Nvidia Shield TV beoordeling: de beste Android TV box met briljante AI upscaling

Nvidia Shield TV review: the best Android TV box with brilliant AI upscaling
Overall Score5
  • Het originele Nvidia Shield is al lang de favoriete Android TV-streamingbox van de hoofdgebruiker, en realistisch gezien de enige die ik zou kunnen aanbevelen. Maar met zijn herontwerp als een verborgen buis en met een nieuwe, veel gebruiksvriendelijker en slim ontworpen afstandsbediening, de nieuwe Shield TV is niet alleen de beste streamingbox voor ervaren gebruikers, maar ook een van de allerbeste voor gewone mensen - precies daarboven met de Apple TV 4K en Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.

Nieuw verborgen ontwerp, geweldige afstandsbediening, topprestaties en indrukwekkende opschaling van HD naar 4K zorgen voor een geweldige smart TV-box


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Dit artikel getiteld “Nvidia Shield TV beoordeling: de beste Android TV box met briljante AI upscaling” is geschreven door Samuel Gibbs Consumer technologie editor, voor theguardian.com op woensdag 26 februari 2020 07.00 GMT

De Nvidia Shield TV is al jaren een verfijnde versie van de beste Android TV-box, boordevol indrukwekkende nieuwe op AI gebaseerde opschalingstechnologie en een nieuw ruimtebesparend ontwerp.

De nieuwe Nvidia Shield TV komt in twee versies: een mediastreamer van £ 149,99 en een "Pro" -alternatief voor £ 199 dat meer op gamen is gericht.

Voor degenen die niet bekend zijn met dit soort apparaten voor mediastreaming, ze voegen in feite een slimme tv-ervaring toe aan oudere televisies of vervangen de vaak vreselijke of verouderde slimme elementen van modernere sets, zodat u apps zoals Amazon Prime Video kunt gebruiken, BBC iPlayer en Netflix.

Nvidia is misschien wel de grootste naam in graphics, en maakt ook mobiele chips genaamd Tegra, waarop deze twee Android TV-boxen zijn gebaseerd. Het vorige Shield werd uitgebracht in 2015 en, in tegenstelling tot veel andere smart-tv's en streamingboxen, wordt vers gehouden met een gestage stroom van updates, het beste maken, meest ondersteunde Android TV-ervaring beschikbaar, ofwel ingebakken in een tv of in een settopbox.

De nieuwe Shield TV knoeit niet met de formule. Je krijgt een van de krachtigste mediastreamingboxen die er zijn, met de nieuwste versie van Android TV en vergelijkbare langdurige softwareondersteuning.

Gebruikersgericht ontwerp

Nvidia Shield TV-afstandsbediening
De driehoekige afstandsbediening ziet er op het eerste gezicht vreemd uit, maar werkt heel goed en glijdt niet weg of verdwaalt niet langs de zijkant van de bank. Foto: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

Wat nieuw is, is de vormfactor. De standaard Shield TV is geen doos maar een buisje met een stroomkabel en ethernet-aansluiting aan het ene uiteinde en een HDMI-aansluiting en microSD-kaartsleuf aan het andere uiteinde. The idea is you hide this small tube behind your TV in series with the cable without taking up any significant space.

The remote too has been rethought. Instead of being a thin, touch-sensitive remote, the new version has a triangular profile, takes two standard AAA batteries including rechargeables, has a good weight to it and an assortment of buttons that are backlit when the remote is picked up, including dedicated pause and volume buttons.

The shape may seem odd but it’s designed to prevent it slipping down the side or backs of sofas, and it works. A simple, user-friendly design.

The remote communicates with the Shield TV via Bluetooth and has an IR blaster in the end for controlling the volume on your TV, amp or soundbar. It works great.

Bestek

  • Bewerker: Nvidia Tegra X1+
  • RAM: 2 of 3GB
  • Opslagruimte: 8 of 16GB + microSD-kaart
  • Connectiviteit: wifi ac, Bluetooth 5, gigabit ethernet, HDMI 2.0b (HDCP2.2), 2x USB 3.0 (Pro only)
  • Software: Android TV (Android 9 Taart)
  • Format support: up to 4K @ 60Hz, Dolby Vision, HDR10, Dolby Atmos, TrueHD and Digital Plus, DTS-X
  • Afmeting: 40mm diameter, 165mm length or 98 X 159 x 259.3mm
  • Gewicht: 137g or 250g

Android TV

Nvidia Shield TV interface
The Shield TV has is the standard, customisable Android TV interface, without adverts, with a few Nvidia additions for things such as the AI upscaling, GeForce Now game streaming and accessory updates. Foto: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

Google’s Android TV platform is a fairly simple system based on apps and a customisable carousel layout that highlights content from certain apps. On the Shield TV it’s fast and easy to navigate in a way it often isn’t on smart TVs.

Getting around the interface is straightforward with the home, back and up, down, left and right buttons in a ring around the select button. Holding the home button pops up a quick access a list of apps, while double-pressing home takes you to recently used apps like on a smartphone or tablet.

Holding the back button brings up quick access to the settings menu, while the menu button in the top right can be customised to launch particular apps, settings or functions. There’s even a dedicated Netflix button for jumping straight in.

The Nvidia Shield TV tube
The tube has an HDMI socket and microSD card slot in one end. Foto: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

One of the biggest advantages Android TV has compared to other systems built into TVs is the wide app support from most of the major UK and US streaming services. Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Alle 4, My5 and Spotify are available, with the two notable exceptions being BT Sport (although BT TV is available) and the Apple TV app. Plex Media Server support is limited to the Pro model of Shield TV.

The apps are routinely updated too, meaning they continue to work, unlike some other platforms, which combined with Nvidia’s long support means you get a streaming box that should stand the test of time.

Alongside direct app support, the Shield TV has Chromecast 4K support built in, which means any app that can be cast from your Android or iPhone, tablet or even computer can be sent to your screen wirelessly, which includes BT Sport but not Apple TV.

Apps other than TV and video streaming services are also available, including Android games and Nvidia’s GeForce Now game-streaming service, which has both paid and free tiers of PC games and works surprisingly well. You’ll need a controller for games, and while Nvidia sells one, you can use any Xbox or PlayStation joypad that supports Bluetooth.

Google Assistant

The Nvidia Shield TV remote
Press and hold the mic button on the remote to talk to Google Assistant. Foto: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

Google Assistant is built into Android TV and works like a cross between an Android phone and a smart display such as the Nest Hub Max. Press and hold the mic button on the remote to talk to Assistant.

You can control playback in apps, such as playing, pausing or skipping to the next track in Spotify or even a particular time in a song, movie or TV show. U kunt apps starten, adjust the volume or search for shows, movies or tracks via voice. Ask Assistant to play Verdwaald in de ruimte and it will offer to play it via Netflix or Google Play Movies.

Then there are all the standard Assistant functions. Ask it how to get to work and it’ll give you the current state of traffic or transport and a small map. Ask it for the weather and you’ll get the forecast with visual cards. It’ll answer questions, command smart home devices, stream footage from smart cameras and hundreds of other things. The only exception I found was an inability to search for images from the web.

Next-generation AI upscaling

The Nvidia Shield TV
Nvidia’s AI-powered HD-to-4K upscaling technology is very impressive, and ideal for dealing with the many shows and movies across the various UK TV catchup services, Netflix, Amazon and Google Play that are still in HD. Foto: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian

The Shield TV’s ace in the hole is Nvidia’s new AI upscaling technology, which takes HD content and turns it into 4K with some very impressive results. While practically every TV or set-top box can handle basic upscaling of content – stretching HD content to fit a 4K screen with four times as many pixels – Nvidia’s technology is a cut above, particularly when viewing highly detailed scenes.

Cityscapes look incredibly crisp and detailed, while faces, cars and even wildlife are all significantly improved even compared to basic upscaling. Feed it a modern HD picture and the differences between it and real 4K content are surprisingly hard to spot. It even makes a decent job of handling something as old as NCIS, Futurama or Knight Rider.

Only comparing something such as the faces of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys in proper 4K versus the HD AI-upscaled version can you begin to spot the differences in closeup scenes or when the original picture was a little grainy in low light.

waarnemingen

The Nvidia Shield TV tube
The standard figure-of-eight power lead and optional ethernet plug into the other end of the tube. Foto: Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian
  • You can play music in the background from Spotify or similar while doing other things.
  • The Shield TV can be controlled through Alexa on an Echo smart speaker via the Nvidia Shield TV skill.
  • The Shield TV comes with a two-year warranty, but Nvidia doesn’t currently offer a repair, recycling or trade-in programme, ultimately making it disposable.

Prijs

The Nvidia Shield TV costs £149.99 while the Shield TV Pro costs £ 199. The optional Shield Controller costs £ 59,99.

Ter vergelijking, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K costs £49.99, Fire TV Cube kosten £ 109.99, the Google Chromecast Ultra costs £69 and the Apple TV 4K costs £179.

Vonnis

Het originele Nvidia Shield is al lang de favoriete Android TV-streamingbox van de hoofdgebruiker, en realistisch gezien de enige die ik zou kunnen aanbevelen. Maar met zijn herontwerp als een verborgen buis en met een nieuwe, veel gebruiksvriendelijker en slim ontworpen afstandsbediening, de nieuwe Shield TV is niet alleen de beste streamingbox voor ervaren gebruikers, maar ook een van de allerbeste voor gewone mensen - precies daarboven met de Apple TV 4K en Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.

On most fronts it beats or matches everything else, be it support for the latest Dolby Atmos, Vision and HDR standards, app support or even the built-in 4K Chromecast support. But it is the impressive AI upscaling that is the killer feature. If you predominantly watch HD content from Netflix, Amazone, YouTube, Google Play or BBC iPlayer et al on your 4K TV then the Shield TV is the box to buy.

The only fly in the ointment is a lack of the Apple TV or BT Sport apps in the Google Play Store on Android TV, but at least the latter can be Chromecast to the Shield TV from your phone or tablet. Only the Apple TV 4K has a wider selection of apps than available on Android TV.

The Shield TV isn’t cheap, coming in at £150, but it’s fast and feature-packed, will be supported for a long time and has one of the best remotes you can buy.

Voors: AI upscaling, Android TV, snel, bloat-free, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, long support, space-saving design, excellent remote, built-in 4K Chromecast, Google Assistant, GeForce Now Tegens: fairly expensive, no BT Sport or Apple TV apps

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