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Android Google Entertainment Hardware

NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Reviewed: Gaming and Possibly the Ultimate 4K Streamer 54

Earlier this week, NVIDIA officially launched its SHIELD Android TV set-top device, with far more horsepower than something like Roku or Apple TV, but on par with an average game console, and at a more affordable price tag of $199. MojoKid writes: What's interesting, however, is that it's powered by NVIDIA's Tegra X1 SoC which features a Maxwell-derived GPU and eight CPU cores; four ARM A57 cores and four A53s. The A57 cores are 64-bit, out-of-order designs, with multi-issue pipelines, while the A53s are simpler, in-order, highly-efficient designs. Which cores are used will depend on the particular workload being executed at the time. Tegra X1 also packs a 256-core Maxwell-derived GPU with the same programming capabilities and API support as NVIDIA's latest desktop GPUs. In standard Android benchmarks, the SHIELD pretty much slays any current high-end tablet or smartphone processor in graphics, but is about on par with the octal-core Samsung Exynos in terms of standard compute workloads but handily beating and octal-core Qualcomm Snapdragon. What's also interesting about the SHIELD Android TV is that it's not only an Android TV-capable device with movie and music streaming services like Netflix etc., but it also plays any game on Google Play and with serious horsepower behind it. The SHIELD Android TV is also the first device certified for Netflix's Ultra HD 4K streaming service.
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NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Reviewed: Gaming and Possibly the Ultimate 4K Streamer

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  • Ouya 2 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Saturday May 30, 2015 @09:57AM (#49804787) Homepage

    This looks like a bigger, beefed-up version of an Ouya. Android hard-core gaming isn't a thing - it's an interesting device but why would anybody want it? Wait 3 months and just get the UHD Roku, or continue using your TV's Netflix.

    • by _xeno_ ( 155264 )

      Half the point behind the Nvidia Shield devices is the ability to stream games from your Nvidia GPU-powered PC. So you're not limited to Android games, at least in theory.

      Of course, based on the Steam version of game streaming, this isn't a thing you're ever going to be doing in reality, but at least that's the theory. (I mean, it works, almost, but you're still adding a whole bunch of lag.)

      • You seem to be unfamiliar with NVIDIA GRID -- a streaming platform for games provided on the SHIELD tablet (at the moment) free of charge. No install, just a wifi connection and instant gaming. You should check it out.
    • This is *nothing* like the OUYA. The performance of Unreal Engine 4 on the Tegra makes this a genuine contender in the alt.console market.
    • This looks like a bigger, beefed-up version of an Ouya.

      If it's halfway competent and doesn't try to lock you into using their shitty store and launcher, then all it will need is a real recovery to be everything the Ouya wasn't.

      I bought Ouya, it was unremitting shit and didn't even work right, so I took it back. I won't preorder Android hardware again (I didn't kickstart, just preordered Ouya from a store, so I could return that POS) but I will give this machine a go if it reviews well.

    • Well Ouya is about 2 years old now. And used a processor that came out 3 years ago (Tegra 3). Tegra 3 is only a Cortex-A9 and a very old GPU architecture (related to the old nForce series, about 10 years old).

      The Tegra X1 is 3 generations later (skipping over Tegra 4 and Tegra K1). And uses the Maxwell architecture copied from the desktop graphics, obviously scaled down to fit in the thermal limits and performance requirements of a mobile chip.

      The performance difference between Tegra 3 and Tegra X1 is massi

      • also, don't forget that at $300 for a Shield console, you are $50 away from getting an Xbox One or PS4, which make an X1-based system look like a calculator, have massive AAA game libraries, will probably still be getting new AAA titles in 10 years, and are media centers to boot.

        and let's not talk about the $200 16GB Shield. completely unreasonable, and only offered to be able to claim the $200 price point.

        Remember, Ouya is another company, not related to NVIDIA.

        i think people get that. it's more about investing in an unproven, largely unsupported (in the way of

  • It runs Android --- How much data harvesting does this box do?

    .
    Given Android's reputation, I'd say that it sends to google everything I do and watch on the box, and then some. Does a microphone stay open all the time?

  • The most powerful computer in the world is useless without software to run on it. What's the point of a powerful Android gaming console if only phone-type games are released on Android?

    Any other game console is going to have more games than this thing.

    • There are 20 PC ports released or scheduled for release in a month.

    • What's the point of a powerful Android gaming console if only phone-type games are released on Android?

      "Phone-like" can have several meanings:

      • Pointing device driven, as opposed to gamepad driven
      • Intended for play sessions shorter than five minutes, as opposed to the longer sessions associated with PCs and consoles
      • Small in scope to fit a sub-$7 impulse buy budget, as opposed to a $60 full disc game
      • Reliant on social networking, as opposed to single-player or real-time multiplayer
      • Abusive free-to-play with consumable in-app purchases to skip artificial in-game waits of hours or days, as opposed to paying once fo
  • This thing is looking great to use as a desktop (though the 3GB RAM is not an upgrade over an old PC on ddr2).
    It is perfect for the vast library of OpenGL 4.5 linux games for ARMv8 that I can't wait to play! Wait.. ok, while waiting for great ARM linux games you'll play such great titles as xpilot, imaze and one out of 12 doom ports that you can actually get to run easily enough.

  • Just curious (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Stan92057 ( 737634 )
    Just curious, what kinda spying/data collection is it doing? voice collection? Video collection? games played? movies watched? Photos stored? Web sites visited? if it has that capacity? Live video? And why should anyone trust them not to collect all those nice things we do. I think in this day and age theses are the questions we have to ask when we make hardware purchases.
    • Don't buy the $50 microphone/remote and it can't spy on you.

      Although I suppose your new internet-enabled refrigerator could have a microphone hidden inside it and you probably wouldn't every know.

  • I bought an expensive EVGA Nvidia Tegra 7 tablet based on promises that it would be receiving Andriod 5 (Lillipop) "real soon now". Turns out that even the KitKat "upgrade" was incredibly buggy and I'm still on Jellybean. Nvidia promised Android 5 for 2014. Then it slipped to February 2015. Then, when February 2015 came and went, Nvidia became completely unresponsive on the Android 5 upgrade.

    I bought this tablet based on the promise of Android 5 from what I thought was a capable and well respected name in the industry. I didn't want to buy a Google Nexus tablet and reward Google for their short sighted lack of memory expansion and gouging the consumer for a small increment of internal memory. But at this point I expect that it is the last Nvidia product that I will ever buy.

    No matter how reasonable promises of upgrades seem, believe half of what Nvidia tells you about current products and nothing about what they promise will be available soon in the future for the device, or expect to be treated the way past Nvidia customers have been.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I worked on that Tegra Note 7 project, and I hear what you're saying. I think the management has their heads up their asses to burn customers like this. Internally everyone wants to work on the new shiny stuff and the maintenance of the last generation gets sent over to the offices in India and Shanghai. But those teams don't want to work on the old stuff either, it's just an elaborate game of hot potato.

      I'd recommend you sell your TN7 on ebay while it's still worth a few bucks. And save your money for comp

      • Apple has crapped on their TV-connected product line, though, by cheaping it out so hard that it's now pathetic.

  • by Wag ( 102501 ) on Saturday May 30, 2015 @12:56PM (#49805359)

    Pretty useless for Kodi because it can't bitstream lossless audio (runs on a closed ecosystem and requires licensing to do so). Also can't handle 23.97 output (converts to 24fps) so there's judder. There are lots of other cheaper devices which can do the job better.

    As far as Netflix 4k streaming goes, you need HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 support, and if you have that you almost certainly have Netflix 4k streaming built into your 4k TV already.

    • Pretty useless for Kodi because it can't bitstream lossless audio (runs on a closed ecosystem and requires licensing to do so).

      You really don't think that's going to be solved by the community?

      Also can't handle 23.97 output (converts to 24fps) so there's judder.

      You mean XBMC can't just slow everything down by a fraction of a percent?

      There are lots of other cheaper devices which can do the job better.

      Name one.

      As far as Netflix 4k streaming goes, you need HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 support, and if you have that you almost certainly have Netflix 4k streaming built into your 4k TV already.

      I don't buy display devices with networking built into them. That's stupid.

      • Pretty useless for Kodi because it can't bitstream lossless audio (runs on a closed ecosystem and requires licensing to do so).

        You really don't think that's going to be solved by the community?

        How would you suggest that "the community" meet the organizational requirements for compliance with the digital restrictions management (DRM) schemes used by major motion picture studios?

        You mean XBMC can't just slow everything down by a fraction of a percent?

        Once you slow everything down or speed everything up to lock the frame rate to that of the monitor, you're resampling audio, and resampling is no longer lossless.

        I don't buy display devices with networking built into them. That's stupid.

        If you keep that up, you could end up not buying display devices at all. TVs are shifting toward "smart", and home desktop PC monitors are shifting toward "touch-e

  • It looks nice until you realise that you need to pay a $12 a month for Netflix HD to really make use of it and it can only play videos from a limited number of formats.

  • The big problem many of these types of boxes have is the limited availability of support of streaming networks.

    Does it support the CW, what about Max Go? So far most of the boxes that I have looked at only have a limited selection of apps that will work.

    My android phone has more streaming video support then Fire TV, Roku, Shield, etc.

    Whoever can figure out that a small app store for your device isnt the right way to go will get my money.

    • A paragraph of the article you linked claims that Android infringes patents but doesn't specify or link to which. So it's an alleged patent tax, not a copyright tax. Besides, which patents are these? And can they be designed around by not having an SD card slot?

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