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Nvidia Shield TV: Everything you need to know

Nvidia brings its gaming expertise to the Singaporean streaming box market with the game-centric Nvidia Shield TV.

Buy any new TV and it will invariably come with a range of smart TV streaming features, but the updates to those devices can be spotty, to put it politely. An increasing number of Singaporeans are sidestepping those issues by using dedicated streaming set-top boxes such as the Apple TV , ViewQwest TV or Xiaomi Mi Box.

Nvidia’s take on a streaming box has a distinctly gaming flavour, as you might expect, and while it’s taken its time to be officially released in Singapore, it has already started to become an option in the busy streaming box market.

What does the Nvidia Shield TV do?

Like the ViewQwest TV or Xiaomi Mi Box, the Nvidia Shield TV is an Android TV device, which means it’s running Google’s specific Android variant for large-screened TV experiences. That means that the Nvidia Shield TV works with a wide range of apps as well as the “Cast” ability of devices such as the Google Chromecast for sending video or image content from Android or iOS apps.

The Nvidia Shield TV supports video output at up to 4K HDR, as long as you’ve got compatible material to view and a TV that scales up that high.

The Nvidia Shield TV features ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity for streaming purposes, as well as two USB ports at the rear for attaching other devices. That’s not just a storage play, either, as it will support external peripherals such as keyboards, mice, gaming controllers or even web cameras. It’s also Bluetooth enabled for easy pairing with headphones and supported game controllers.

Games are key to Nvidia’s DNA, so it’s not surprising that the Nvidia Shield TV is a TV set-top box with gaming in mind, although the exact shape that it’ll take in Singapore is yet to be confirmed. It will natively support Android TV-based games without a doubt. If you’ve got an Nvidia-powered gaming PC on the same network, you will be able to use Nvidia’s GameStream feature, which allows you to send your PC’s output to your TV, in a similar way to Valve’s Steam Link.

The final piece of the Nvidia gaming puzzle is one that many Singaporean gamers have been waiting on for a long time. That’s GeForce Now, Nvidia’s game streaming server which skips out on the local PC in favour of an Nvidia server providing high-quality gaming goodness.

GeForce Now absolutely requires a high-quality broadband connection to work properly, because even a tiny amount of system lag would be lethal for all but the slowest strategy titles. We’re seeing quite an uptick in Singaporean broadband quality, but whether that’ll be enough for Nvidia to justify bringing GeForce Now to Singapore remains to be seen.

Which services will Nvidia Shield TV be compatible with?

At the time of writing (April 2019), Nvidia has made no official announcement yet around the Singaporean version. However, based on the number of available streaming services through the Google Play app store, there’s a big chance that they would be directly supported. Google Cast compatibility is also supported for some that are not available in app form. If you’ve got a compatible smartphone or tablet, you should be able to cast them up to the Shield TV, and the same should be true for services such as Netflix and HBO GO.

That does leave quite a few larger players up in the air in terms of app compatibility, including heavyweights such as Netflix and HBO GO. Many boxes promise most services, but none to date have covered everything. Nvidia could establish a solid presence if it manages to sign up a wide range of services for Nvidia Shield TV, or it may just be another content-limited option for streaming.

How much does Nvidia Shield TV cost?

The Nvidia Shield TV price starts from S$305.

The common configuration you can find in Singapore includes the media controller remote and an Nvidia Shield controller. There’s also the basic pack option with only the standard media controller remote.

When will Nvidia Shield TV be officially released in Singapore?

Nvidia has made no official announcement yet about the Nvidia Shield TV’s official release in Singapore. However, you could find its imported US version easily through major retailers and online stores.

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