Nvidia Shield (set-top box)
The Nvidia Shield (stylized SHIELD), also known as the Shield Android TV or Shield Console, is an Android TV-based digital media player produced by Nvidia as part of its Shield brand of Android devices. First released in May 2015, the Shield is marketed by Nvidia as a microconsole, emphasizing its ability to play downloaded games and stream games from a compatible PC on a local network, or via the GeForce Now subscription service. As with all other Android TV devices, it can also stream content from various sources using apps, and also supports 4K resolution video. It has been distributed in models with either 16 GB of flash storage, or a 500 GB hard drive, the latter branded as Shield Pro.
|Also known as||Shield Android TV, Shield Console|
|Type||Set-top box, microconsole|
|Introductory price||US$199.99 US$299.99 (pro version)|
|Operating system||Android TV|
|System-on-chip used||Tegra X1|
|Memory||3 GB + 1GB VRAM|
|Storage||16 GB flash memory (Shield) or 500 GB hard disk (Shield Pro)|
microSD card reader
|Connectivity||2.4 GHz + 5 GHz Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, Gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB 3.0, Micro USB, HDMI 2.0|
|Online services||GeForce Now|
|Related articles||Shield Tablet|
In 2017, Nvidia released a refreshed version of the 16 GB Shield, which has a smaller form factor that drops MicroSD and infrared support, comes with an updated controller, and is otherwise identical in hardware to the original model.
Speaking at CES in January 2019, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang confirmed the company has no plans to resurrect the discontinued Shield Tablet, partially due to the success of the Nintendo Switch - which utilizes Nvidia’s Tegra chips.
The Shield utilizes Nvidia's Tegra X1 system-on-chip, based the ARM Cortex-A57 CPU and Nvidia's Maxwell microarchitecture GPU, with 3 GB of RAM. The device supports 4K resolution output at 60 FPS over an HDMI 2.0 output, with support for HEVC-encoded video. The Shield can either contain 16 GB of internal flash storage or a 500 GB hard drive, expandable via microSD card or removable storage. Models with a 500 GB hard drive are branded as Shield Pro. It contains two USB ports. For internet connections, it supports gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The console ships with one wireless controller; a remote with voice control and a headphone jack is sold separately.
The Shield runs Android TV; games optimized and ported for the device are offered through a separate Shield Store app. The device can also stream games through Nvidia's on-demand subscription cloud gaming service GeForce Now (formerly Nvidia GRID), and from a local computer using the GameStream function of supported Nvidia graphics cards via the GeForce Experience application.
On January 16, 2017, Nvidia announced Shield Experience Upgrade 5.0, which is based on Android 7.0 "Nougat". It adds software features from the updated 2017 model, including HDR support for 4K video, new apps (including Amazon Video), SmartThings integration, Google Assistant support, and a new Nvidia Games interface. Google Assistant support requires a new iteration of the Shield Controller.In June 2018, Nvidia released an update that included Android 8.0 Oreo as well as an update to the user interface.
In January 2017, Nvidia unveiled a refreshed version of the 16 GB Shield. It has a revised form factor with a smaller size but no microSD slot, and is supplied with Shield Experience Upgrade 5.0. A remote control is now bundled, as well as an updated controller with an always-on microphone. The 2017 model contains the same Tegra X1 system-on-chip as the 2015 model. The 2017 Shield replaced the original 16 GB version. Nvidia continues to market the larger, 500 GB Shield Pro model.
Due to video game censorship and Internet censorship in China, game services are unable to operate normally in mainland China. Nvidia chose to cooperate with iQiyi, a video content operator in the Chinese mainland, to sell the Chinese version of the SHIELD TV.
The Chinese version SHIELD TV has exactly the same hardware as 16 GB version, but integrates special system firmware (NVIDIA give out ROMS). There is no Play Store, but iQiyi's own app store. In particular, it provides several Nintendo transplant games:
- 新超级马力欧兄弟 New Super Mario Bros. Wii
- 超级马力欧银河 Super Mario Galaxy
- 塞尔达传说：黄昏公主 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- 击拳热斗！！ Punch-Out!!
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