I’ve always held that those intending to use Kodi to manage their streaming libraries should go with Nvidia Shield TV instead of using something like a jailbroken Fire TV Stick. Now Nvidia gives cord cutters even more reasons to go with a Nvidia Shield.
Not only will the Nvidia Shield provide 4K UHD with HDR and surround sound, their new bundle will include a SmartThings Link. This turns your Nvidia Shield into a brain for your smart home. This Nvidia Bundle allows your Shield TV streaming device to control smart bulbs, smart thermostats, speakers, door locks, doorbells, cameras, and much more. You can check the complete compatibility list for a full listing of supported smart devices.
What is Nvidia Shield
The Nvidia Shield is an Android-based streaming device. While the price point is higher (current $180 on Amazon) than something like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV, you get a lot more functionality and flexibility from a Nvidia Shield.
Not only is it the most powerful streaming device available, but it can double as a fairly decent gaming system, and it integrates with Google Home and Nest Smart devices. The Smart Home bundle adds the SmartThings Link to integrate with other Zigbee and Z-wave based smart devices.
Nvidia Shield Specs and Features
- 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.1/BLE
- Gigabit Ethernet
- HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 and CEC support
- Two USB 3.0 (Type A)
- Weighs 8.8 oz measuring 3.9 in x 6.3 in x 1 in
- 40 W power adapter (5-10 W typical consumption)
- Supports Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube Google Play, Hulu and thousands of other apps.
- 16 GB of onboard storage
While the Shield is user-friendly and easy to use, it’s also extremely flexible. You can set it up to be a Plex Server, connect an external hard drive to watch movies, record OTA using an HDHomeRun. You can connect a supported game controller and use it to play PC game on your TV.
To play games, you have two viable options. The GeForce Experience allows you to stream games from a computer with a supported Nvidia graphics card. Or you can try the monthly subscription to GeForce Now to stream games directly from Nvidia with no computer required
Ways to Buy the Nvidia Shield
The Nvidia Shield comes bundled in a few packages they are
Nvidia Shield Streaming Device with Remote & Game Controller – This package currently $180, but is normally priced around $200. It includes the Nvidia Shield, Remote, and Game controller.
Nvidia Shield Streaming Device with Remote – This package just includes the remote and is normally priced at $180. If the package with the game controller is still on sale then obviously pick that one up as it’s the same price.
Shield TV Pro Home Media Server – This package is just like the Shield with Remote and Game Control but has 500 GB of onboard storage. It’s priced at $300. I recommend going with a cheaper option and just adding an external hard drive if you want additional storage.
Nvidia Shield Smart Home Edition – This package includes the SmartThings link and Shield Remote. I go into more detail below.
What’s Included with the Nvidia Shield TV Smart Home
This deal is available at Amazon for $220 and includes the following:
- 4K HDR Home Theater Experience – Enjoy the ultimate visual experience with 4K HDR quality and the most immersive sound with Dolby Atmos and DTS-X surround sound pass-through
- Hundreds of Entertainment Apps – Watch the latest and greatest movies and shows with Prime Video, Netflix, and Vudu in stunning 4K HDR, and YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, FandangoNow and more in up to 4K
- Smart Home Ready with SmartThings – The included SmartThings Link transforms SHIELD into a Zigbee and Z-wave smart home hub to wirelessly monitor, connect and automate thousands of compatible smart devices so they can all work together
- Works with Alexa – Your Amazon Echo talks to SmartThings Link to control smart devices with your voice. Dim the lights, check the temperature, turn on cameras, raise the volume on smart speakers, and much more
- Voice Assistant – Ask your SHIELD TV questions and see the answers on your TV, including photos, your calendar, sports scores, and more
- Nvidia Shield Remote with Bluetooth Wireless connectivity, IR transmitter, volume control, and voice control.
Not only will your SmartThings link allow you to use Alexa, but it’s also compatible with Google Home. The Shield TV also has built-in 4K Chromecast allowing you to cast from your Android device or Chrome browser to your TV.
Ultimately, if you are just looking to cut the cord and need a streaming device, the Nvidia Shield may be a bit overkill. If that’s the case, I recommend looking at Roku. However, if you want to explore putting together a streaming/entertainment/smart home hub then I highly recommend going with the Nvidia Shield.
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