New Nvidia streaming box supports 4K, could give Android TV a lift

The Shield is now shipping in the U.S. and Canada, with prices starting at $199

Nvidia's Shield TV Internet- streaming device with Android TV

Nvidia's Shield TV Internet- streaming device with Android TV

Google's attempts to push Android TV in living rooms have so far failed, but the smart TV platform could get a boost from Nvidia's new Shield TV console, which has features that set it apart from competitors.

The Shield TV box, available now, can stream movies or shows from the Internet, and games from Nvidia's online service. The "flagship of Android TV devices," as Nvidia has termed it, attaches to a TV's HDMI port.

Shield has some advantages over rival Internet-streaming devices from Apple, Amazon or Roku. It is the first TV box that can stream 4K video from Netflix, and it supports Google Voice to seek out TV shows or movies from many online video services. The Google Voice Search feature on Android TV already supports Internet search.

A Shield with 16GB of storage is priced at $199, while a $299 model will have 500GB of storage.

It is now available in the U.S. and Canada through online stores like Google Play and in retail stores later this year. Nvidia didn't share details about worldwide availability.

The product is shipping just when Google is expected to shed light on the future of Android TV at its Google I/O show. The Android TV platform, which is based on Android 5.0, was launched last year is designed to run in TVs and set-top boxes. Sony's Android TVs went on sale this month, and Sharp is holding an event next month to share more details about its products.

Android TV is an upgrade to Google TV, which was spiked after a short run between 2010 and 2013 after poor sales caused vendors like Sony, Logitech and Vizio to remove set-top boxes from their offerings.

Nvidia officials said Shield will help Android TV win the battle for the living room with support for 4K and over-the-air content.

The Shield's tiled user interface is broken down into multiple sections featuring movie listings, TV shows, games and Android applications.

A gaming controller that ships with Shield doubles as a remote control, but it is designed more for gaming than for typing or navigating the user interface. Voice search is perhaps the best way to find movies, shows or channels based on topic, category, actor, genre and other parameters. Nvidia will sell a plain remote control separately.

Nvidia isn't offering TV packages like Sony is with PlayStation Vue, and instead relying on streaming services like Dish Network's Sling TV to deliver popular channels like HBO and ESPN. Video stored on local PCs or network-attached storage drives can be viewed through an application called Plex. Google's Chromecast has been built in, providing options to play video from mobile devices and PCs on TVs.

It is also possible to watch movies through external storage drives, which can be attached to Shield via two USB 3.0 ports. Shield has hardware decoding for 4K video files based on ITU's HEVC and Google's VP9 codecs.

The box can stream games at a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution, which is good for shooting, role-playing and casual games. It's not yet advanced enough to compete with an Xbox One or PlayStation, though the box has the graphics processors to support for high-end gaming. Nvidia could make it a full-fledged PC or gaming system, but the company initially is opting to make it a TV and gaming box. Initially, more than 100 free and paid cloud-based games will be available for Shield.

The Shield has a Tegra X1 processor, 3GB of RAM, a micro-SD slot, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hardware systemsconsumer electronicsnvidia

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?