Why Is Nvidia SHIELD The Best Streaming Box?

Why Is Nvidia SHIELD TV The Best Streaming Box?

We compare the Nvidia SHIELD TV against the Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku

Why the Nvidia Shield TV is the Best Streaming TV Box

These media streamers from Nvidia, Amazon, Apple and Roku are all extremely popular but we can only have one winner and here is what makes the SHIELD TV better than the rest.

Cord-cutters looking for a media streamer want one that buffers the least, has great picture/sound quality, and an easy to use interface.

We now have some excellent media streamers available from the big four. While each company's streaming TV player offers some uniques features, there can only be one winner for the title of Best Streaming Box.

Here is why the Nvidia SHIELD TV is one of the best media streamers you can buy today

We do love our Roku Ultra, yet when you compare all that the Nvidia SHIELD TV offers, it is pretty hard to beat.

Android TV OS

Unlike many of the other cheap Android TV boxes that are available today with the exception of the Mi box which mostly all use the Android Phone OS. The Nvidia SHIELD TV uses a special Leanback version Android TV OS. It was designed to be used from the couch using a remote control. The Android Phone OS was designed to used with touch inputs on smart phones.

One thing you will notice right off when using a typical low cost Android TV box is how clunky the interface is. You really can't fully use it with the included remotes which barely work at all. In many cases, you need to switch between the remote and a Bluetooth mouse, or a Bluetooth Mini Keyboard Remote + Touchpad to navigate on these devices.

On the SHIELD, most all your favorite apps can be controlled right from the included wireless remote control which works really well and the screen launcher is nice and big so your apps can be easily opened and navigated from across the room.

Overall Performance

The Nvidia SHIELD with its Tegra X1 is still one of the top performing media streamer available today. It was also designed to be a gaming system after all and while it can't compete with a PS4 Pro, for casual gaming it is far superior from anything offered by Amazon or Roku. The new Apple TV 4K is the only other media streamer that contains a high-performance processor that can now match the same performance level as the SHIELD.

The SHIELD TV offers the fastest user interface that is silky smooth, and better sound quality than you will find on the Roku Ultra or Fire TV. More and more we find ourselves navigating to the SHIELD to watch Amazon or Netflix because not only does the picture look a little sharper, the sound seems clearer as well.

how the Nvidia SHIELD compares to Roku

Access to Everything

Another reason we love the SHIELD TV is it has access to all the best legal streaming apps which include Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Kodi, Vudu and, Plex. Kodi won't run on Roku, and while they can be side-loaded on Fire TV and also on Apple TV. With the SHIELD you can download Kodi right from Google Play.

Fire TV limits what you can use by making you side load 3rd party apps which may have been banned from Google Play. These same apps can also easily be installed on the SHIELD with very little effort. You also can no longer watch the YouTube app on Fire TV due to a tiff between Amazon and Google.

Lately, Roku has been removing many once popular channels like iStreamItAll, cCloud and more from their platform. These can all still easily be used on the SHIELD along with many more Android apps which are made especially for playing TV streams that are found on the Internet.

While Roku is still one of the best media streamers for watching porn, you can now also easily watch porn on Android as well.

Chromecast Already Included

If you are a fan of casting your content from a phone or tablet. There is none better for this than Chromecast. With the Nvidia SHIELD, this is already included so no separate app or dongle is needed.

Casting gives you access to content from websites which may have movies or TV shows, although with all the great TV apps available on Android. This may not really be needed all that much anymore.


ProcessorNVIDIA® Tegra® X1 processor with a 256-core GPU and 3 GB RAM
Video4K HDR ready
Up to 4K HDR playback at 60 FPS (H.265/HEVC)
Up to 4K playback at 60 FPS (VP8, VP9, H.264, MPEG1/2)
Up to 1080p playback at 60 FPS (H.263, MJPEG, MPEG4, WMV9/VC1)
Format/Container support: Xvid/ DivX/ASF/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MPEG-TS/MP4/WEB-M
AudioDolby Atmos (pass-through) and DTS-X surround sound (pass-through) over HDMI
High-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192 kHz over HDMI and USB
High-resolution audio up-sample to 24-bit/192 kHz over USB
Audio support: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WAVE, AMR, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, PCM, WMA, WMA-Pro,
WMA-Lossless, DD+/DTS (pass-through), Dolby Atmos (pass-through), Dolby TrueHD (pass-through), DTS-X, and DTS-HD (pass-through)
Storage16 GB (Note: portion of storage occupied by system software).
NVIDIA recommends these USB 3.0 flash drives for best performance and compatibility on SHIELD TV.
Wireless802.11ac 2x2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.1/BLE
Captive Portal support
InterfaceGigabit Ethernet
HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 and CEC support
Two USB 3.0 (Type A)
SoftwareMany SHIELD software upgrades, supported directly from NVIDIA.
Power40 W power adapter (5-10 W typical consumption)
AccessoriesSHIELD Remote
- Mic for voice search
- IR blaster for TV volume and power control

SHIELD TV Tips and More

Here are some helpful tips that can make owning a SHIELD TV so much better.

SHIELD TV Remote Stops Working - If your Nvidia SHIELD TV ever loses pairing or stops working, this will show you how to quickly get it working again.

Download ARM vs ARM 64 Vs X86 - Next time you are faced with downloading an apk for your SHIELD and can't decide which one to get, this will help you choose.

Nvidia SHIELD Home Automation Guide - Automate your entire home with these great devices which you can control right from your TV.

Live Tuners for SHIELD TV - Using a live TV tuner and an antenna you can watch a nice selection of HD channels. With a live TV tuner and your SHIELD TV, you can even use it as a DVR to skip past commercials or pause and rewind live TV.

SHIELD TV Forums - Here are the best places to get help, tips and learn more about your Nvidia SHIELD TV.

Overall, you would be very happy owning a Nvidia SHIELD. We also still enjoy and use our Roku Ultra so it may not be a bad idea to own both since there is still a lot of great content that can be watched on Roku as well. Having two media streamers gives you a ton more options and lets you access a lot more content than by only owning one.

The best part is, you can kiss your cable TV provider goodbye once and for all and the money you saved in a year would easily pay for both streamers and a subscription to a favorite streaming TV service of your choice.

Why the Nvidia SHIELD TV is the Best Streaming TV Box

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