I spent most of my time on the Shield using Netflix and YouTube, but I did test out some other content. My wife and I stayed in a hotel overnight a few weeks ago, so I took the NVIDIA Shield with me and used it as a media player.
I plugged the Shield into the HDTV in the hotel room, plugged in my Corsair USB flash drive with some video files on it, and used the Shield without a problem. I was watching some 1080p MKV files, with the Shield handling it like a boss. There were zero playback issues, with the Shield detecting the USB flash drive instantly, and then playing back hours of video flawlessly.
Get Your Gaming on with the Shield Controller
NVIDIA includes a Shield controller in the box, as well as the Shield remote. The Shield controller is one of the better gaming controllers on the market, and something that I think finds a great home with the Android TV-powered Shield.
The Shield would've been even cheaper without it, so I do question why NVIDIA had to provide one in the box when it could've simply dropped the price (below its already great price) and made it an optional accessory. But hey, I'm not going to complain about a great peripheral being included at this price!
One of the cornerstones of gaming on the Shield is GeForce NOW, which is NVIDIA's game-streaming service. NVIDIA GRID was the name of it when it was in beta, but now it's a full-fledged game-streaming service that costs $8 per month, but it offers over 60 games for you to stream.
NVIDIA's GeForce NOW service streams games to you at 1080p 60FPS (depending on your connection), with some big games like Homefront, the Batman Arkham trilogy, Dead Island, and more. You can also "Buy & Play Instantly" with some games, with varying price levels depending on the title. Your Internet connection is also going to need to be up to scratch, where if you want to game at 720p 30FPS, you'll need 20 Mbps available. If you want the full 1080p 60FPS experience, you'll need a decent 50 Mbps connection.
We played some games from the Google Play Store as well, with some of them being my favorite games on Android. There are games like Final Fantasy IV that you can kick back and enjoy in the living room, thanks to the Shield there to #ruleyourlivingroom. Thanks to the included SD card slot, you can download however many games you want and install them on an SD card - so you're not using the 16GB (or 10GB or so available space) on the Shield.
I have my NVIDIA Shield connected to my 802.11ac Wi-Fi network, on the 5GHz band for the best bandwidth I can provide to it, over wireless. There's a GbE port on the back, but I don't have a GbE port in my living room just yet - but the Wi-Fi on the Shield was still perfect.
I have a 100 Mbps Fiber connection at home, which was more than capable of buffering and streaming 4K content over YouTube and Netflix without any issues at all. The image quality was breathtaking - thanks to the use of my 4K OLED TV from LG.
PRICING: You can find the NVIDIA Shield for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The NVIDIA Shield retails for $196 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The NVIDIA Shield retails for £150 at Amazon UK.
Canada: The NVIDIA Shield retails for $289 CAD at Amazon Canada.
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