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Review New 2019 Nvidia Shield TV Standard edition (non-pro)


hey everybody if flan Seidman and we’re taking a look today at the new Nvidia shield TV they have adopted a very odd shape for it but inside it’s really more of the same although the same in this case is good this has long been one of my favorite TV streaming boxes and this new one performs where the others have performed we’re going to take a look at some of the new things that you can do with this device in just a second and we’re also going to compare it to the Nvidia shield Pro which was also just refreshed so you can figure out which one you need to get to keep your home theater humming now I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that I paid for this with my own funds all of the opinions you’re about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review nor is anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this new device is all about so let’s take a closer look now at the hardware the price point on this one is 149 the pro edition is 199 you get the cylinder which is the actual device itself a power cable and the

remote control but no HDMI cable with this one so you’ll need to make sure you get one of those and put it in your shopping cart before you checkout and before we get it further with this I think it’s important to know who this is for if you’re someone who’s just streaming things from Netflix or Amazon Prime video or something this is overkill it’s a very powerful device that’s designed for high-end home theater applications so what I do here in the house as I store my 4k blu-ray movies as huge files on a network drive and I can stream those movies to any TV in the house and these devices are capable of keeping up with that and decoding the movie properly for my home theater receiver and my television the one from 2015 does that just as well incidentally but that’s one of the uses for this now because this has one of the fastest processors in the industry at least for a TV box it’s used quite a bit for gaming Nvidia envisioned this as a game console itself when they first released it in 2015 but the market wasn’t there for that but it was there for some of these higher-end enthusiast activities and that’s where Nvidia really focused their effort and one of the things that gamers are doing with these devices is playing old video games through emulation it will do all of these 70s 80s and 90s stuff exceptionally well but it also does quite well with some of the more demanding emulation tasks out there like the Nintendo 64 the Sega Dreamcast the Sony PSP and it’s also doing somewhat okay with the dolphin GameCube emulator unfortunately I could not get the emulator to install on this iteration at the time I’m recording this video we’ll talk more about that in the emulation section but overall this is a

great device to tinker with if you’re into retro game emulation but you won’t really find a lot of games on the Google Play Store that take full advantage of what this offers what NVIDIA has shifted to is game streaming as the primary gaming activity of the box so you can connect this up to their GeForce now service which we’ll cover in a few minutes it will also allow you to stream games within your home from an Nvidia equipped desktop PC which I do quite often with these things so if you’re doing all of that kind of high-end enthusiast stuff you’re gonna love this but if you’re not you don’t need it so save your money and get something that cost less now the hardware is really unique again it kind of reminds me of a rolling pin but they’ve smartly designed this thing both for cooling and perhaps for Wi-Fi connectivity so your power cable goes in here and there’s no power brick it is just a cable you plug it in here and then attach it to the wall beneath it is a Gigabit Ethernet jack and that’s really important for all of the streaming stuff that you’ll do both within your home but also from those game streaming services that Nvidia is offering because it’s really important to get the best connection possible and you’re not going to get that connection without Ethernet it does support Wi-Fi of course it supports

wireless AC so if you have a good Wi-Fi connection in the room that you’re operating in this should work fine you can move it a little bit of a ways away from your TV if you’ve got a long enough cable and it’s got very good Wi-Fi connectivity just by the nature of its design here so you could stick it on the for some we’re at a site and find the best place that we’ll get the best Wi-Fi connectivity on the other side here you’ve got a button this button will ping the remote control if you happen to lose it you have your HDMI output below that button and then beneath the HDMI is a micro SD card slot so you can augment it’s very limited storage with an extra card for storing media maybe some game roms or something like that you’ll note though that this does not have a USB connector on it and that’s one of the things that differentiates this device from the Pro Edition that costs $50 more another differentiating feature is the onboard storage this one has 8 gigabytes of on-board storage the pro edition has 16 now the pro edition has 3 gigabytes of RAM this one has 2 gigabytes of RAM I think if you are an enthusiast and plan on really pushing the hardware you probably want to go with that extra gig of memory this is probably better perhaps for a secondary TV as a result now both devices the pro and the regular one have a Tegra x1 plus processor from Nvidia inside of it it’s a revision of the original processor that emerged on the 2015 device Nvidia says you’ll see a 25% increase in performance however in benchmarks with this one it’s

performing almost exactly the same as the prior generation Nvidia shield TVs did so I’m eager to get the pro in to see if maybe the pro performs a little better than this one does but at the moment this one seems to be performing at least for the things that enthusiasts do about the same as the original now the big changed on the new Nvidia shields both this one and the pro is that they support Dolby vision HDR they also support the new HDR 10 plus format the older ones don’t but this one and the new pro do and they also added something called AI upscaling which will be exploring a little bit as we get further into the review but my advice for everyone watching is that if you’re thinking about upgrading there’s not a real compelling reason to upgrade here if you’re happy with the shield you have you’re not going to see much formants difference at least with this one and we’ll see how the Pro Edition performs again when we get it in a little bit later in the week I am very fond of the remote control it won’t get lost in the couch cushions anymore because it’s a lot bigger than the very thin old controller that they included with it and the remote is powered now by triple-a batteries the old one was powered by watch batteries so they

should last a little bit longer and are much easier to replace although I found it was a little difficult to get into the battery compartment so hopefully you don’t have to jump in there too often a lot more buttons on this one versus the old one which is very good the remote back lights itself which is also nice you’ve got some real estate here that netflix purchased for their own button you have voice control that you can activate by holding down the microphone button here and talking into the remote it is not going to be always listening and there’s an IR blaster here on the top that will work with your TV to control volume and TV power but of course it also supports HDMI CEC all right let’s boot this thing up now and see what it can do alright so we’re now on the main screen of our Nvidia shield TV and you can see here how the device configures itself it kind of floats around here a bit because there’s no flat surface and no rubber feet to keep it from sliding so you’ll probably want to locate it in a spot where it’s just not going to move all that much and those of you who are into nice and neat cable management will be frustrated by the fact that there’s cables coming out of two ends of the device here the power cable and the HDMI at a minimum and I’ve connected up my Ethernet cable so just be advised you probably will want to hide this with the rest of your wires it does keep itself pretty

cool but you want to keep both ends open so air can flow through it there is a fan inside that is very quiet but needs to run nonetheless apps here load up very quickly as you would expect so Netflix is up right now no problems here getting things to play a little bit earlier I tested out its capabilities in HDR video so I was able to get Dolby vision to work on both Netflix and Amazon Prime video along with Atmos Audio and HDR 10 content also worked properly the device will switch to the right color space depending on what you’re doing with it so all good on that front but unfortunately at the time I’m recording this video HDR video is not supported on YouTube it does support 4k 60 Hertz like all the other shields do but also like the other shields HDR isn’t yet working hopefully at some point they will get it working given that this is a flagship Android TV device but at the moment no HDR for YouTube we also did a bunch of stuff with Plex a little bit earlier because this is what I primarily use my Nvidia shields for when it comes time to watch media on my devices takes a little bit to get it connected to the server initially here as you can see but once you’re in you can start browsing all of your stuff all the things that work on my existing Nvidia shield TV work here so 24 P mode worked properly the full Dolby true HD Atmos worked properly HDR 10 also work so all the things that I was expecting it to do it did it wasn’t any better or worse than the old shield it did them just as well which is a good thing now as many of you know I watch live TV with the HD homerun tuners and their app and everything is

working on the new shield as well as it does on the old shield it doesn’t feel any faster or slower it pulls things up and starts working just as the other one does all my DVR stuff is working as well so I’m really not having any problems here doing the things that I typically do with live televisions so from a performance standpoint again this is really feeling very much like my other shield no better no worse and that is good I should add here that both Plex and silicon dust the makers of the HD homerun or occasional sponsors here on the channel but they are not sponsoring this video now one gripe I do have though is about the lack of private listening on the remote I thought this fancy new remote would have that option that means that you would have a headphone jack that you could plug headphones into so if you wanted to watch TV or play a game without disturbing your partner you can do that I use that feature all the time on one of my televisions and out of the box you won’t have that available to you you will not get it either with a party game controllers so I did hook up this Microsoft Xbox one controller to the Nvidia shield it was fine for gaming but I wasn’t getting any audio out of the headphone jack in order to get this to work you will need to use one of the official Nvidia shield controllers that does have a headphone jack here at the bottom they’re not bundling these in with the shield anymore and I hope they still make them because the private listening feature is a

key one for me and something that I hope they don’t get rid of so if you have an opportunity to get a shield controller get one if for no other reason to get that private audio because at the moment it doesn’t look like it’s working with the third-party controllers it also supports now one feature that is unique to these new shields is something called a I upscaling this feature is on this shield as well as the new Pro Edition but not the old ones and what this will do is if you’re watching a 1080p or 720p video on your 4k television it will attempt to enhance the video in a way that will bring out more detail and make it look better on your 4k TV beyond just a simple upscaling of the resolution it can be subtle and sometimes it can be jarring I haven’t found a real happy medium with it just yet and it really varies based on what content is on screen it will activate itself automatically and you can set the level of detail enhancement you would like it to do in this detail enhancement section and what will happen is is that if the video is compatible you will see things look a little sharper and I found in some circumstances if actually looked pretty good so here’s an example from my youtube channel where you can see some text that was on-screen with the regular upscaling it was kind of blurry but when you apply the upscaler it actually sharpens the text out and makes it more readable even when you’re across the room that was something that I noticed right away I also found that it did some nice subtle enhancements and sharpness to faces it can really kind of zero in on that based on the fact that this is an AI based upscaler and not just something that applies itself across the entire image

so faces look better in some dances I found that it did enhance some of my 1080p blu-rays a bit more than they were looking before but more of a subtle thing nothing too bold I did notice though that in certain scenes things that were supposed to be soft and not so sharp yet super sharp here’s an example from the force awakens where there’s a ship I think it’s kylo Ren ship over a planet and it really brings out a lot of the fine detail of that ship more so I think then the filmmakers intended it to look like in the original cut of the movie it’s really kind of a subjective thing and to be honest with you after playing with it for a little while I switched it off just because it wasn’t doing much for me and it was changing the way some of the films that I liked look because it will try to sharpen things that are intentionally made soft by directors and it’s going to really vary based on what you’re watching I was hoping to get it to work with the HD homerun app for live TV but it was telling me the video output wasn’t compatible I have a feeling that the HD homerun app is pushing video through at 60 Hertz which might be why it wasn’t working here so if they do update the HD homerun app to incorporate the AI upscaling I’ll do a follow up and we’ll see how it looks so for me this wasn’t a groundbreaking feature some of you out there might think it’ll look a lot better and just like some of the other enhancements that we have available to us with our video screens this is something that I think will appeal to some and not appeal to others but the good news is you can tweak it a bit and see if you can find a setting that works for you they also have a really cool demo mode that you saw in some of the b-roll clips that allows you to see the impact of the filter while the video is playing back in real time and that’ll help you decide whether or not it’s something you want to keep running on your television so let’s shift gears now both figuratively and literally to gaming I’ve got PS PPP running here which is a PSP emulator running one of my favourite games and it’s

running great just like it does on the prior editions of the shield we’re getting full speed here out of this game and a few others that I’ve tested or running pretty nicely as well one thing I did not get working though was the dolphin GameCube emulator at the time I’m recording this video it is not itself on this new device I’m guessing it’s because the processor is not being identified properly so once we get an update from them we’ll take a look at it but I think it’ll probably perform about the same as the current Edition shield does and the Nintendo 64 also runs fine on here this can often challenge some of these lower powered Android TV boxes and raspberry PI’s but here it is running just fine so overall I think it’s really about the same as what we experienced on the prior shield just now in a cylindrical form factor now we also ran the 3dmark sling shot benchmark test and there we got a score of five thousand seventy-six and that again aligns with what we saw out of the 2015 shield out of the 2017 refresh as well and altogether I’m not finding any noticeable change in performance here between this one and those which again is why I’m eager to check out the pro to see if that’s where that 25% performance boost can be found because for the stuff I’m running on here it feels exactly the same one thing I wanted to just touch on real quick is the Nvidia games app this has changed quite a bit over the years initially they were pointing you at games that they were having ported over to the shield platform now it is almost

entirely focused on streaming and you can stream games in two different ways one is through the use of GeForce now which is their service that is still in beta and what I love about this GeForce now is that it connects up with your existing Steam account and you can play games that you own on the steam platform but use Nvidia servers to play them it maxes out at 1080p at 60 frames per second if you have a bandwidth cap or data cap on your cable service you’ll want to not use this because it’ll eat it up really quick but it does work exceptionally well we did a video on that a few months back let me boot up The Witcher here real quick so you can see what this is all about it’s going to first of all spin up an instance of my Steam account on a remote Nvidia server and then we can start playing the game over the Internet so here’s the Witcher 3 running over the Internet look better probably than what you’d get on a stock Xbox one or ps4 and I think it performs pretty nicely actually they’ve done a nice job with this service and again it’s free right now while it’s in beta and because it’s running through Steam if I were to save my game here and pick it up on my PC upstairs it’ll drop me right where I last left off in the game so pretty cool stuff again check out my video where you can get more detail as to how it works but I’ve been really pleased with how it has been working and it really is a focus for NVIDIA now moving forward and also built into the

shield is the ability to stream games from your desktop PC somewhere else in the house so upstairs my gaming PC is waiting for me and I can click on a game and run it and one of the cool things is that Nvidia will automatically adjust the settings when you run the game through the shield so if the game supports a 4k TV and you only have a 1080p display on your computer it will actually set it for the 4k television so you can stream some games in 4k in your home it’s really neat it’ll turn on your PC if you have it sleeping so sometimes when I’m downstairs and I just want to boot up a quick game and no man sky or something I can just hit the button and boot the PC up and jump into it so right now we’re looking at my gaming PC upstairs I could stream this over the GeForce now service as well but we’re going to just run it here through my cylinder over my local network so let’s let this load up here and get a look at how the in-home streaming works so here we are streaming a game from my PC upstairs and it looks and plays great on here again the settings got adjusted for my current set up automatically and then when I go back to my gaming PC it’ll be tuned for my display upstairs and it works great I do recommend using Ethernet for this because this does require a very reliable connection to work perfectly but generally it’s been a really good experience and I do this quite a bit again this is not unique to the new shield but something this product does very well and it’s good to see that they are continuing to enhance both the local game streaming and the stuff you’ll do over the Internet so we’re all I’m pleased

that Nvidia is continuing to pay some attention to the shield TV product line this product is one of my favorite products of the last five years partly because they have been keeping them up to date my 2015 shield runs the same version of Android 9.0 as this one everything has been up to date and supported long after that initial purchase and the product has been getting better and better just with those software updates it’s been a great experience over the last couple of years and I was getting worried because I wasn’t hearing from Nvidia as much recently and it wasn’t just because they were keeping this under wraps they didn’t even tell me they were launching this thing which was again very concerning because they used to keep a lot of us youtubers who’ve been fond of this product line very much in the loop and that has not been the case over the last couple of months so I’m hoping that this new product release will also result in a renewed focus on this very unique TV player that is a staple for enthusiasts like me so I’m glad to see them doing that I am NOT crazy though about the cylinder it moves around all over the place it’s hard to find a place to have it stay put if you are very particular about your cable management you’re going to have cables coming out of two ends of the device really not well designed and it lacks the USB ports which I think are really critical for enthusiasts who are

often putting things often on their shield with USB devices so if I had to choose I would spend the extra fifty bucks and get the pro I suspect it’ll perform better than this one we’ll find out later in the week you also get that extra gigabyte of RAM and it just has a more traditional set-top box feel versus this one I would probably be more enthusiastic about the cylinder here if it cost $99 versus its $149 price tag right now because I think as enthusiasts we’re giving up a lot to save 50 bucks here and it doesn’t feel like it’s worth it to me so go with the pro unfortunately you’re probably going to have to get a controller or something to get the private audio if that’s important to you but it’s good to see Nvidia is still focused on this product line and again we’ll be taking a closer look at the pro when I get it a little bit later in the week until next time this is line Simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the line be supporters including gold-level supporters the four guys with Porter’s podcast Chris allegretto Tom Albrecht Brian Parker Kelly Ann Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to LAN TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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