NVIDIA despatched us the SHIELD Android TV Professional a number of weeks in the past for evaluation. It’s the model’s $200 flagship Android TV field, and I’m certain you’re questioning, why would you pay that a lot for an Android TV field when there are such a lot of cheaper options?
For starters, it has been found that a lot of these low cost packing containers are operating malware. That’s why it’s essential to purchase an Android TV field from a good model akin to NVIDIA or Google. So, why spend $200 when the Chromecast with Google TV may be had for a lot much less? I’ll be masking that and extra on this evaluation.
A few years in the past I reviewed the Chromecast with Google TV right here on the website, and whereas I favored Google’s Android TV field, I discovered I outgrew it over time.
One of many greatest complaints amongst customers is the dearth of cupboard space. This can be very straightforward to overwhelm Google’s streaming field with apps as a result of restricted cupboard space.
I’ve personally needed to take away and reinstall apps as I shuffle via streaming companies and it’s a tedious routine that nobody ought to should endure.
The NVIDIA SHIELD TV Professional comes with double the cupboard space of the Chromecast with Google TV and a further gigabyte of RAM. This gives you with higher efficiency and loads of area to load it up with streaming apps.
Moreover, there are two USB Sort-A 3.0 ports making it fast and straightforward so as to add extra storage and a devoted Ethernet port. If you happen to’re a fan of native media, then that is excellent for operating Kodi or Plex.
Talking of Plex, the SHIELD TV Professional is able to operating a Plex server. Now not will you have to maintain a PC up and operating simply to entry your Plex recordsdata in your TV or different units. All of this makes the SHIELD TV Professional a game-changer for followers of Plex.
Relating to updates, it’s price noting that NVIDIA has monitor report. The SHIELD TV Professional was launched in 2019 and it’s at the moment operating Android TV 11. That places it one model behind the Chromecast with Google TV, and whereas there’s no phrase on when or if model 12 is coming to the SHIELD TV Professional, NVIDIA has been recognized to skip a model like when it went straight from 9 to 11.
Thankfully, all of the apps I attempted work with out subject and that’s greater than I can say for my ageing Android TV that hasn’t seen an replace in years and now requires an exterior field to run most apps.
One of many SHIELD TV Professional’s standout options is its AI-powered upscaling. I examined this out with a number of totally different movies and apps, and I have to say, there’s a substantial distinction between turning it on and off.
Movies had been clearly sharper and displayed extra readability. It really works nice for enhancing HD content material that you simply personal or stream, but it surely seems to be disabled with most 4K content material as a result of it’s pointless. Photos don’t do it justice, so that you’ll simply should consider me after I say there’s a noticeable distinction when it’s enabled.
Whereas I spent most of my time testing out the SHIELD TV Professional with the Casiris A6 projector I just lately reviewed, I additionally tried it out with my TV to check out Dolby Imaginative and prescient help, and it regarded gorgeous.
With Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Dolby Atmos, you’ll get very good audio and video high quality with streaming sources that help it. Nonetheless, the SHIELD TV lacks HDR10+ compatibility. Fortunately, not many companies use HDR10+, however Amazon Prime is among the huge ones that chooses to make use of HDR10+ over Dolby Imaginative and prescient. It’s essential to know you’ll solely have entry to HDR10 with out the advantages of HDR10+ with the SHIELD TV Professional.
The SHIELD TV Professional comes with probably the most uniquely formed distant I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t certain how it will really feel, however the triangle-shaped distant matches in your hand completely, and there’s a good quantity of heft to it which makes it really feel nice to carry.
I’ve come to get pleasure from utilizing it much more than the distant that comes with the Chromecast with Google TV, which I initially favored, however quickly discovered it far too gentle and slippery. I can not rely the variety of occasions it has fallen off of the armrest or slipped out of my hand. I’ve had no such issues with the distant for the SHIELD TV Professional.
Moreover the ergonomics, the SHIELD TV Professional distant affords backlit buttons and a microphone to be used with Google Assistant. The backlight was a welcomed characteristic for the entire late-night binge-watching, and my solely criticism can be the dearth of a mute button.
There’s additionally an IR blaster constructed into the distant for controlling different units in your media heart, nevertheless, I discovered that the CEC controls labored properly sufficient for my wants. Regardless, it’s nonetheless good to know you may have choices.
The NVIDIA SHIELD TV Professional is a premium Android streaming field that delivers on virtually each entrance. It gives snappy efficiency, loads of cupboard space for all of the streaming apps, expandable storage choices, built-in Plex help, AI-enhanced upscaling, and a distant with a backlight.
The one drawbacks I may discover was the dearth of HDR10+ help and its one model behind on the Android TV software program. These received’t be dealbreakers for a lot of, and so they actually wouldn’t be for me, however these might trouble some given the $200 value level.
Regardless of these minor qualms, the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Professional stands out as one of the crucial feature-rich Android TV streaming packing containers available in the market.