Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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jp1
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Nvidia Shield TV

by jp1 Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:12 pm

Anyone have one of these? I was thinking of grabbing the 500GB version to replace my media center pc and maybe do some gaming. How is the selection/pricing of the available titles?

I don't care about streaming from a gaming pc as I don't own one. So, speaking only of native content here.
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Re: Nvidia Shield TV

by samsonlonghair Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:59 am

I don't have one, but I've heard great reviews for it. Supposedly, it's the best media streamer box on the market. It had better be because it's also the most expensive.
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Re: Nvidia Shield TV

by jp1 Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:35 pm

samsonlonghair wrote:I don't have one, but I've heard great reviews for it. Supposedly, it's the best media streamer box on the market. It had better be because it's also the most expensive.


It certainly carries a hefty price tag, but I feel like the specs warrant that a bit. I'm happy to drop three bills on it...if it delivers on experience. My expectations would be high, no doubt. Considering it would be competing a bit with XB1 and PS4 at that price, I'm not too keen to jump right in.
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Re: Nvidia Shield TV

by samsonlonghair Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:26 am

Here're my thoughts on the subject of media center devices in general:

You can buy a mini PC for about the same money (or about a hundred more depending on which model you select). I'm talking about a small PC that runs windows. Even the best media streaming box on the market cannot be as versatile as a PC.

There's almost nothing a "hockey puck" (ie roku, chromecast, fireTV, Netgear NeoTV, D-Link Movie night, et cetera) can do that a mini PC cannot do. The main advantage is out-of-the-box convenience for the tech illiterate. You (like most every user on this site) are not the tech illiterate. I imagine you know how to configure a PC relatively well.

There are literally thousands of applications a mini PC can run which a "hockey puck" device cannot. There are numerous real-world scenarios wherein we can imagine the mini PC being more useful in regular media use.

You want VNC installed on your media center? That's a fifteen second installation on a PC.
You want XBMC/Kodi installed on your media center? No hacking necessary on PC.
You want to stream HBOgo, Netflix, Hulu, or whatever streaming service comes out next year? You know it will run on PC.
You want an up-to-date web browser? That's on PC.
You want emulators? You know those will run best on PC and be kept up to date.
You want controller compatibility? There's a usb dongle to connect to practically any controller you can name.
Bittorrent? Yes, PC.
What about streaming content from some random online service? Only on PC.

Only three devices on the market (that I know of) add extra features a PC cannot easily replicate or exceed: AppleTV, PlaystationTV, and NVidia Shield TV. You already said in your opening post that you don't care about streaming from a gaming PC... so the killer feature goes right out the window. If streaming iTunes and screen mirroring a mac strikes you as a must-have feature, get an appleTV. I'm guessing it does not. If you want very much to play half of your Vita games on your TV, get a PlaystationTV... in addition to another media center option because PlaystationTV cannot run Netflix.

Overall, just get yourself a mini-PC and configure it the way you want it.

tl;dr
You can setup a mini-PC for not much more money that will work better than any media center box.
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Re: Nvidia Shield TV

by jp1 Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:10 pm

samsonlonghair wrote:Here're my thoughts on the subject of media center devices in general:

You can buy a mini PC for about the same money (or about a hundred more depending on which model you select). I'm talking about a small PC that runs windows. Even the best media streaming box on the market cannot be as versatile as a PC.

There's almost nothing a "hockey puck" (ie roku, chromecast, fireTV, Netgear NeoTV, D-Link Movie night, et cetera) can do that a mini PC cannot do. The main advantage is out-of-the-box convenience for the tech illiterate. You (like most every user on this site) are not the tech illiterate. I imagine you know how to configure a PC relatively well.

There are literally thousands of applications a mini PC can run which a "hockey puck" device cannot. There are numerous real-world scenarios wherein we can imagine the mini PC being more useful in regular media use.

You want VNC installed on your media center? That's a fifteen second installation on a PC.
You want XBMC/Kodi installed on your media center? No hacking necessary on PC.
You want to stream HBOgo, Netflix, Hulu, or whatever streaming service comes out next year? You know it will run on PC.
You want an up-to-date web browser? That's on PC.
You want emulators? You know those will run best on PC and be kept up to date.
You want controller compatibility? There's a usb dongle to connect to practically any controller you can name.
Bittorrent? Yes, PC.
What about streaming content from some random online service? Only on PC.

Only three devices on the market (that I know of) add extra features a PC cannot easily replicate or exceed: AppleTV, PlaystationTV, and NVidia Shield TV. You already said in your opening post that you don't care about streaming from a gaming PC... so the killer feature goes right out the window. If streaming iTunes and screen mirroring a mac strikes you as a must-have feature, get an appleTV. I'm guessing it does not. If you want very much to play half of your Vita games on your TV, get a PlaystationTV... in addition to another media center option because PlaystationTV cannot run Netflix.

Overall, just get yourself a mini-PC and configure it the way you want it.

tl;dr
You can setup a mini-PC for not much more money that will work better than any media center box.


I am currently running Asus Chromeboxes with upgraded ram and SSD. They are setup as Openelec (Kodi only) boxes at the moment due to ease of use. I am pretty tech savvy, my wife not so much. When I'm at work or unavailable she wants something to "just work". The Chromebox fulfills that niche quite well as configured and it could even run windows 8 or 10 and boot directly to Kodi with much the same experience. It is the addition of some light gaming without the need of an additional piece of hardware that attracts me to the Shield. I also have a Roku because the streaming experience is simply better on that, more utilitarian.

I upgrade stuff I probably don't need to all the time, mostly because I'm a bit of a spec junkie. I like to be able to tinker and have extra horsepower...but in the end the rest of the family just wants something that is easy to pick up the remote and play with.

For instance my Chromeboxes run at 5%-10% total utilization when playing full quality bluray rips. So, for local media it makes no sense to upgrade. My Roku does an admirable job of being pretty speedy and reliable and delivering a great user experience with consistent quality. Still, I get the itch when I see something new and cool. It's a problem.

I wouldn't own an Apple tv, PStv, or Fire tv, specifically because I don't like being forced into one particular service. I tried the Fire tv and hated the interface as well.

My hope was that the Shield would fulfill the duties of the Chromebox, Roku, and offer some last gen quality games. If it did all that with a nice easy interface...then I'd be all over it. I still want to know how the marketplace prices are though. I wouldn't love paying $30+ for games that are exact replicas of 360 games that now sell for $5.

If it were just me using it, I would be on the same page with you. I actually built a media PC with decent capabilities for everything described above. The main issues were as stated above (not simple enough for the rest of the family), and it was a bit loud. The price increased exponentially as I wanted to upgrade bottleneck hardware as well. Started as a $200-300 project and ended somewhere closer to $500. Now it resides in the spare room and fulfills the duty of a NAS, which could be taken care of with a $50 raspberry pi. :?
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Re: Nvidia Shield TV

by samsonlonghair Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:33 am

I have a couple of thoughts here.
jp1 wrote:I am currently running Asus Chromeboxes with upgraded ram and SSD. They are setup as Openelec (Kodi only) boxes at the moment due to ease of use. I am pretty tech savvy, my wife not so much. When I'm at work or unavailable she wants something to "just work". The Chromebox fulfills that niche quite well as configured and it could even run windows 8 or 10 and boot directly to Kodi with much the same experience.

That's pretty cool. I did not know that a chromebox could be made to run windows. I was thinking of a NUC or something similar.

jp1 wrote:It is the addition of some light gaming without the need of an additional piece of hardware that attracts me to the Shield. I also have a Roku because the streaming experience is simply better on that, more utilitarian.

I upgrade stuff I probably don't need to all the time, mostly because I'm a bit of a spec junkie. I like to be able to tinker and have extra horsepower...but in the end the rest of the family just wants something that is easy to pick up the remote and play with.

For instance my Chromeboxes run at 5%-10% total utilization when playing full quality bluray rips. So, for local media it makes no sense to upgrade. My Roku does an admirable job of being pretty speedy and reliable and delivering a great user experience with consistent quality. Still, I get the itch when I see something new and cool. It's a problem.

Ok, we have two separate issues here. One solution will not solve them both.
-Issue 1. You like shiny new gadgets.
Cool. I can't blame you. I like shiny new gadgets too. Buy yourself a Sheild TV and have fun with it. Just don't expect it to solve...
-Issue 2.
The family isn't as techy as you are; they need a simpler user interface.
Your family wants a simple user interface that requires no configuration on their part. Do they just use Netflix and Hulu? If so, an old Wii will still run Netflix and Hulu. An XBOX360 can also handle that task with ease. Do they use lots of streaming services? HBOgo, Amazon Prime, Pandora, Spotify, et cetera? You might not like my answer to that. There is a media streamer on the market that already plays all the major streaming services AND has a simple user interface. You know the one I mean. AppleTV.

jp1 wrote:I wouldn't own an Apple tv, PStv, or Fire tv, specifically because I don't like being forced into one particular service. I tried the Fire tv and hated the interface as well.

This is a legitimate criticism, but is this device for you, or for them? Like I said, one solution won't solve both issues. Issue 2 calls for a simplified interface. Apple knows how to make a simplified UI. There are plenty of legitimate criticisms we can lay against apple, but you have to admit, they know how to build an easy user interface.

Regarding being "forced into one particular service," I don't buy audio or video on itunes either. I do rip my CDs to .mp3 and load the .mp3s into itunes, which runs fine on any airplay device. It may not matter too much. Does your family play audio/video files off your local area network when you're not at home? I'm guessing not too often. They probably want to use one of the pre-built apps like spotify or pandora, right?

jp1 wrote:My hope was that the Shield would fulfill the duties of the Chromebox, Roku, and offer some last gen quality games. If it did all that with a nice easy interface...then I'd be all over it. I still want to know how the marketplace prices are though. I wouldn't love paying $30+ for games that are exact replicas of 360 games that now sell for $5.

So...remember how you don't want to be "forced into one particular service?" Guess what the Nvidia SheildTV does to gamers. Yep. If you want to play those coveted last gen games, expect to pay a monthly fee to use Nvidia's "GRID" service to stream games a la OnLive. Launch titles include Batman Archam Origins, Lego Marvel something or other, Darksiders 2, Street Fighter IV, Half Life 2, and Goat Simulator.

Yep, Goat Simulator is a launch title. Take from that what you will.

jp1 wrote:If it were just me using it, I would be on the same page with you. I actually built a media PC with decent capabilities for everything described above. The main issues were as stated above (not simple enough for the rest of the family), and it was a bit loud. The price increased exponentially as I wanted to upgrade bottleneck hardware as well. Started as a $200-300 project and ended somewhere closer to $500. Now it resides in the spare room and fulfills the duty of a NAS, which could be taken care of with a $50 raspberry pi. :?

I can empathize with you here. I have had more than a few projects spiral wildly out of budget myself. I feel you.
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Re: Nvidia Shield TV

by jp1 Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:39 pm

samsonlonghair wrote:That's pretty cool. I did not know that a chromebox could be made to run windows. I was thinking of a NUC or something similar.


Yep, Windows 8 or 10 can be installed with a minimal effort. At least on my Asus Chromebox. Previous versions of windows are incompatible though.

samsonlonghair wrote:You might not like my answer to that. There is a media streamer on the market that already plays all the major streaming services AND has a simple user interface. You know the one I mean. AppleTV.


I actually feel the Roku fulfills this need quite well. I was hoping to consolidate but....

samsonlonghair wrote:So...remember how you don't want to be "forced into one particular service?" Guess what the Nvidia SheildTV does to gamers. Yep. If you want to play those coveted last gen games, expect to pay a monthly fee to use Nvidia's "GRID" service to stream games a la OnLive. Launch titles include Batman Archam Origins, Lego Marvel something or other, Darksiders 2, Street Fighter IV, Half Life 2, and Goat Simulator.


It looks like a non starter. This is NOT what I had in mind. I thought this box was capable of native support of last gen quality titles. It is misrepresented in my opinion if it is not. I have no interest in streaming from "GRID". So, thanks for saving me $300 dude. :D
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Re: Nvidia Shield TV

by Anapan Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:24 am

I was looking into this too, so thanks for the heads-up. Not something I care to pay for and use my bandwidth streaming live video of a game to. In that case, my Android phone plugged into the TV with my PS3 controller can do that...
Looking into Windows 8&10 devices, the general consensus is that the operating system has actually been ramping down system requirements to the point that an ATOM processor equivalent to oldschool 1st gen X86 netbooks can easily run these systems and make them seem snappy and powerful because the OS & built-in apps are low sysreq. Once you load a game that isn't off the microsoft store tho, it becomes very apparent that these are not gaming machines, just well integrated CPU & GPU for streaming and low profile "mobile apps".
Agreed with above about "real PC" AIO mini boxes. I've played with one of these, and if built for a specific budget, I think it's the way to go. MSI and ASUS have got the hardware priced really competitively, and if you find your requirements, you can get exactly what you pay for. Given that they have off-the-shelf parts and most are actually upgradeable (tho those low profile video cards are kinda lacking to the point that the I3 onboard intel is just as good usually), you can find out what will actually run okay before you pay for it.
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Re: Nvidia Shield TV

by noiseredux Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:18 pm

jp1, you dont HAVE to pay the monthly fee for GRID to play games on the Shield TV. You can buy games. Ones that I think you'd be interested in like Borderlands The Pre-Quel, RE5, Never Alone, Doom 3, Titan Souls, The Wolf Among Us, Metal Gear Rising, etc etc etc.

https://shield.nvidia.com/games/android

I agree that streaming the PC games is a huge selling point. But, I will say that as someone who has used 3 different Roku models, built a Windows based media center PC, as well as a SteamOS box w/ XBMC support, the Shield TV is far and away my favorite "one box under the TV" solution.

Yes, I am benefiting from PC streaming. But beyond that, the media apps run and look great. And the native game support is impressive as well. The controller is a solid 360 knockoff, and includes voice support for easy searching (like the Fire TV has).
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Re: Nvidia Shield TV

by jp1 Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:31 pm

noiseredux wrote:jp1, you dont HAVE to pay the monthly fee for GRID to play games on the Shield TV. You can buy games. Ones that I think you'd be interested in like Borderlands The Pre-Quel, RE5, Never Alone, Doom 3, Titan Souls, The Wolf Among Us, Metal Gear Rising, etc etc etc.

https://shield.nvidia.com/games/android

I agree that streaming the PC games is a huge selling point. But, I will say that as someone who has used 3 different Roku models, built a Windows based media center PC, as well as a SteamOS box w/ XBMC support, the Shield TV is far and away my favorite "one box under the TV" solution.

Yes, I am benefiting from PC streaming. But beyond that, the media apps run and look great. And the native game support is impressive as well. The controller is a solid 360 knockoff, and includes voice support for easy searching (like the Fire TV has).


Cool, I am definitely interested. I'm thinking of grabbing the 500GB version and hoping it will hold me over until I build a gaming pc to stream with. I really like the television experience when gaming, but I like the customization (mods) and the ability to upgrade that is part of the pc experience. It seems like this would be a nice bridge between the two.

Can I just open this thing up and upgrade the hard drive myself? It seems the 500GB version is a lot of extra coin. I'd be able to stuff a SSD in there and purchase the 16GB version for less.

Since you mentioned that it will play DVD, I'm wondering if I could plug in a Blu-ray drive as well. I could clean out my entertainment center a good bit as well if that's the case. Especially if it supports Kodi.
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