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Lifewire / Emily Ramirez
Hardware capable of near lagless game streaming
Supports Dolby Vision, Atmos, HDR10
Android TV runs GeForce Now, YouTube, Google App Store
Fantastic 4K upscaling
2 USB ports and 1 ethernet port to mitigate input lag
Extremely expensive at $200
No HDR10+ or Apple TV support
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is mighty expensive at $199.99, but it’s the perfect streaming device for AAA gamers and 4K enthusiasts who demand perfect performance.
Nowadays it seems like we all have a streaming box or smart TV to watch what we want, when we want it. If you’ve often dreamed of streaming your PC games to your TV, let me introduce you to the Nvidia Shield TV Pro. This streaming box packs a Tegra X1+ processor and Dolby Vision to bring GeForce Now and stellar 4K video to your living room almost instantaneously.
Compared to the base Shield TV, the Shield TV Pro has more ports and a more aggressive design. The box is small and flat with some angular detailing and green highlights, making it a great centerpiece of a home theater console. If you’re not as privy to its gamer-aesthetic, then it’s small enough that it will fit in many nooks and crannies, measuring only 1.02 x 6.26 x 3.86 inches (HWD).
On the back of the box, there’s two USB 3.0 ports and an Ethernet port for the fastest connection to your internet and to your peripherals. The non-Pro version lacks these ports, meaning that you’ll need a Bluetooth gaming controller if you plan to use GeForce Now with it.
The remote for both versions of Shield TV is the same: a small triangular stick that looks a bit like a Toblerone bar. Despite its odd shape, it’s rather comfortable in the hand and it has a good balance of features. It has buttons for the things you’d expect, like volume and playback, and it has a button for Netflix. The remote’s best feature is its backlighting, which activates automatically every time you pick up the remote.
Setting up the Shield TV Pro is pretty standard. It runs on Android TV, so if you’ve ever owned another device in that family of streaming services, then you should have no trouble here. Once you’ve plugged your Shield TV into your output, you just have to power it on and follow the on-screen instructions.
This streaming box packs a Tegra X1+ processor and Dolby Vision to bring GeForce Now and stellar 4K video to your living room almost instantaneously.
After the basic setup of signing into Google, Netflix, and your other services, you can customize the home screen to show your favorite apps. It’s a well-implemented feature, and the home screen manages to look clean. If you want to pair any controllers to your Shield TV Pro, it’s simple to do via Bluetooth or over USB.
It’s no secret that the Shield TV Pro has some of the best hardware in the streaming device space. Inside the little box, Nvidia’s managed to pack in a Tegra X1+ processor, 3GB RAM, and 16GB of storage. With this much power, the Shield TV Pro blazes past the Roku Ultra and the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Even the regular Shield TV packs more power than most users will ever need.
The Tegra X1+ is specced to handle not just 4K video streaming, but also videogame streaming via GeForce Now. If you don’t plan to play games on the Shield TV, you may be better off with a cheaper streaming device. If you must have the fastest streaming device, know that the Shield TV has almost no buffer time for 4K HDR video or for gaming. Rewatching Amazon’s excellent series The Expanse in 4K was a delight, as was winding through the roads of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
If you have content you want to watch that isn’t in 4K, know that the Shield TV also has an amazing upscaler. Its AI can take 1080p content and turn it into a vibrant, 4K image that looks native. Meanwhile, if you do have access to 4K content, the Shield TV can take full advantage of it, thanks to its compatibility with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR 10. However, it does not support HDR10+, so if you have more of that content, you may want to take a closer look at Amazon’s Fire TV lineup.
The Shield TV Pro also has voice control via Google’s voice assistant, and it works as well as what you’ll find on any other Android device. For comparison, it works as well as Alexa at recognizing your commands. That said, there is also Alexa support for the Shield TV Pro, so use whichever you prefer.
On top of the Shield TV Pro’s blazing-fast performance, it also has a bevy of content that’s easy to access. Because it runs on Android TV, you have access to most of the major streaming platforms, YouTube, and the Google App Store. The most glaring omission in its library is Apple TV, which both Fire TV and Roku support. In return, Shield TV supports GeForce Now and Google Stadia, two major game streaming platforms.
We’ve already mentioned that Shield TV has Dolby Vision and amazing 4K upscaling. It’s the only major streaming device to support Dolby Vision, but it doesn’t support HDR10+, so make sure you can run Dolby Vision.
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is an impressive streaming box that offers a gorgeous 4K image, a seamless AAA gaming experience, and a platform-agnostic user interface.
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is a fast, fully featured streaming box, but that performance comes at a steep retail price of $200. If you really want to play AAA games in your living room, it’s not as expensive as buying a dedicated gaming console or PC, but GeForce Now may not support your favorite games as its library is getting smaller by the day. If you don’t need games, you can get a Shield TV (not Pro) for $130 and enjoy some amazing 4K film.
If you’re a dedicated gamer, the Shield TV Pro is really your only streaming option short of getting a console or PC. However, if you’re only after a stunning 4K video, then you have a lot more options.
Both Amazon Fire TV and Roku have some great 4K streaming boxes with all the same video content you’d find on the Shield TV. Fire TV has HDR10+, and neither of the two options offers Dolby Vision, but the picture is still gorgeous enough for most consumers—especially when you can grab a Roku Ultra for $100 (see on Amazon), a Fire TV Cube for $120 (see on Amazon), and a Fire TV 4K stick for $50 (see on Amazon).
You’ll get the same libraries and almost all the same features on any of the major streaming boxes. Roku has the best interface and search bar, which filters by price rather than by app, while Amazon has the best Alexa integration.
The perfect streaming device for gamers.
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is an impressive streaming box that offers a gorgeous 4K image, a seamless AAA gaming experience, and a platform-agnostic user interface. However, all these luxe features come at $200, putting the Nvidia Shield TV Pro above its competition in price as well as performance. The extra cost over the regular Shield TV, Roku or Fire TV device are only worth it if you’re yearning for the Shield TV Pro’s GeForce Now support.