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October 2, 2018

Is it still worth buying the NVIDIA Shield TV in 2018?

by John_A

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Best answer: The NVIDIA Shield TV is still the best Android TV box you can buy in 2018. NVIDIA has done a great job offering software updates that continually make the Shield TV better than before, and the 16GB is a great option for any habitual streamer. So yes, it’s absolutely your best bet for an Android TV box in 2018.

  • Amazon: NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Home Edition ($220)
  • Amazon: NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Gaming Edition ($195)

NVIDIA is still King of Android TV

The NVIDIA Shield TV is a full-featured streaming box that runs on the latest Android TV software. That means it has both Google Assistant and Chromecast functionality built right in, along with a host of other great features. All of that makes the Shield a stand out product.

It also offers the best internal specs and features on a TV streaming box and comes packaged with a sleek remote that includes a built-in microphone for use with the Google Assistant. You’re can to plug in a keyboard and mouse or connect Bluetooth devices for both gaming or for more mundane things like entering passwords and searching.

The NVIDIA Shield still offers the best streaming box experience you will find in 2018.

On the software side, the Shield TV has been updated to Android 8.0 and NVIDIA has done a good job of keeping this product line up to date over the past three years. You’ll be able to access the best Android apps developed for the Android TV platform, which includes all the most popular services — YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Spotify and etc. — along with media streaming platforms like Kodi and Plex for those who have their own media collections they want to enjoy. Everything is delivered in an easy-to-use user interface that will offer home screen recommendations based on the services and shows you watch.

If the Shield just did streaming really well as it does, it would still be our top pick — but NVIDIA has also equipped the Shield TV with enough processor power for gaming. Not only can you choose from the growing library of games from the Google Play Store, but NVIDIA also has its own library of popular PC games you can download and play, along with game streaming services that let you cast your favorite games from your PC to your living room TV.

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It’s better to bundle

You can buy the base NVIDIA Shield TV for just $177, which comes with the console and the media remote and that’s it. But really, if you’re interested in getting the most out of the Shield and all that it can do, you’re better off going with the Smart Home or Gaming bundles which include a SmartThings Link dongle or NVIDIA gaming controller respectively.

The SmartThings dongle is a great investment whether you’re set on using Google Assistant or Alexa to control your smart home devices, as the SmartThings hub works well with both AI assistants and supports a growing number of connected smart home devices, so adding all that functionality for an extra $50 is a pretty great deal if you’ve yet to invest in a pricey Zigbee or Z-Wave hub. Alternatively, if gaming is more your thing, consider that the NVIDIA gaming controller alone costs $60, so spending an extra $20 to get it here is a great deal — plus it works just great as a general remote for the Shield, too.

Do you really need the extra storage?

Deciding whether to go with the 16GB NVIDIA Shield TV or to opt for the more expensive NVIDIA Shield TV Pro that comes with a whopping 500GB will ultimately come down to how you consume media in 2018. For those who have a massive collection of movies and TV shows stashed away on an external hard drive, you might want to migrate it all over to the Shield and have it all accessible.

But if you’re the type who relies on Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services for the majority of your home entertainment in 2018, the 16GB version will do just fine.

Bottom line

The NVIDIA Shield TV can be the anchor to not only your living room entertainment, but also the rest of your smart home devices. With Google Assistant now fully integrated into the NVIDIA Shield TV’s software

Our pick

NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Home Edition

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$220 at Amazon

Control your smart home with your Shield.

The latest Shield bundle includes a SmartThings Link that connects via USB to convert your Shield into a Zigbee and Z-Wave smart home hub. This lets you connect and control an ever-growing number of compatible smart devices right from your couch. A great deal that makes the Shield that much more useful.

For Gamers

NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Gaming Edition

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$195 at Amazon

Save a bit and get a gaming controller.

The Smart Home edition is a great option for non-gamers, but if you’re interested in checking out the Shield’s gaming capabilities, you’ll want to get the Gaming Edition which includes the NVIDIA gaming controller and will save you $25.

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