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Nvidia unveils Shield TV console, new GeForce Now

Nvidia unveils Shield TV console, new GeForce Now

Nvidia's new Shield TV console boasts the latest Android release, the Tegra X1 SoC, and microphones in the controllers for voice recognition.

Nvidia has officially unveiled a new revision of its Android-powered Shield console, now supporting Ultra HD and high dynamic range (HDR) content, alongside the previously leaked GeForce Now game streaming service.

Designed to replace the existing Shield console in the market, Nvidia's new design is distinguished by the inclusion of a 'TV' suffix - a nod, it seems, to the company's desire to push the device as a high-end media streamer as well as a games console. Available, as before, in Shield TV and Shield TV Pro variants, both devices include the same central specs: Its heart is an Nvidia Tegra X1 system-on-chip processor linked to 3GB of RAM, while an HDMI 2.0b port provides connectivity for Ultra HD resolution output at 60 frames per second and with high dynamic range (HDR) support.

Both models also include the same network support - dual-band 802.11ac with 2x2 MIMO support, Bluetooth 4.1, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on the wireless side and gigabit Ethernet for a wired connection - and come with a bundled Shield Controller and Shield Remote. Interestingly, both of these accessories now come complete with an integrated microphone, designed to operate with the embedded voice-recognition system to search for content and control playback. Additionally, the operating system has been updated to Android 7.0 Nougat, featuring Google's official Android TV and Cast functionality - though, oddly, Nvidia's official merchandising guidelines state quite clearly that sellers are not to use the word Android in the product title. The only distinction between the two, bar the packaging: 16GB of storage on the Shield TV and 500GB on the Shield TV Pro.

The new console launches alongside the mainstream release of GeForce Now, Nvidia's cloud-powered game streaming service previously leaked as GeForce PC in the cloud. As the original name suggests, GeForce Now allows users to stream game content rendered on powerful cloud servers to their far weedier local machine. Unlike rival services, however, GeForce Now allows users to take near-complete control of the pseudo-rig on the other end of the network and install their own games from services including but not limited to Steam, Origin, Uplay, and GOG.

More information on the refreshed GeForce Now service is available from the official website, while the Shield TV and Shield TV Pro are due to launch on January 16th and January 30th respectively, with pre-orders available now from Nvidia's website priced at £189.99 and £279.99 respectively.

11 Comments

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Stelph 5th January 2017, 13:52 Quote
Interesting one this – it’s nice to see a new shield device but strange that it is basically a rebrand of the old shield console and still has the X1 rather than a newer chip – I wonder if it’s because of the the Nintendo Switch so they are trying to avoid focusing too much on the gaming side/overshadowing their new partners game console before its even launched?

On the updated Geforce Now I think it’s a great move, I never liked the old model since you had to pay for a subscription to get access to a limited number of games then pay overly inflated prices to access new games when they were released by Nvidia – never an ideal situation when you have steam sales to content with. The new version of Geforce Now sounds very much like www.liquidsky.tv – basically you have a whole PC in the cloud and install games etc exactly as you would with a normal PC meaning you can buy games in the steam sale etc and just install them in your Cloud PC – Great idea tho it’s a little fiddly in practice (try controlling a PC, launching steam etc with just a controller) so hopefully Nvidia have some ideas on improving the UI for controllers – Plus the fact that liquidsky is currently significantly cheaper doesn’t help……

I wonder if Nvidia Now will come to the switch? I doubt Nintendo would want to support an alternative game platform but it would make the switch even more desirable if it could run PC games in that way from the cloud and would sort Nintendo’s usual dismissal by third party developers
Mister_Tad 5th January 2017, 14:13 Quote
So there's no difference between the existing Shield TV hardware, and it's just the fact is comes bundled the remote this time, and a new controller, and Nougat that make this "new"?

Both good things, and not necessarily a negative, since I couldn't think how the existing one could be improved anyway. I'm just glad I bought one when I did and didn't wait out for the "new" one. Hopefully it's not long until the new OS lands on the "old" version. I'd welcome what looks to be native Amazon support for certain.

EDIT: Now I look, there seems to be conflicting reports about what's actually new/changed. One says it's the same internals in a smaller (though identical looking) case, another says it's faster internals and yet another says the same bit of kit... hmm.
Gareth Halfacree 5th January 2017, 14:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
So there's no difference between the existing Shield TV hardware, and it's just the fact is comes bundled the remote this time, and a new controller, and Nougat that make this "new"?
Old one didn't do HDR, did it?
Vault-Tec 5th January 2017, 14:27 Quote
Yeah this one is supposedly OK for streaming 4k so you can pay $25 a month for twenty hours of streaming.
Mister_Tad 5th January 2017, 14:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Old one didn't do HDR, did it?

Don't see why not - the hardware should at any rate, so I expect the latest OS landing will bring it up to speed with the new one. I'm inclined to think it's making up Nvidia's headline because HDR is just the latest toy everyone has to have.

EDIT: Perhaps not, I thought the original one was HDMI 2.0a, but think it might just be HDMI 2.0 - again, some conflicting reports.

Comparing photos with remotes/controllers for context, it's definitely smaller than the old one.

EDIT (again): Nope, looks like the old one supports HDR already...
Quote:
SHIELD supports the HDR10 open standard, which allows TVs to support twice the number of visible colors—over one billion! Colors appear more vibrant and true to life and the picture has fewer noticeable gradients between shades of colors. HDR10 also supports much higher brightness levels (1000 nits) and more contrast (greater than 10,000:1).
Gareth Halfacree 5th January 2017, 14:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
EDIT (again): Nope, looks like the old one supports HDR already...
Well that's daft, given that OMGHDRONEELEVEN was a big string in the announcement from Nvidia...
Mister_Tad 5th January 2017, 16:12 Quote
Yeah, but then OMGCONTROLLERWITHAMICROHPONEANDALITTLEBITSMALLERPLUSSOFTWAREUPDATETHATTHEOLDONEWILLGETANYWAY doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
mi1ez 5th January 2017, 21:09 Quote
I feel sorry for anyone who buys a 16GB Android device in 2017...
wuyanxu 6th January 2017, 09:07 Quote
I too have the old one and it is used mainly as Plex Media Server secondly as smart TV. So personally, I'm happy to see no internal changes. Meaning my Plex server is still as fast as it'll ever get on always-on low-power budget.

The 16GB version is perfectly fine for Android TV. I still have 8GB free at the moment, I don't have too many app installed; because frankly, the TV UI are still shockingly bad in most apps. I use mine as Chromecast destination. For a console with multi-gigabyte games, I can see it fill up quickly.

I do really like the new controller though, the old controller is too chunky and unwieldy, hard to pick-up due to the large centre section. The silver triangle in the middle serves zero purpose.


The update that enabled Plex server also had blurb about HDR, so I am pretty sure the old one also has it.

With the same internals, there's no reason why the update can't come to "old" SHIELD. We'll have to see what sort of company NVidia is. Whether they are a Sony in terms of firmware updates, or Apple.
Mister_Tad 6th January 2017, 10:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu

I do really like the new controller though, the old controller is too chunky and unwieldy, hard to pick-up due to the large centre section. The silver triangle in the middle serves zero purpose.

Do you have the occasional issue where yours just forgets about the controller, and it has to be re-added? I use mine with a harmony remote 99% of the time, and it seems every time I reach for the controller it's lost it.
Quote:

The update that enabled Plex server also had blurb about HDR, so I am pretty sure the old one also has it.

Yep, it does. There are various threads I've come across in researching the matter on the Nvidia forums that confirm HDR 4K on the v1 shield, even before the new one was announced. Like "help I can't get HDR 4k to work on the shield" "ok thanks guys, all sorted now".
Quote:

With the same internals, there's no reason why the update can't come to "old" SHIELD. We'll have to see what sort of company NVidia is. Whether they are a Sony in terms of firmware updates, or Apple.

(unconfirmed) Forum chatter seems to suggest that the update will land at the same time as the new one starts shipping, which would be nice.
wuyanxu 6th January 2017, 10:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
Do you have the occasional issue where yours just forgets about the controller, and it has to be re-added? I use mine with a harmony remote 99% of the time, and it seems every time I reach for the controller it's lost it.

(unconfirmed) Forum chatter seems to suggest that the update will land at the same time as the new one starts shipping, which would be nice.

I too use Harmony remote/smartphone 99% of the time, never had problems with loosing connection with controller. I only really use controller when configuring stuff (lots of key presses) or when I want to do voice search. But most of the time I just chromecast when searching is involved.

Good to know on the firmware update, thanks! NVidia had been excellent in providing firmware updates and files, up to this point. But with V2's release, I was worried V1 will be left behind to push the new product.
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