TV Box

NVIDIA Announces SHIELD, Android TV Box powered by Tegra X1

NVIDIA announces another SHIELD device. This one is just called SHIELD, though, and it’s an Android TV Box. NVIDIA has added its own twist on Android TV, just like it does with regular Android. The new NVIDIA SHIELD has support for native 4K 60Hz video signals and NVIDIA GRID game streaming technology.nvidia shield android tv boxAt the heart of the SHIELD TV Box is a Tegra X1 ARM system-on-a-chip (SoC) with a 256-core Maxwell GPU. With a constant supply of power from the wall that chip will probably scream, but not audibly. NVIDIA promises the device will be whisper quiet. It will do all the standard Android TV things like streaming video and running simple games, but the X1 can do a lot more.

shield tv box with tegra 1NVIDIA SHIELD TV Box specifications:

  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor with 256-core Maxwell GPU with 3GB RAM
  • Video Features: 4K Ultra-HD Ready with 4K playback and capture up to 60 fps (VP9, H265, H264)
  • Audio Features: 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound pass through over HDMI, High-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192kHz over HDMI and USB, High-resolution audio upsample to 24-bit/192hHz over USB
  • Storage: 16GB, MicroSD slot (supports 128GB cards)
  • Wireless: 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth: 4.1/BLE
  • Interfaces: Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, Two USB 3.0 (Type A), Micro-USB 2.0
  • IR Receiver (compatible with Logitech Harmony)
  • Gaming Features NVIDIA GRID streaming service, NVIDIA GameStream
  • Weight: 23oz / 654g
  • Height: 5.1in / 130mm
  • Width: 8.3in / 210mm
  • Depth: 1.0in / 25mm

The SHIELD comes with a small remote with a dedicated voice search button, which NVIDIA’s CEO insists will provide hours of fun. He’s easily amused, maybe.

shield controllerOn the gaming control side, the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Box will work with the existing SHIELD controller. NVIDIA plans to curate top Android games in the SHIELD Store, and there are going to be versions of the new Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Crysis 3, Doom 3 BFG Edition for SHIELD. These are just the local games, though. There are also games in the cloud.

shield tv boxAs for GRID, this is really the culmination of what NVIDIA has been doing with its game streaming technology. It’s all well and good to stream PC games to a tablet, but getting them on a TV is what you really want. It will support 1080p streaming at 60 fps on sufficiently fast connections. The current GRID service only does up to 720p 30fps. NVIDIA says latency at 1080p is about 150ms.

nvidia shield tv boxGRID will come in two subscription flavorsbasic (720p) and premium (1080p). The subscription comes with a library of games, but you then purchase the top-tier AAA titles. NVIDIA is promising simultaneous AAA game releases with consoles/PC, except you’ll be able to play them within a minute on SHIELD via GRID. We’re checking on pricing.

The NVIDIA SHIELD TV Box will be out in May for $199. That bundle will include the SHIELD Controller, which is usually $60 by itself. That’s a good deal if you plan enjoy some games.


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