The 2019 NVIDIA SHIELD TV and SHIELD TV Pro are now live
NVIDIA has posted fresh pages to the SHIELD TV area of its website. They cover 2 new products, which in accordance with their various leaks are the 2019 base and Pro models of this streaming-device series. The second of these is the only updated full-scale box on offer for this year. It closely resembles its 2017 predecessor, with its angles and appealing green accents on a black chassis.
The former, on the other hand, has a new-to-SHIELD TV form factor. As indicated by some spoiler images, it is a stick, but looks more like a fancy auto cigarette lighter or mini power bank if truth be told. It supports HDMI (at one end), Ethernet and DC power inputs (at the other). Like its Amazon Fire competition, it is also 4K.
The new NVIDIA SHIELD TV pairs this resolution with HDR 10. It also supports Dolby Vision HDR, and scales 720p or 1080p content up to 4K/30 frames per second (FPS) using AI. Its native playback can run at up to 60 FPS, however, as can the same in non-HDR 4K or FHD.
The new TV dongle also features Dolby Digital-, Dolby Digital Plus- and Dolby Atmos-enhanced sound, with DTS-X for surround over HDMI and high-res playback or up-sampling up to 24-bit/192 kilohertz (kHz) over HDMI and USB.
The 2019 SHIELD TV also has onboard Chromecast 4K and Google Assistant. Being an NVIDIA product, it also supports GeForce NOW for game streaming, as well as "advanced Android gaming" via the Play Store.
This is all powered by the updated Tegra X1+ SoC, complete with its 256-core graphics solution. The Pro variant also integrates all of these things, however. So how does its maker justify its US$199.99 price-tag, whereas the vanilla stick is $50 cheaper?
3GB of RAM, compared to 2GB in the smaller product, appears to be the answer to this (in addition to double the storage). There is also obviously room for more ports on the refreshed box. It adds 2 USB (not type C, unfortunately) inputs; in addition, its Ethernet upgrades to gigabit in this case.
All in all, these new-gen NVIDIA products seem to be shaping up to be compelling streaming options in late 2019. Then again, they ship with Android TV based on Pie (9.0), although an eventual upgrade to 10 may show up via SHIELD Experience.
Both products also come with an updated remote control, which has a Toblerone-like shape, features a mic for voice control and has a dedicated Netflix button. The 2019 SHIELD TV and TV Pro are available from either nvidia.com or Amazon from now.