Nvidia Launch Shield Android TV Box in UK: HDMI 2.0, 4K@60p

Jonathan Sutton

The hotly-anticipated NVidia Shield Android TV box has officially gone on sale in the United Kingdom and Europe this month. The Shield is not only the first living-room entertainment device from the graphics card specialist, it also goes directly up against other popular media streamers such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV.

Nvidia Shield

What sets the NVidia Shield apart is the sheer processing power under the hood. Equipped with a Tegra X1 mobile processor with 256-core Maxwell GPU, 64-bit CPU and 3Gb RAM, the device is claimed to be up to 34 times faster than its competition, allowing for a smooth and responsive user experience. Two versions are available, the basic Shield and the Shield Pro which will have 16Gb and 500Gb storage capacities respectively.

Crucially for home theatre fans, the Nvidia Shield also ticks all the right boxes in terms of features. Its lone HDMI port is specced up to HDMI 2.0 level with HDCP 2.2 compatibility, which means playback of 4K Ultra HD material at up to 60fps. Video codecs supported include H264, HEVC H265 and VP9, permitting YouTube and Netflix 4K streaming as well as content from Kodi and elsewhere. A recent update also enables 24Hz output for a judder-free film presentation, something that’s sorely missed on Apple TV.

Gamers should also enjoy Nvidia Shield’s GeForce NOW cloud gaming service which has been dubbed “Netflix for games”. Users can hook up to Nvidia’s powerful European cloud-gaming supercomputers to purchase and play AAA blockbuster titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Saints Row: Gat out of Hell and Resident Evil: Revelations 2 through streaming at up to 1080p/60 within 30 seconds without having to wait hours for digital downloads. The company provides a 3-month free trial of GeForce NOW for new Nvidia Shield owners, after which subscription will cost £7.49 per month.

Given its Android TV underpinnings, naturally Google Voice search and command plus Chromecast phone-to-TV appcasting are built into the media streamer too. For Brits, popular apps like BBC iPlayer and Sky News are on board.

The Nvidia Shield Android TV box is priced at £149.99 for the 16Gb model, and £219.99 for the 500Gb version. As far as accessories are concerned, the Shield remote, stand and additional gamepad controller will cost £39.99, £24.99 and £49.99 respectively.