There’s a new set-top box from NVIDIA that’s worth considering if you need a streaming device. Actually, it’s not “new” at all. The SHIELD TV has been repackaged to be more affordable. NVIDIA was able to lower the price by dropping the gaming controller from the package.
Now you can get the SHIELD TV with just a remote. It’s priced at $179, which is down from $199 for the gaming-centric model option. The SHIELD TV’s new price is also the same as the Apple TV 4K.
The set-top box does everything you’d expect from a premium entertainment hub. It lets you connect to countless apps for streaming video, listening to music, and playing games. Despite missing a gaming controller, select titles are compatible with the SHIELD TV’s basic remote.
NVIDIA provided us with a table comparing the SHIELD TV and other set-top boxes. The biggest advantages were more apps with 4K and HDR support, access to Spotify, and the ability to cast games from a computer. This set-top box can stream console-level titles from the cloud, too, through GeForce Now. The real motivator behind the price drop is Apple’s newest offering, which doesn’t focus on gaming. The Apple TV 4K will give greater visibility to high-end content; therefore NVIDIA needed to give the SHIELD TV a better chance at being considered.
NVIDIA isn’t paying attention to just Apple. Other companies, too, have new streaming devices that should debut in the coming weeks and months. Amazon is reportedly working on at least two new devices while Roku is rumored to have upgraded hardware on the way as well. Google, meanwhile, doesn’t seem like it’ll launch any new streaming devices in 2017. The existing Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra are among the cheapest options and remain serviceable, so there’s no need to upgrade or replace them yet.
The SHIELD TV with the remote only is up for pre-order on NVIDIA’s site, and it ships on October 18.