The Nvidia Shield TV has always been something of an odd duck in The streaming-player audience. The first-gen model had a clever idea — half game console, half streaming box but a clumsy design. The second-gen model adjusted a good deal of the lingering problems, but still cost an awful lot of money (around $300) in a market where 4K HDR streamers usually go for $50.
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Together with the new Nvidia Shield TV ($150), the company is trying Something a bit different. And, after having spent a while with the newest gadget, I can attest that a modest different equals a ton better. Once you accept the Shield TV’s strange design (let’s not mince wordsIt’s an oversized cigarette lighter), it can do a lot.
Not only can you stream top-notch PC games from your own Collection; you can also appreciate fast-loading 4K HDR content and ambitious AI upscaling for 1080p video. Then there is the Android TV OS, which provides thousands of apps, in addition to smart-home and digital-assistant compatibility.
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When I first saw that the Shield TV, I anticipated that I’d hate how It looked once I got it all home. Rather than a small box or dongle shape, the Shield TV is an odd black cylinder, which rests horizontally somewhere below your TV. On one end, there’s a power interface and an Ethernet port; around the flip side, there’s a microSD card slot, an HDMI port and a hard reset button. (You probably won’t have to use this button, however it is excellent to have.)
Once I got the device setup, however , I thought it seemed rather cool. Because it has wires coming from the two ends, it resembles nothing so much as an oversized cable- management tube — and such a tube certainly does not look out of place beneath a TV. It’s also heavy and durable enough that the myriad wires won’t budge it up and make it dangle.
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Like Previous models, the 2019 Shield TV runs over the Android TV OS. When you haven’t checked out Android OS lately, though, it’s well worth pointing out that the interface is a great deal easier than it used to be. While doing so is a little awkward, you can personalize your home display to place the content that you want front and center, and get rid of the content that doesn’t interest you.
In case you haven’t used it previously, Android TV organizes content Into rows. The very first row you will see will be all of your favorite apps. Under that, there could be a whole row dedicated to Netflix, and the displays you are watching on that platform. Beneath that, you might find exactly the same thing for either YouTube, or even games, and so forth. It is quite intuitive, and places very little distance between you and what you want to access.
Historically, I’ve complained about the Google Play Store on Android TV, that is a bit abstruse, and does not do a Great job of organizing Content into browsable categories. But a recent update has made it a lot Easier to find what you’re looking for — and, failing that, you can always simply Perform a text or voice search. It is not as robust as something such as the Roku Search, or as heavy as the Apple TV search, however I didn’t have any trouble Discovering apps that I was trying to find.
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