The NVIDIA Shield TV offers a wonderful TV experience, letting you stream 4K movies and TV shows as well as play your favourite games with the included Shield Controller. When NVIDIA refreshed their line earlier this year, they kept their Shield Pro model around, retaining the price tag of $299. The Pro model has proved to be something, and we examine its pro and cons versus the regular Android TV Shield here in this article to help you decide which one suits your needs better.
The Android TV Shield lets you store 16 GB of data, while the Pro allows you as much space as a hard drive – 500 GB, which will let you keep all your high end games, TV shows and movies. With the new gaming solutions GeForce Now and Game Stream, however, there are hardly any games to properly install, and almost all popular media services are streaming-only so the extra bit of storage may be a waste. However, if you plan to load media from your device, or use the Shield as a Kodi or Plex device, then you are going to need that extra storage.
The new Android TV Shield offers a different remote that has no audio jack as well the rechargeable battery in exchange for year long battery life from a pair of coin sized batteries. The Pro on the other hand has the original TV remote that still has the audio jack for private listening, and is powered by rechargeable batteries. The choice between the two is really something that depends on your personal taste, but you should know that the two do not offer the same things. The introduction of their own remote for the Android TV is a great improvement over the controller that was offered before though.
The ShieldPro has retained the hardware that the standard versions chucked when they opted for a smaller design, so ShieldPro TV still has the micro SD card slots, and Micro-USB that can be used to plug it to a computer.
There is also the IR receiver on your Pro device, which means that it can be controlled by the universal remotes that use IR for managing multiple devices. This is especially a big deal if you also use a universal remote for your home entertainment centre. You should not count on universal remote makers to update with Bluetooth versions that connect with Shield Android TV in the future though.
The Pro Is Bigger
The Android Shield TV Pro is about 60% heavier and 40% bigger than the standard version considering that most of the storage and the extra ports have been eliminated in the standard set up. This can be critical if you have a tricky home entertainment setup. If you have a specific place or a mounting setup in mind, the heavy Pro may pose a real problem, though if you need any of its specific features then you should make it work anyway.
Which Should You Buy?
If you are going out for a lot of local gaming, or storing many movies and TV shows, then Pro is for you with its upgraded storage and additional ports. Plus, many users use Plex to their Shield into a DVR and in that case, it is important that you have the extra storage. The features like IR receiver, extra slots for SD card and micro USB port and a rechargeable remote are not by themselves enough for you to spend an extra $100, so it ultimately comes down to what storage you require. In case you do not require the storage, the standard model 16 GB is for you, and you can use the money you save on a USB 3.0 flash drive for some extra storage, and maybe use the rest in new games.