. Which is why I said Grid is a different story ;)
 

Eggz

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I think the assumption was that you'd just move the powerful computer to the living room and have a vanilla machine for office work, or a second powerful computer if you have the money. I have a powerful machine directly hooked to the living room TV, and it's great. It's the only thing hooked to the TV, actually. There's an HD DVR in the computer, all the game power needed, and it can do any workstation task as well. It even allows Steam in-home streaming to other machines, which is pretty cool. Having a capable machine in the living room actually makes things like this Sheild less appealing. That said, the Shield is clearly pretty cool! I think that anyone who wants it should get it.
 

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