Nvidia Shield Android TV Review

Introduction


The Nvidia Shield TV is here at last, the much-anticipated successor to the already feature packed and exciting line of Android-powered Nvidia gaming devices. The original Shield is a great little hand-held, and we’ve tested it extensively since it was released, pushing the limits of what can be done with it, just check out the links below to see more. Then we have the Shield Tablet, a mini powerhouse of mobile gaming that still dominates the mobile gaming market for Android, in my opinion at least. Now we’ve got the Shield TV, a set-top box packed with some of the latest and greatest Nvidia mobile hardware, promising greater performance than any previous Shield devices, and more than any other competing devices on the market.

 

“NVIDIA SHIELD is an amazing Ultra HD streaming media player, delivering incredible resolution in favorite apps like Netflix 4K and YouTube 4K, YouTube, KODI (XBMC), and PLEX. Vivid 10-bit color and rich Dolby 7.1 surround sound make this a true home theater experience. Or plug your headphones into your SHIELD controller or SHIELD remote for a private listening experience.” said Nvidia

Equipped with the powerful new Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, which features an impressive 256-core GPU and 3GB of RAM, offers up 4K capability, support for a huge range of video and audio formats, 16GB of storage, high-speed networking and so much more; I’m amazed this little box only costs £149.99!

“Explore a world of entertainment, powered by Android TV. Tap into Google Play for a huge, dynamic selection of movies, TV shows, and apps. Say “Oscar-winning movies” or “launch Netflix” and let Google’s advanced voice commands do the work for you. Get personalized recommendations on your home screen. Even cast a show or pictures to your TV from your PC, Android, or iOS device with built-in Google Cast. SHIELD makes it fast and easy.” Said Nvidia

Equipped with a range of cool apps as standard, you’ll also find Shield Hub, Nvidia GRID and more, so there’s no doubt that this is going to be a multimedia powerhouse right out of the box.

The packaging is nice and tidy, with a good image of the Shield on the front, as well as the main spec; such as this being the 16GB model.

Around the back, we can see it’s powered by Android TV, supports voice search, 4K and gaming.

As a nice bonus, we also have the Shield remote, an optional £39.99 accessory.

The remote is super sleek, with a nice mixture of brushed aluminium finishes and a few simple buttons. The microphone button lights up in green when pressed and theirs a microphone at the top for voice controls.

At the base, a small micro-USB recharging port and a 3.5mm jack for headsets/headphones.

And finally, a brushed aluminium back.

It fits nicely in your hand and the control buttons are simple enough, a directional D-pad with a central select button, as well as a back and ok button below that.

Opening up the box, everything is very nicely packaged.

There’s a modular plug for international users, HDMI cable, micro USB cable, Shield controller and a support guide.

Amazon Accidentally Revealed Nvidia Shield Pro

 

On Saturday Amazon accidentally revealed a pro model of the upcoming Nvidia Shield Android TV set-top box by listing the new products page, but they were just as quick to remove it again. But the internet doesn’t forget and users are fast to grab information like this. Once it’s out there, it’s out there.

So it looks like Nvidia is planning to release a Pro model of their Shield Android TV box next to the normal version. The difference between the two models will be limited to a single item and that is the storage capacity. Where the Nvidia Shield will come with just 16GB flash storage and an SD-card slot for those who need more, the Nvidia Shield Pro on the other hand looks to come with 500GB internal storage instead.

The pricing wasn’t listed for either model and neither was the release date, but it should be soon. Earlier it has said to be scheduled for a May or June sale date, so it could be any day now. With Amazon, and probably other resellers too, starting to list the products with both product and packaging photos could also point towards an imminent release.

Customers of the new Shield Android TV set-top box will get both an HDMI and USB cable, shield controller and either the 16GB standard or 500GB Pro Shield Android TV packed with the powerful Tegra X1 processor, 3GB RAM, and 4K capabilities.

Thank you PC Perspective for providing us with this information

Smartenit Combines Android miniPC with Their Automation System

Smartenit isn’t a widely known company yet, but that could very well change in the near future. They have specialized in home automation systems ranging from liquid detection over power monitoring to pool controls. The latest addition to their lineup is the Harmony G1, a first Android Mini PC that also works as a connected home hub.

The Harmony G1 is built with a dual-core ARMv7 running at 1 Ghz, 1GB RAM and 4GB NAND flash. It has a SD card slot and two USB ports for additional connectivity, an HDMI port for the video signal, and a 10/100Mbit Ethernet port as well as built-in WiFi. The supported hub protocols are ZibBee, INSTEON, WiFi/IP and X10.

It comes with plug and play setup through network discovery and the iSmartenit app and will give users access to their full Smartenit ecosystem including controllers from multiple manufacturers using multiple wireless technologies to address solution areas like water, energy, lighting, monitoring, comfort and much more – right from the living room couch.

The use of the Android systems allows this set top box to work like one too, with access to popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora.

Thanks to Smartenit for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Smartenit

Nokia Tease New Project, Looks Like Apple TV

Nokia has been quiet since selling its phone division to Microsoft – which has swiftly removed the Nokia name from its Lumia range – back in April 2014, but it teased the imminent reveal of a new project on its official Twitter account on Monday. The company posted a photo of a nondescript black box, along with the suggestive line, “We’re up to something”:

Nokia’s new hardware looks as though it could be a set-top box, for streaming content to home televisions. In which case, it would be entering a market being hotly contested by the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Roku, Google’s Chromecast dongle, plus the three major consoles, the Wii U, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

The photo suggests that more information will be revealed about Nokia’s mysterious new project on Tuesday, 18th November.

Source: Mashable

Google Rolls Out Android TV, Ready to Compete With Rivals

After months of speculation and rumors, Google publicly announced the Android TV, a custom service that will help provide viewers with recommendations on what you might like to watch.

Users will be able to control Android TV with a remote control, gaming controller, mobile app, human voice, or using a smartwatch powered by Android Wear.  App support from Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and Google-operated apps will be immediately available, as Google recruits other developers to jump on the bandwagon.

Looking ahead to 2015, Android TV will find support high-definition and ultra-high-definition support from Sony, Philips, Sharp, and TP Vision.  Gaming peripheral company Razer and electronics maker ASUS also will jump into the Android TV fun.

There is an ongoing race from Google, Apple, Roku, Amazon.com, and other set-top box manufacturers to control digital content in the living room.

The Google TV, a failed attempt at trying to capture attention in the living room, showed Google that simply bringing apps on smartphones into the living room wouldn’t work.  Learning from its mistakes, Google should be better prepared to make a splash with Android TV, as even more users interact with Android-powered technologies.

Every time someone uses an Android-powered device, it provides Google another opportunity to display advertising.  To help keep costs under control, expect Google to woo app developers to provide support for its new technology.

Thank you to the Wall Street Journal for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Google

New Android TV Interface to Fill Your Screens

It’s been sometime since Google released it’s planet shaped Google TV into the wild back in 2012. Despite not lasting long in the market mainly due to pricing, that hasn’t stopped Google from working hard at something that will take over your living rooms.

The Verge released an exclusive look at the new interface and it’s looking sweet. There is a definite flavor from XBMC’s receipe book but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The biggest change in Google’s approach this time is that instead of trying to make it less computer platform and more entertainment interface. With Google’s strong offerings in voice and notifications baked into the platform behind the scenes. This time around should be  huge game changer in the battle for your living rooms.

Check out the full article at The Verge.

 

Thanks to The Verge for the screenshot and provided information.

Apple To Focus On “Wearable” Devices Rather Than Apple TV

The plans for an Apple TV have been placed “on hold” as the company plans to potentially launch new, wearable electronics, such as the all anticipated “iWatch,” according to a report by Apple Insider.

It is said that the “principle reasons” for the alleged delay is Apple’s apparent inability to obtain “proprietary content not available on other devices.” Such content would give Apple’s platform the ability to stand out from competitors and find success in the cutthroat television set business. The growth of devices like the existing Apple TV set-top box, Roku player and Google’s new Chromecast streamer have also negated the need for a full-fledged “smart TV” for many consumers.

“Indeed, the existing Apple TV box may be an impediment to Apple’s success with a smart TV product, which as a category, is not growing in the U.S. as many had hoped for. Our most recent smart TV forecast is that they will only account for about a quarter of TV shipments in 2013, and grow very slowly from there, with the focus on low-end premium models.”

The rumors about a full-fledged Apple TV have diminished for now while Apple is anticipated to release a so-called “iWatch” within the next year. However, Apple is rumored to have a new hardware for the Apple TV since March 2012 which includes new control methods to enhance the experience.

Thank you Apple Insider for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Beasts