NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Review 2022

After researching and testing NVIDIA’s deluxe TV, gaming, and streaming device, we found that it’s awesome—but only gamers should buy it.

Price: $199.99*
Video: 4K HDR Ready, Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10
Audio: Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos
Remote: SHIELD Remote
Gaming: PC and free-to-play games, Android games (subscription and devices required)

Product Price Video Audio Game streaming Details
Apple TV 4K $139.95 1080p, 4K Digital stereo, DTS Digital SurroundTM Apple App Store games View on Amazon
Amazon Fire TV Cube $79.99 1080p, 4K 2.0 stereo, Dolby Atmos, Dolby 5.1 surround Amazon Appstore games View on Amazon
Roku Ultra§ $66.01 1080p, 4K 2.0 stereo, Dolby Atmos, Dolby 5.1 surround Roku Channel games View on Amazon

Data as of post date. Offers and availability are subject to change.
CableTV.com uses paid Amazon links.
* Amazon.com Price; $199.99 (as of 12/03/21 12:31 p.m. MST). Read full disclaimer.
Amazon.com Price; $139.95 (as of 12/03/21 12:31 MST). Read full disclaimer.
Amazon.com Price; $79.99 (as of 12/03/21 12:31p.m. MST). Read full disclaimer.
Amazon.com Price; $66.01 (as of 12/03/21 12:31 p.m. MST). Read full disclaimer.

Is the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro right for you?

The NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro isn’t just a set-top streaming TV box—it’s also a powerful gaming system.

The SHIELD TV Pro has 4K resolution, supports an array of TV and music apps, acts as a PLEX media server, and can be installed in minutes. It’s easily one of the best TV streaming experiences we’ve had.

As for gaming, the SHIELD TV Pro pairs with your PC so you can play AAA PC games on your TV. This is awesome—but it’s gonna cost you. The SHIELD TV Pro is already expensive, and gaming on the device requires a separate, paid GeForce NOW subscription.

Hardcore PC gamers who want a top-notch, cutting-edge gaming and streaming TV experience probably won’t mind the SHIELD TV Pro’s expense. But casual and non-gamers can find happiness with more affordable streaming TV devices and sticking to PCs or consoles for gaming.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro pros and cons

NVIDIA Sheild T V Pro Unit and Remote

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro

Editorial rating: 4.25/5.00

Pros

  • TV and game streaming in one device
  • 4K resolution with AI upscaling
  • PLEX media server

Cons

  • High price
  • GeForce NOW subscription requirement
  • No included HDMI cable

Current NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro deals and promotions

There are no current deals or promotions for the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro—but it is the holiday season, so you might get lucky and find it on sale somewhere.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro vs. the competition

Product Price Video Audio Game streaming Details
NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro* $199.99 4K HDR Ready, Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10, AI upscaling Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos PC and free-to-play games, Android games View on Amazon
Apple TV 4K† $139.95 1080p, 4K Digital stereo, DTS Digital SurroundTM Apple App Store games View on Amazon
Amazon Fire TV Cube‡ $79.99 1080p, 4K 2.0 stereo, Dolby Atmos, Dolby 5.1 surround Amazon Appstore games View on Amazon
Roku Ultra§ $66.01 1080p, 4K 2.0 stereo, Dolby Atmos, Dolby 5.1 surround Roku Channel games View on Amazon

Data as of post date. Offers and availability are subject to change.
CableTV.com uses paid Amazon links.
* Amazon.com Price; $199.99 (as of 12/03/21 12:31 p.m. MST). Read full disclaimer.
Amazon.com Price; $139.95 (as of 12/03/21 12:31 MST). Read full disclaimer.
Amazon.com Price; $79.99 (as of 12/03/21 12:31p.m. MST). Read full disclaimer.
Amazon.com Price; $66.01 (as of 12/03/21 12:31 p.m. MST). Read full disclaimer.

Any of these set-top boxes provide a solid streaming TV experience with great resolution, sound, and streaming app support—but the SHIELD TV Pro kicks everything up a notch. The device’s AI upscaling makes 1080p look like 4K, and the included feature-rich SHIELD Remote feels like a magic wand.

But two key differences separate the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro from its rival set-top boxes: price and AAA gaming capabilities.

The SHIELD TV Pro costs 25% more than the Apple TV 4K, 67% more than the Amazon Fire TV Cube, and 213% more than the Roku Ultra. And remember: that doesn’t include the GeForce NOW subscription you’ll need in order to game on the SHIELD TV Pro.

The Fire TV Cube, Roku Ultra, and Apple TV 4K allow you to play mobile games—and so does the SHIELD TV Pro. The big difference is that the SHIELD TV Pro uses NVIDIA’s RTX and GTX graphics processing units (GPU) to run AAA games (like Far Cry 6 and Apex Legends) that you’d ordinarily play on major gaming consoles or gaming PCs.

Console gaming vs. the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro

Xbox and PlayStation consoles are already designed for gaming on your TV, and they’re solid streaming TV devices in their own right. If you already use one of these, you probably won’t find much value in the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro, which is geared more toward PC gamers.

So deciding between the SHIELD TV Pro and these other streaming TV devices should be simple. The SHIELD TV Pro provides a stellar streaming TV experience that rivals even CableTV.com’s current top recommendation, the Roku Ultra. But if you don’t need the SHIELD TV Pro’s awesome gaming power, don’t spend the extra money—get the Roku.

That said, if you’re a serious PC gamer and you love the idea of playing your PC games on a giant TV instead of a monitor, the SHIELD TV Pro is absolutely worth the money.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro specs and features

So far, we’ve only scratched the surface of the SHIELD TV Pro’s mighty specs—because there are a lot of them. Check out this list.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro specs

Price: $199.99
Size: about 3.9” x 6.25”
Video: 4K HDR Ready, Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10 at up to 120 fps
Audio: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus
Storage: 16 GB (used by operating system, but expandable using USB flash or hard drives)
Memory: 3 GB RAM
Wi-Fi: 802.11ac Dual-band MIMO (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) Wi-Fi
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0 + LE, captive portal support
Ports: Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0b, and 2 USB 3.0 ports (Type A)
Operating system: Android 9.0 (Pie) by Android TV, Chromecast 4K built-in
Processor: NVIDIA® Tegra X1+
GPU: 256-core NVIDIA GPU
Remote: SHIELD Remote (2 AAA batteries included), NVIDIA SHIELD TV app, Google Home (sold separately), Alexa (Amazon Echo required)
Voice assistant: Google Assistant, Alexa (Amazon Echo required)
Power: 40 W power adapter

Included equipment

  • NVIDIA Shield TV Pro
  • SHIELD Remote
  • Power adapter

Equipment you’ll need

  • HDTV or 4K TV with HDMI port
  • HDMI cable
  • Wi-Fi network

Device setup

Setting up the SHIELD TV Pro is amazingly fast. It took us only 5–10 minutes to connect the device to a TV via HDMI, connect to Wi-Fi, set up Google Assistant, and download and log in to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and HBO MaxTM.

It took about 30 more minutes to set up a GeForce NOW membership and connect a Steam account. That’s not bad, all things considered.

SHIELD Remote

While it’s not the wand of your wizarding dreams, the included SHIELD Remote feels magical.

Shaped like a Toblerone chocolate bar, it’s a perfect ergonomic fit in your hand, and neither too light nor too heavy. Its motion-activated buttons illuminate when you pick up the remote (and turn off when the remote is stationary), and all of the buttons are within easy reach of your thumb. Also, the voice search worked instantly and perfectly, even before setting up Google Assistant.

And it was a cinch to pair with both TVs we used to test the SHIELD TV Pro (a four-year-old LG 4K smart TV and a 12-year-old standard Panasonic Viera)—even with having to take the extra step of setting up infrared (IR) control to actually control the TV volume.

SHIELD Remote full features and specs

NVIDIA Sheild T V Pro Remote
  • Microphone for voice search and commands
  • Motion-activated backlit buttons
  • 3-way programmable remote
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • IR blaster for control of volume and power on TVs, soundbars, or receivers
  • Remote locator for finding a lost remote
  • 2x AAA batteries included

Optional equipment and accessories

In almost every picture, the SHIELD TV Pro is positioned vertically on a stand, but the stand is sold separately and costs $19.99. An upside to using the stand is that nothing blocks the device’s heat vents. But, when placed flat, the SHIELD TV Pro’s bottom vents have plenty of clearance, so you don’t really need to buy the stand.

Actually, we kinda wonder if it’s about to be discontinued, because it’s currently unavailable on Amazon, Best Buy, and even the NVIDIA Store. But we did find it for $29.99 at Walmart.com.

Nvidia Shield T V pro stand

Available apps and channels

The NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro comes with a few pre-installed apps, like Netflix (there’s even a dedicated Netflix button on the SHIELD Remote) and Amazon Prime Video. You can install other SHIELD-supported apps from the Google Play Store. Here is just a sample of what you can run on the SHIELD TV Pro.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro TV and video apps (partial list)

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Discovery+
  • Disney+
  • EPIX
  • ESPN
  • fuboTV
  • Google Play Movies & TV
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • IMDB.tv
  • Netflix
  • Paramount+
  • Peacock
  • Philo
  • PLEX
  • Pluto
  • SHOWTIME®
  • Shudder
  • Sling TV
  • STARZ®
  • Toon Goggles
  • Tubi
  • Ultraflix
  • Vimeo
  • Vudu
  • Xumo
  • YouTube
  • YouTube TV

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro entertainment and games apps (partial list)

  • Amazon Music
  • Google Play Games
  • Google Play Store
  • NVIDIA Games
  • NVIDIA GeForce NOW
  • Netflix
  • Pandora
  • PLEX
  • Spotify
  • YouTube Music

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro gaming

If it seems like the SHIELD TV Pro doubles as a gaming console, it doesn’t. It’s simply an extension of your gaming PC. Here’s how it works.

Stream your PC game library

You can connect your Steam or Epic PC game store accounts to the SHIELD TV Pro so you can play your games on your TV’s much larger screen. You’ll still need to use your PC, but most of the processing power comes from NVIDIA’s servers and gaming rigs, which run on the company’s GeForce RTX™ or GTX graphics processing units (GPU). But in order to access NVIDIA’s servers and rigs, you’ll need a GeForce NOW subscription.

GeForce NOW

A GeForce NOW membership lets you stream 100+ free-to-play games like Fortnite and Apex Legends on your TV as well as on your mobile device (again, you’ll need a Bluetooth controller or keyboard/mouse to play most games on either device). There are three membership tiers with different levels of performance, server access, playing session length, and resolution.

NVIDIA GeForce NOW membership tiers

GeForce NOW membership tier Price Rig Server access Session length Resolution
Free Free Basic rig (GTX 1060 GPU equivalent) Standard 1 hr. Up to 1080p at 60 fps
Priority $9.99/mo. or $49.99/yr. Premium rig (GTX 1080 or RTX 2080 equivalent) Priority 6 hrs. Up to 1080p at 60 fps
Highest performance $99.99/yr. (limited quantities) RTX 3080 rig Exclusive access to RTX 3080 gaming servers 8 hrs. Up to 1440p at 120 fps

Data as of post date. Offers and availability are subject to change.

All three tiers enable access to the entire GeForce NOW games library. The Free tier rig is equal to a PC with NVIDIA’s GTX 1060 GPU, one of its older graphics cards, so the performance is decent but not incredible. And the free tier’s basic server access and one-hour session lengths won’t satisfy most gamers. So think of this tier as a limited-functionality demo.

Most gamers will want to sign up for the Priority tier, which has significantly better performance, server access, and session lengths (six hours). It’s $9.99 a month or $49.99 for six months ($8.33 a month).

But hardcore gamers who want the best performance, shorter server wait times, and longest sessions (eight hours), should jump on the limited-quantity Highest Performance tier. Although you’ll play annually for this tier, it’s the same price as Priority ($8.33 a month).

NVIDIA GeForce NOW available games (partial list)

An impressive variety of games is available to play on the SHIELD TV Pro via GeForce NOW. But don’t think of GeForce NOW as Netflix for games. You’ll still need to own the game on Epic or Steam in order to play it on the SHIELD TV Pro (free-to-play games excepted).

  • Apex Legends*
  • ARK: Survival Evolved (and Survival Evolved Online)
  • Assassin’s Creed series (starting with Assassin’s Creed 3)
  • Batman: Arkham series (including VR)
  • Borderlands series (includes Borderlands 2 VR, doesn’t include original Borderlands)
  • Call of Duty series (most titles)
  • Dead by Daylight
  • DOOM series (DOOM, DOOM 64, DOOM 2016, DOOM Eternal)
  • Far Cry series (starting with Far Cry 3)
  • FIFA 12–21, FIFA Online (3 and 4)
  • Fortnite Battle Royale*
  • Forza Horizon (3 and 4)
  • Goat Simulator
  • Hades
  • Half-Life series
  • Halo: Master Chief Collection
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • Minecraft (and Minecraft PTGI)
  • Mortal Kombat series (X, 11, and Komplete Edition)
  • NBA 2K13–2K22, NBA 2K Online and NBA 2K Online 2
  • Need for Speed series (incl. original, Shift, Hot Pursuit, and Most Wanted 2012)
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Phasmophobia
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Terraria

Data as of post date. Offers and availability are subject to change.
* Free-to-play game

NVIDIA GeForce NOW app for Android

Similar to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can play select games on your Android phone or tablet with the GeForce NOW app (Google Play Store) and a Bluetooth controller. The GeForce NOW app currently has a 3.4 rating (out of 5), with some reports of latency (a.k.a. the dreaded lag) and login issues.

There is no GeForce NOW app for iOS, but you can launch GeForce NOW in the Safari browser. We haven’t tested this yet, but we’ll update this article when we do.

Gaming equipment

You’ll need a separate video game controller or keyboard/mouse to play games on the SHIELD TV Pro and even on the NVIDIA GeForce NOW app.

We recommend the NVIDIA SHIELD Controller because it’s designed specifically for Android-based systems like the SHIELD uses, and has integrated Google Assistant, volume controls, and a headphone jack. And, on the gaming side, we love its PlayStation-style joystick/D-pad orientation, Xbox-style XABY button layout, and excellent ergonomics.

NVIDIA Sheild T V Pro Gaming Remote

That said, the SHIELD TV Pro is compatible with a range of Bluetooth-enabled controllers, including PS and Xbox controllers. Just be aware that you won’t have the SHIELD Controller’s Google Assistant integration if you use a third-party controller. That’s not a big deal, though, because you’ll have the SHIELD Remote for that stuff—and you’ll save $50–60 by not having to buy another controller.

Alternatively, you can use a keyboard/mouse instead of the controller.

What’s this PLEX thing?

One of the coolest features of the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro is its ability to act as a PLEX media server. This enables you to store all of your movies, music, and photos on the SHIELD TV Pro and access them from any other device that has the PLEX app installed. We think this NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro feature is pretty cool—you can read more about it in our PLEX guide.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro models

In addition to the SHIELD TV Pro, you can still buy the original SHIELD TV. There’s not a ton of difference between them, but we’ll break them down for you.

Swipe Left to See All →
NVIDIA SHIELD TVNVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro
Nvidia Shield T V unit and remote
NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro
Price$149.99$199.99
Video4K HDR Ready, Dolby Vision HDR and HDR104K HDR Ready, Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10
AI upscaling
GPU256-core NVIDIA GPU256-core NVIDIA GPU
AudioDolby AtmosDolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos
ProcessorNVIDIA Tegra X1+NVIDIA Tegra X1+
RAM 2 GB3 GB
Internal storage8 GB16 GB
Expandable storageMicroSDUSB, MicroSD
PortsGigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0b, MicroSDGigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0b, 2x USB 3.0 Type A, MicroSD
PLEX media server
GeForce NOW
AAA game streaming
Wi-Fi802.11ac dual-band MIMO (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz)802.11ac dual-band MIMO (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz)
BluetoothBluetooth 5.0 + LEBluetooth 5.0 + LE
Captive portal support
Smart home compatibilityGoogle Home or Alexa/Amazon Echo (devices sold separately)Google Home or Alexa/Amazon Echo (devices sold separately)
Google Assistant
Chromecast 4K built-in
Bluetooth gaming controller compatibility
RemoteSHIELD RemoteSHIELD Remote
View on AmazonView on Amazon

Data as of post date. Offers and availability are subject to change.

Yes, that was a long table. But here are the key differences between the SHIELD TV and SHIELD TV Pro:

  • The SHIELD TV Pro is $50 more than the SHIELD TV.
  • The SHIELD TV cannot act as a PLEX media server like the SHIELD TV Pro.
  • The SHIELD TV Pro has more RAM (3 GB) than the SHIELD TV (2 GB).
  • The SHIELD TV Pro has USB ports and a MicroSD slot; the SHIELD TV has only the MicroSD slot.

So, if you’d rather save $50 than have a PLEX media server, 33% more RAM, and two USB 3.0 ports for greater expansion, get the SHIELD TV. But we think $50 more is worth it for the SHIELD TV Pro’s extra functionality and performance—especially if you’re a gamer.

Final take

We’re kind of in love with the SHIELD TV Pro. The streaming TV experience is amazing, especially with that little magic wand remote, and the SHIELD TV Pro’s gaming features are pretty neat. If you’re a gamer, it’s totally worth your 200 bucks. If not, go with the Roku Ultra.

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro FAQ

Is the NVIDIA SHIELD Pro discontinued?

The NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro has not been discontinued, but production of the device and therefore its availability has been affected by the pandemic. At the time of writing, both Amazon.com and BestBuy.com have the SHIELD TV Pro in stock.

What does the SHIELD TV Pro do?

The NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro ($199.99) does all of this:

  • Stream TV at up to 4K resolution
  • Stream AAA video games at up to 4K resolution (controller or keyboard/mouse sold separately)
  • Run premium Android games
  • Run dozens of TV, music, and gaming apps
  • Organize your media files with Plex media server
  • Work with Google Home and Alexa (separate Google Home or Amazon Echo device required)

Does NVIDIA SHIELD TV work on any TV?The NVIDIA SHIELD TV and SHIELD TV Pro work with any TV that has an HDMI port. But you’ll need a 4K TV in order to take advantage of both devices’ 4K capabilities, including AI upscaling from 1080p to 4K.

The NVIDIA SHIELD TV and SHIELD TV Pro work with any TV that has an HDMI port. But you’ll need a 4K TV in order to take advantage of both devices’ 4K capabilities, including AI upscaling from 1080p to 4K.

Will there by a new SHIELD device in 2021?

The most recent versions of the NVIDIA SHIELD TV and NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro came out in 2019. We haven’t heard anything about a 2021 model for either device. We’ll post an update when we hear news.

Methodology

CableTV.com’s experts spent dozens of hours researching and testing the NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro’s TV and game streaming features, evaluating and rating its TV and game streaming performance and value so our readers can make informed buying decisions. To learn more about our research and testing practices, see our “How We Rank” page.

Full Amazon disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED ‘AS IS’ AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

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