Nvidia Shield 2017 im Test

Nvidia Shield 2017 im Test: Mit 4K-HDR und Prime Video zum Primus

Nvidia Shield is among the most expensive media streaming boxes, but offers the best features. With UHD at 60 FPS and HDR, a high-performance platform and numerous streaming options Shield shields the competition.

Table of Contents

  1. Application scenarios of Nvidia Shield TV
  2. Shrunken exterior, same inner life
  3. Without fan it does not go
  4. Streaming: YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime
  5. GeForce Now works
  6. Game Stream is fiddly
  7. Conclusion: Comfortable and comprehensive streaming package

Application scenarios of Nvidia Shield TV

Nvidia’s small set-top box targets casual players. Or on hardcore nerds. Or on streaming beginners who keep all options open and do not want to annoy again in a year, because Netflix jerks in 4K on a cheaper box. Also with regard to the update policy, Nvidia shows itself as forward-looking and brings the inner-life almost identical Shield 2015 to the current state with Android 7.0. Previous buyers are still looking forward to one of the fastest Android TV consoles with full feature set and compatibility.

Nvidia Shield is versatile; “The most comprehensive and powerful streaming set-top box” actually does it quite well. If the user is only streaming, a smart TV from the last three years is enough. Just jerky Android TV on many Sony TVs occasionally, the YouTube app on Philips televisions can sometimes no 4K (or 360-degree videos), it lacks a convenient voice control and audio-locks like Dolby Atmos or DTS: X can one Often also write off immediately. Nvidia’s Shield console is always a bit extravagant, bringing a powerful argument against the competition from Apple, Amazon, Roku or Google with the integration of the Amazon Prime Video library, where a dealbreaker for users lurked before Sideloads is an alien word. Although it was a long time lack of Amazon’s video service, Shield could have developed a broad user base and was so loud according to Nvidia “simply important enough for Amazon”.

A real game console

Apple TV 4 can not 4K, Amazon’s Fire TV dominates the high resolution only with an image rate up to 30 FPS. Only the fifth generation of Apple’s TV box will be able to offer UHD compatibility. The most important feature of the set-top box of a GPU specialist, however, is gaming. Nvidia Shield is also a controller, a PS3, PS4 or Xbox gamepad can be connected, and with GeForce Now or Gamestream services are available, which go far beyond the offer on the other streaming consoles.

Gamestreaming and GeForce Now are “work in progress”, even if the services are already running and now work well. So good that they can be perceived as a clear advantage over the competition.

Smart Home and Voice Assistant still need

Regarding the language search, the competitors with Siri and Alexa still have an advantage over Android TV, according to Nvidia, the Google Assistant in the foreseeable future, however, can also lead conversations. This means that users can ask for a universal search, and follow up questions such as: “Stranger Things”, “Episode 4 of the first season”. Google recognizes the context. The aim is that the always-on microphone of the Shield accessory or Nvidia Spot as a kind of echo dot only the command for the lighting scenario at Philips Hue must be thrown and everything runs automatically. Until then, you can ask Shield only for “Stranger Things”, but it also immediately serves the entry at Netflix. In general, a language search provides clear advantages for ease of use.

Shrunken exterior, same inner life

Technologically, the Nvidia Shield 2017 no other TV streaming box can be dangerous, even if it still carries the old Tegra-X1-SoC. Not only Android TV runs as a surface absolutely liquid, which also applies to all the games published on the platform. Owners of the “old” Shield from the year 2015 with the update on Android 7.0 and the Shield Experience 5.1 almost the same feature set. The controller has been substantially revised, the remote control now carries button cells instead of batteries, and the dimensions of the console have shrunk considerably.

The angular design of the flat box with the dimensions of just under 16 x 10 x 2.6 centimeters is rather discreet except for the green LED light stripes. With 250 grams the box is also light. Nvidia offers a Shield-Pro variant with an integrated 500 GB hard disk, which is also significantly larger with 21 x 13 x 2.5 centimeters and slightly more than 650 grams. By USB stick or external HDD / SSD, which can be adopted, the basic variant can also be boosted with regard to their memory. On the rear side, there are two USB 3.0 ports as well as HDMI 2.0b (HDCP 2.2) and Gigabit Ethernet. They recognize many controllers, mouse-keyboard combinations, USB adapters and of course the mentioned external storage media. A microSD slot is missing in the basic version of the Shield.

Wireless the Shield console comes with 2×2 MIMO WLAN-ac in the home network, Bluetooth peripherals is connected to Bluetooth 4.1. In the test, the shield occasionally lost the network in longer sleep mode, but this can also be related to the router and did not occur frequently. In principle, it built a stable 5 GHz connection, sufficient for streams up to 4K resolution at 60 FPS from the Internet or even from local clients.

Anyone who calls a PC or laptop can access the internal memory of the Shield. This makes file management easier than App solutions like ES File Explorer.

Remote control included, long-life batteries instead of battery

Nvidia does not sell the shield remote any more separately, it is part of the basic equipment as well as the game controller. Compared to the battery of the first generation, the remote control uses two button cells, the runtime gives Nvidia about one year. A tremendous increase in comfort compared to the first-generation load intervals, which ranged from a few weeks depending on usage.

For the headphone connection, the gamepad must now be seized, but the remote control is waiting with an infrared blaster. The touch panel in the lower area might be somewhat more sensitive to the volume control, but for small adjustments of the volume no longer need the receiver or TV remote control. To pause the playback has still not found the way to a separate button as a function. Thanks to the HDMI CEC function and IR blaster, you can enjoy a lot of freedom with regard to the remote control.

Highly improved controller

The Shield-Controller feels handy, high-quality and very well-balanced. It has a new, angular design and has crisp buttons with enough resistance. A vibrating motor sits in each spur for powerful feedback. Nvidia has dispensed with the touchpad as a mouse replacement and the layout a little tidier. The jack for a headset sits on the side of the player, on the other hand the micro-USB loading port.

According to Nvidia, the controller battery lasts for up to 60 hours before it needs to be recharged. ComputerBase does not have a concrete reading, but the controller has a long runtime. Charging takes up to five hours. The controller is also interesting for owners of the first Shield, haptically located in a league with Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Controller, whose wireless adapter is not yet supported.

Without fan it does not go

Behind the fan grille on the back of the shield, an active cooling system is hidden, which ensures that the shield is maximally hand-held at a typical power consumption of between 5 and 10 watts. When booting, the Tegra X1 requires between 6 and 14 watts, 4K60 YouTube videos or Netflix with maximum possible quality are 9 to 10 watts already at the limit of the specified power consumption, and in games like Asphalt 8 it is also only 10 watts. Even with copious peripherals the 40 watt power supply is somewhat oversized. The built-in fan keeps the Tegra chip unobtrusively cool, the sound is only perceptible up close.

The power of the Tegra X1 for Android games

Thanks to the active cooling, the “aged” Nvidia-Tegra-X1 chip (January 2015) is still in the top field of the benchmark table. Two clusters with four A57 and four A53 cores work in conjunction with a Maxwell GPU, which in turn has 256 cores. In connection with 3 GB of RAM does not burn. Literally, because the performance remains constant on the level – the form factor Shield knows no throttling. While the Samsung Galaxy S8 family loses frames in the double-digit percentage range after the third run of the GFXBench Manhattan and shows up to 40 per cent of power loss after run number 20, Shield TV can not be impressed by continuous load.

The Shield console copes with elaborate Android titles such as Portal or Half Life 2: Episode 2 based on the source engine, Metal Gear Rising, War Thunder, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, The Witness, The Talos Principle, Doom 3 or the Fantastic platformer contrast.

Streaming: YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime

A 4K streaming box also needs 4K content, of course. While Sky has a Bundesliga match and certain Champions League encounters in Ultra HD, one searches for the high resolution in the Free TV still in vain. In the streaming area, however, Ultra HD is already much further.

On YouTube, the channel of Jacob and Katie Schwarz has been a good starting point for great impressions for years, but mostly they are very short trailers. Longer videos can only be found in the form of Lets Play recordings from the gaming area. For HDR samples you will find the The HDR Channel. If you are looking for a vacation dream destination, you might find a 4K video. Still, no 360-degree playback is supported, but an upcoming version of the YouTube app will support viewing around in video-based videos. At the moment, the YouTube content is more for impressing guests than for binge-watching. But there are Netflix and Amazon.

“Breaking Bad”, “Black Mirror”, “Stranger Things” – on Netflix there are some great series in the Ultra-HD area and Shield plays it without grumbling. The Amazon also attracts with its originals – “Mozart in the jungle”, “Goliath” or “The Man in the High Castle”. All mentioned also support HDR. The action-packed start of “Die etwas andere Cops” (also included in Prime) is tarnished in fast scenes by Compressionmatsch, otherwise Ultra HD and HDR the film again clearly.

The bandwidth used varies between 15 and 30 Mbit / s, a stable 50,000-lead and WLAN-ac connection led to the test to maladjustment.

On the next page: GeForce Now works



Ivy is loves technology and has been addicted to it since childhood. Apart from tech, she loves watching sci-fi / historical documentaries and traveling to new places.

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