With so many TV boxes now available to choose from, picking the right TV box for you can be an extremely daunting task. From understanding how the box may look aesthetically in your living room, to more importantly, wondering which function your box might have that others may not. As a user myself I know that everyone wishes to maximise their utility from their box, and personally there is one thing I would say – just stay away from Apple TV completely due to its limited functionality and the fact the system is locked down (but if you’re on this page then you’re already heading in the right direction).
I previously used the Xiaomi Mi Box for 3 years which was a fabulous device, however after an update I began having a few issues, and so I decided to treat myself (yes, I do a lot of online shopping…), and got myself the new tubular Nvidia Shield TV (shown below). I love my Nvidia shield, and I mainly use it for IPTV streaming, Netflix and just general media consumption, since I am not an avid gamer (when I do game I prefer a dedicated console, but you guys could convince me otherwise…).
Anyways on to the review, where I will discuss the design of the Nvidia Shield TV, then I will discuss the speed and integration of the system, before finally discussing how easy it is to use the device.
Now I have to fully admit that the design of the new Nvidia Shield is rather remarkable, once you actually plug it in. What I mean by this is that originally you may be perplexed to get an Android TV ‘Box’, that is in fact not a box but rather a tube. Once you overcome this initial shock and plug the device in you will pleasantly be surprised when you realise that this box is actually somewhat of a masterpiece. The tube hovers behind the TV, almost as if it is built into the cable, and thus you can barely even see it. There is no need for the box to be in sight either, as the remote operates via bluetooth – instead of the ancient ‘IR’.
The device also keeps the input and output extremely simple, as the actual device only has 4 ports. These ports include a Micro-SD card slot for expandable storage, a HDMI port, an ethernet port and a power port. Personally I am a huge fan of this as it makes it plugging the device in far easier. In many cases all you need to plug in is the power cable and the HDMI cable.
USABILITY AND SPEED
This is where a device like the Nvidia Shield TV truly excels as the device is built to handle gaming too, so the media functionalities are incredibly fast. The device runs on Android TV OS which is the best operating system to run on a TV box I believe, as the ability to download external apps and have access to the Google Play Store, allows for a plethora of opportunities. The layout is easy to follow allowing you to customise your home screen with different channels, such as Netflix Recommended or Youtube (seen in the below screenshot) that make it easy for you to start watching something almost immediately. The speed at which you can be watching something is made even quicker by the interaction of the box and the TV. As soon as you pick up the remote and press a button, the TV turns on too and automatically goes to the correct source (e.g. HDMI 1), that way you only need one remote to start watching instead of having the hassle of finding multiple remotes.
Not only that, but the Nvidia Shield also has one incredibly good feature in the new model. It is called AI upscaling. This probably sounds quite confusing to may people so I will explain what it is. Basically Nvidia developed an algorithm that takes existing 720p or 1080p videos and effectively turns them into ‘4K video’, by guessing what the other pixels would have contained. This makes the quality of TV shows look substantially better and you can actually see this below. It’s hard to explain until you see it, but trust me you will notice this.
Below I have also included another example of this in action:
This is possible due to the sheer power of the Tegra X1+ processor found inside the Nvidia Shield.
The remote is substantially better than previous models from my experience. At first I was wary of the strange triangular shape of the remote, but actually it is much easier to hold in the hand and much easier to find if it falls down the sofa cracks… It has far more buttons than the old remote too as it has volume buttons, play and pause controls, general media controls and…… a dedicated NETFLIX button. This button is actually one of the most used buttons on this remote as it just automatically launches Netflix and I can be back watching my favourite show quicker than ever. In reality however I only use the d-pad, the back button, the power button and the Netflix button, so sometimes I wonder if having a few less buttons could be better – but I am just being picky. One thing I also do have to mention is for some weird reason the volume buttons don’t actually change the TV volume and I have been needing to change the TV volume with the actual TV remote (unlike on my old Xiaomi Mi Box). The new remote is a breath of fresh air compared to other remotes, so I would recommend getting a newer model for the remote if you do not already have an Nvidia Shield TV.
If you have the money and need to buy a new TV Box I would definitely recommend the Nvidia Shield TV 2019. The device is a brilliantly powerful device that will allow you to enjoy the one thing that you need to enjoy – THE CONTENT. The Nvidia Shield TV will not cause you any problems and will easily cater the majority of your needs. This box is perfect for the average consumer due to the ease of use of the device, it is not complex unless you wish to play with the settings and extra developer options. If interested in the product see here.
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