The 2017 refresh of the nVidia shield is possibly the best cord cutting device available on the market today with access to the best streaming services including Netflix 4k and Amazon Prime Video.  On top of this, The Shield is also right at home with local media via the likes of Kodi and the fork SPMC – an Android specific arm of Kodi made just for the Shield.

So what is it exactly?  The Shield is an Android TV device running Android 7.0 (Nougat) and is 4k HDR capable.  Android TV is easily one of the best TV Gui’s available and apps like Netflix and Amazon prime take slick advantage of this 10 foot interface over the standard mobile versions of these apps.

Once the domain of the enthusiast Home Theater PC crowd  (HTPC), the Shield offers the best of both worlds, giving the user access to a wide range of easy to use official Android apps and also 3rd pary apps should you want to.

Kodi for instance, gives the user many possibilities and is a full fledged HTPC experience.  I used to build PC boxes to do exactly what this little beauty does out of the box.  If you have a media server or a live TV capture card, Kodi can play it.  I currently use TVHeadend using an old PS3 TV USB dongle and everything just works flawlessly.

As to where to find the Shield in Oz, Unfortunately for us Aussies, Nvidia do not have a local distributor for their own products in Australia which makes finding and purchasing this device damn difficult.

So far Amazon appears to be the best place to grab both the standard and Pro versions of the Nvidia Shield.  At US$169 for the 16gb Shield, this works out to be just over AU$200 at the time of publishing, add AU$21.60 for shipping and the whole thing can be had for under AU$300 dollars.  You get the Remote and controller with both versions.

Click here to be taken to the Amazon Page. (Affiliate Link)

Will update the following table as more sources become available:

StorePriceShippingVisit
AmazonUS$199US$21.60Visit Store
B&H PhotoUS$199US$12.26Visit Store

Nvidia Shield Alternatives?

As for alternatives to the Shield there are a few real Android TV devices on the market but most lack the specs of the Shield. The closest I have found is the Xiaomi Mibox which I grabbed at the start of this year.

How does it stack up? Not to bad, especially given the price difference.  Most of the time you can get it for under $100 Aussie dollars. The Mibox however lacks an Ethernet port so you will need a decent 5g home network connection. You can add an Ethernet usb dongle if required however.

My biggest grip with the Mibox is complete lack of refresh rate switching support in all apps including Kodi.  Hopefully an Oreo update fixes this.  The Mibox can be found here from Bang Good.

Nvidia Shield TV 2017 Specs

Processor:

  • NVIDIA® Tegra® X1 processor with a 256-core GPU and 3 GB RAM

Video Features:

  • 4K HDR ready
  • Up to 4K HDR playback at 60 FPS (H.265/HEVC)
  • Up to 4K playback at 60 FPS (VP8, VP9, H.264, MPEG1/2)
  • Up to 1080p playback at 60 FPS (H.263, MJPEG, MPEG4, WMV9/VC1)
  • Format/Container support: Xvid/ DivX/ASF/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MPEG-TS/MP4/WEB-M
    Audio
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS-X surround sound pass through over HDMI
  • High-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192 kHz over HDMI and USB
  • High-resolution audio up-sample to 24-bit/192 kHz over USB
  • Audio support: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WAVE, AMR, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, PCM, WMA, WMA-Pro, WMA-Lossless, D
  • D+/DTS (pass-through), Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD (pass-through), DTS-X and DTS-HD (pass-through)

Storage

  • 16GB
  • Expandable with USB 3.0 drives. When adopting storage, the following USB flash drives are recommended for best performance (use of other drives are likely to exhibit slow system or gaming performance):
    – Samsung 128GB BAR METAL USB 3.0 (MUF-128BA/AM)
    – SanDisk Extreme CZ80 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ80-064G-GAM46)
    – SanDisk Ultra USB flash drive, 128 GB, Black (SDCZ48-128G-A46)
    – PNY Turbo 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (P-FD64GTBOP-GE)
    – Corsair Flash Voyager Slider X1 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Wireless

  • 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.1/BLE
  • Captive Portal support

Interfaces

  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 and CEC support
  • Two USB 3.0 (Type A)
  • Weight & Size
  • Weight: 8.8 oz / 250 g
  • Height: 3.858 in / 9.800 mm
  • Width: 6.26 in / 15.900 mm
  • Depth: 1.02 in / 2.593 mm

Operating System

  • Android 7.0 (Nougat) powered by Android TV™ and Google Cast™ (Chromecast built-in)

Software Updates

  • SHIELD software upgrades directly from NVIDIA

Power

  • 40 W power adapter (5-10 W typical consumption)

Gaming Features

  • NVIDIA GeForce NOW™ game streaming service
  • NVIDIA GameStream™
  • NVIDIA Share

Included Accessories

  • SHIELD Controller
    – Mic for voice search
    – Hands-free voice support
    – Headset jack for private listening
    – Dual vibration feedback
    – IR blaster for TV volume & power control
    – 60+ hour gaming battery life
  • SHIELD Remote
    – Mic for voice search
    – IR blaster for TV volume and power control

Included Apps

  • NVIDIA Games
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Video
  • YouTube
  • Google Play Store
  • Google Play Movies & TV
  • Google Play Music
  • VUDU
  • PLEX
  • Photos and Videos

Note this post contains affiliate links to Amazon and Bang Good.