Amazon and Newegg may have spoiled the surprise last week, but today Nvidia is officially launching two new Shield TV devices. The Shield TV Pro ($ 199.99) and Shield TV ($ 149.99) are available for immediate purchase – and some retailers have already had them in stock in recent days.
Both new Shield TV products contain a Tegra X1 + processor, which according to Nvidia is "up to 25 percent faster" than the original X1. That is a fairly small speed bump when you measure how old the X1 silicon gets, but the Shield TV has always been extremely fast and responsive.
The most important upgrades for the 2019 Shields are software. Dolby Vision HDR is now finally supported. And Nvidia uses artificial intelligence to scale up 1080p and 720p video from your streaming apps so that it comes closer to the brightness and sharpness of 4K.
The design of the Shield TV Pro looks unchanged compared to the previous Shield TV, although it is no longer supplied with a supplied gamepad. What makes it "Pro", you ask? It has more storage (16 GB) and RAM (3 GB) than the standard Shield TV (8 GB / 2 GB) and is the only one between the two that can be a Plex media server. It also has two USB 3.0 ports.
The standard Shield TV is intended for a more mainstream audience. It is a long tube with ethernet connectivity and microSD expansion – but no USB ports. The look is unconventional, but you should hide the Shield TV somewhere (or even keep it on the floor).
Both come with a brand new remote control with power, volume and fast forward / rewind buttons, plus the existing voice search, home and back controls. There is also a customizable hardware button and a shortcut for Netflix.
These Shields run the latest version of Android TV, which is currently still 9 / Oreo despite the launch of 10 on mobile. Google has recently added the option to include Android TV in routines that you can set in the Google Home app so that these new devices can be part of linked streams that are activated with a chosen sentence.