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Review: 2nd Gen Nvidia Shield – Our First Impressions


The new second generation Nvidia Shield is coming out later in January, and Cord Cutters News got to go hands-on with it last week at CES.

So here is our first look at the Nvidia Shield…

The New Game Controller & Remote

Nvidia has completely redone the game controller and remote from the ground up. The new remote now comes bundled in with the $199 edition of the Nvidia Shield. No longer will you have to pay $50 to add the remote to your Nvidia Shield. The best part is the new remote battery will last a year before you need to recharge it.

The big change is the new game controller, which is a step up in every way over the older version. The buttons have a smoother feel and are more responsive. The joysticks and dpad are new and just feel better. The controller is smaller and feels better in your hand over the older game controller.

However, we have yet to even get to the best parts. The new game controller boasts 60 hours of game play between recharging and an always-on voice control. (If you turn on the always-on voice control.) This means you can use Google’s voice assistant to do everything from launching Netflix to turning on your lights or changing the temperature on your nest thermostat.

Amazon Video

The main reason the first generation Nvidia Shield was not one of my most recommended streaming players was the lack of Amazon Video support. Amazon Video is the number 2 subscription service in the United States and rents more movies than Redbox, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu.

Starting later this month Nvidia Shield will have its own Amazon Video app. The app looks similar to the new Roku Amazon Video app. This marks the first time an Android TV player will have an official Amazon Video app helping it stand out from other Android TV players.

AI in the Home

In the coming months, SHIELD TV will be expanded with a series of AI capabilities that transform home entertainment:

  • First hands-free Google assistant integration on TV. Google has optimized the assistant experience on TV by having the home’s largest screen show visual answers in addition to an audio reply. Use voice commands to replace clicking a remote for finding content, pausing, fast-forwarding, or rewinding. Plus, your Google assistant can better help find content and answer questions.
  • SmartThings Hub technology integration, instantly turns the Nvidia Shield into a smart home hub that can connect to hundreds of smart home devices.
  • NVIDIA SPOT™, an AI mic accessory that makes the Nvidia Shield the central backbone of the AI home, extending intelligent control throughout the house.

4K HDR Support

The new Shield delivers the richest visual experience with support for 4K HDR and three times the performance of any other streaming player on the market. With the addition of Amazon Video in 4K HDR, the Nvidia Shield offers the largest, most open catalog of media in stunning 4K—also supporting Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies, and VUDU.

YouTube’s flagship TV app will also be available for the Nvidia Shield soon, delivering immersive, 360-degree viewing experiences.

Now the Best Part

If you own a first generation Nvidia Shield you will have access to all of this. Amazon Video, HDR, AI in Home, and more will all come to current Nvidia Shield owners via an update later in January.

My Final Thoughts

The new updates to the Nvidia Shield make it a streaming player I recommend for cord cutters. The best part is if you already have a Nvidia Shield you can just buy the new game controller for all the features the second generation Nvidia Shield has to offer.

If you passed over the Nvidia Shield in the past it is time to give the Nvidia Shield a second look.

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  • Bill Eastman

    Tablo DROID will first appear on the new Nvidia Shield, though the said they will also look at the Mi Box.

  • Jason

    Don’t see why this is the steaming player to recommend as the review says. As a steamer it does nothing a device like the half price Roku Premiere+ can’t do and the Roku has hundreds of more content choices. Unless you want it’s limited gaming library this is just and overpriced product that will sell a fraction of the numbers.

    • Michael Habel

      First off Roku is nice, and all IF you live in the USoA. Alas not everyone does.
      Yes you could have a slightly cheaper Chinese Box that is all but broken now for Kodi cause they can’t be arsed to keep up with the Android APIs. But, even that’s not soo bad.
      But the Shield TV is soo much more than this, and hell I’m still figuring out just what I can do with it. Cause there is just so much more that it can do other than Kodi.

      If I had One criticism about the Shield TV, it would be that the Android TV OS sucks balls when it came to the Play Store. Which even after all this time is just frankly miserable.

    • Matthew John Kurke

      I love my roku, but it doesn’t do gaming or act as a plex server. Both things the shield can do very well. However the roku is the streaming device to buy if you don’t game and have never heard the term plex.

  • Michael Habel

    -YouTube’s flagship TV app will also be available for the Nvidia Shield soon, delivering immersive, 360-degree viewing experiences.-

    Anyone have a clue as to how this is supposed to work? My 55″ UHD 4k may be thin, and light, but that doesn’t make it simple to carry in one hand.

    • Matthew John Kurke

      You can use the remote or game pad to look around. Probably not the experience google wanted, but still kind of fun.

  • bleze

    Battery lasts a year? The ones bundled ran out after 30 min. Replaced with other ones which seem to last the same. Remote broken?

  • gene0915

    Um….newsflash…. the original Shield (after the summer 2016 update) supported 4K HDR. I love how all these “reviews” stress that the new (ha) Shield supports 4K HDR. If you’re going to use 4K HDR as a selling point on rehashed hardware, I really think you need to add the following text RIGHT after it: “just like the old NVidia Shield”. The only think I find mildly interesting about the new Shield is that the remote will last a year on a single charge. (Which I’ll believe 12 months from now if people chime in on that.)