Nvidia Shield 2017 vs 2019: Which 4K HDR Streaming Media Player Is Better?

Surprisingly, Nvidia Shield TVs have all bells and whistles to give you powerful streaming and impressive gaming features. Nvidia expanded its lineup by launching two new models in 2019: Shield TV and Shield Pro. Both are upgraded versions of the previous Nvidia Shield 2017 model and come with new capabilities and features. The question is “Which Nvidia Shield is worth your money?”. OR if you already have a previous Nvidia Shield, Is it worth an upgrade.

In this Nvidia Shield 2017 vs 2019 comparison, we comprehensively compare these three streaming devices. So, you may get an obvious picture in your mind that leads to a wise buying decision. Let’s make headway!

Nvidia Shield 2017 vs 2019: Side By Side Comparison Chart

 Nvidia Shield TV (2017)Nvidia Shield TV (2019)Nvidia Shield TV Pro (2019)
ImageNvidia Shield TV (2017)Nvidia Shield TV (2019)Nvidia Shield TV Pro (2019)
DesignBoxCylindricalBox
Chipset (Processor)NVIDIA Tegra X1NVIDIA Tegra X1+NVIDIA Tegra X1+
Memory (RAM)3GB2GB3GB
Storage Capacity16GB (Expandable by USB)8GB (Expandable by USB)16GB (Expandable by hard drives or USB)
OS (Operating System)Android 8.0 Oreo (upgradable to Pie 9.0)Android 9.0 PieAndroid 9.0 Pie
Resolution4K, 1080p, 4K HDR (60 fps)4K HDR (60 fps)4K HDR (60 fps)
HDR SupportHDR10HDR10 + Dolby Vision HDRHDR10 + Dolby Vision HDR
UpscalingStandardAI (4K at 30 fps)AI (4K at 30 fps)
AudioDolby Atmos (pass-through only), DTS-X (pass-through), DTS-HD (pass-through), and Dolby TrueHD (pass-through)Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos (pass-through + Decode), DTS-X (pass-through), DTS-HD (pass-through), and Dolby TrueHD (pass-through)Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos (pass-through + Decode), DTS-X (pass-through), DTS-HD (pass-through), and Dolby TrueHD (pass-through)
Virtual AssistantBuilt-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatibleBuilt-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatibleBuilt-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatible
Wireless ConnectivityBluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz, and Wi-Fi 5 GHzBluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz, and Wi-Fi 5 GHzBluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz, and Wi-Fi 5 GHz
Remote ControlVoice search, Bluetooth connectivity, IR blaster, and button cell batteries (standard remote)Voice search, Bluetooth connectivity, IR blaster, remote locator, motion-activated, backlit buttons, and 2 AAA batteriesVoice search, Bluetooth connectivity, IR blaster, remote locator, motion-activated, backlit buttons, and 2 AAA batteries
Available Ports1 HDMI 2.0 port, a Gigabit Ethernet, and 2 USB 3.0 Type A1 HDMI 2.0 port, and a Gigabit Ethernet1 HDMI 2.0 port, a Gigabit Ethernet, and 2 USB 3.0 Type A
Supported Internet ServicesAmazon Instant Video, Google PlayAmazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora, Vudu, Disney +, YouTube, HBO, BrowserAmazon Instant Video, Vudu, Netflix, HBO, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Spotify, Kodi, Fandango NOW, Browser
Built-in Chromecast 4KYesYesYes
MicroSD Card SlotNoYesNo
Plex Media ServerYesNoYes
Netflix ButtonNoYesYes
Game ControllerIncludedOptionalOptional
GeForce GamingYesYesYes
Controller SupportShield / othersXbox / PS4 / shield / othersXbox / PS4 / shield / others
SmartThingsNoNoYes
CodecsHEVC, VP9HEVC, VP9HEVC, VP9
PriceLogitech c920sLogitech c920sLogitech c920s

 

Similarities Between Nvidia Shield 2017 and 2019

Back in 2015, the release of the first Nvidia Shield TV was a great surprise in the streaming industry. It came with high-end hardware and offered 4K streaming, a video app library, and access to GeForce Now gaming features. Like the first Nvidia Shield, current models also offer quite exceptional performance with an improved interface and more features.

Both the Nvidia Shield 2017 and 2019 (standard + pro) comes with considerable improvements over their ancestor. The latest pro and non-pro 2019 models come with more attractive price points and great performance. As all these streaming devices come from the same lineup, they offer many things in common. Let’s look at the similar features of Nvidia Shield 2017 and Nvidia Shield 2019!

Android TV Experience on All Nvidia Shields

Android TV Experience on All Nvidia Shields

To begin with, everybody knows that the Nvidia Shield is one of the best Android devices ever (officially supported). You almost get the same updates on Shield 2017 as you get on Shield 2019. Regardless of the version, NVIDIA ensures a similar Android TV experience on every streaming device. They all come with excellent hardware and give you an outstanding experience than other available devices in the market.

Moreover, you can enjoy unlimited entertainment via a built-in 4K Chromecast. So, you can cast your favorite images, videos, and app from your smartphone to your Android TV. Eventually, it is compatible with Google Stadia, GeForce Noe, and Nvidia’s in-home game streaming app.

Are Nvidia Shield 2017 and 2109 (standard+ Pro) have Virtual Assistant?

All three Nvidia Shield streaming devices come with built-in Google Assistant. so, you can control your Shield hands-free. You can schedule your day, ask about the weather, hunt down your favorite movies and TV shows, and much more using Google Assistant. Besides, they feature a program called “Nvidia Spot” that allows you to control your smart home devices by giving verbal commands to Google Assistant.

Moreover, the Nvidia Shield 2017 and the Nvidia Shield 2019 (pro & non-pro) have Amazon Alexa compatibility. These all shields offer excellent functionality, and you can use any of them as a central entertainment hub for your whole house.

Which Operating System Do Nvidia Shield TVs have?

Both models of Nvidia Shield 2019 (pro & non-pro) come with the latest Android OS 9.0 Pie version. On the other hand, the Shield 2017 has Android 9.0 Oreo at the time of its release. However, it is now upgradable to the new OS version. Thus, all Shields currently running on the Android Pie operating system offers better interface customization.

Wireless Connectivity of Nvidia Shield 2017 and Shield 2019

Last but not the least, Shield 2017 and Shield 2019 (pro & non-pro) come with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options. All three shields are compatible with 2.4 and 5 GHz connections. However, the shield 2017 has Bluetooth 4.1 version while the other two models come with Bluetooth 5.0 version.

Nvidia Shield 2017 vs 2019- How These Streaming Devices Differ?

Although Shield 2019 models are upgraded versions of Shield 2017, it only offers a few more features here and there than Shield TV 2017. Now, we will get into further details of their differences. So, you can end up with a more obvious and informed buying decision.

Design of Shield 2017, Shield 2019, and Shield 2019 Pro

Design of Shield 2017, Shield 2019, and Shield 2019 Pro

The design of Nvidia Shields makes them stand out among other android boxes. Almost all Nvidia Shields features an iconic angular design that appeals to many people.

Nvidia Shield TV 2017

The Nvidia Shield 2107 has an angular design and resembles a micro-console or a modern art sculpture. It is more compact as compared to the older Nvidia Shield.

Nvidia Shield TV 2019 Standard

On the other hand, Nvidia Shield 2019 non-pro model comes with an entirely different design. It has a cylindrical shape and can be tucked behind your entertainment hub (TV). Besides, it resembles Amazon echo and is also known as “tube” and “shield Ghost”. Shield tube 2019 is more compact and stealthier and comes with a different power cable. We find it more appealing, and it just looks like a smart home device than another thing.

Nvidia Shield TV 2019 Pro

The 2109 pro model comes with the traditional familiar-looking angular design as the 2017 model has. It looks like a mini-game console and is certainly designed to attract gamers. Nvidia shrinks this device by 40% and it is sleeker and more compact than the Shield 2017. It’s up to which design you find more appealing to place in your display cabinet.

The Winner Is: A Tie

 

Which Nvidia Shield Offer High-end and Better Performance?

Which Nvidia Shield Offer High-end and Better Performance

The newer versions come with a faster processor which translates to faster and better performance.

Nvidia Shield TV 2017

Nvidia Shield 2017 comes with a Tegra X1 chip that is still one of the powerful chipsets powers a streaming device. It has a 1000 MHz clock speed that is more than enough to give you an excellent streaming experience and a satisfying gaming experience as well. If you are contented with Nvidia 2017 model, you may not require an upgrade only for the new chipset.

Nvidia Shield TV 2019 Standard

In contrast, the new 2019 Nvidia versions are powered by the new Tegra X1+ chipsets. So, it can go a long way when you want to do massive cloud streaming.

Nvidia Shield TV 2019 Pro

Like non-pro Shield, the pro version of Nvidia shield 2019 also comes with Nvidia’s Tegra X1+ processor. Nvidia promises up to 25% faster performance in new Shield TV versions with a 1267 MHz clock speed. It matters a lot if you are a true gamer and take your game streaming to the next level.

The Winner Is: The Nvidia Shield 2019 Media Player (Standard + Pro)

 

Nvidia Shield 2017 vs 2019 vs Shield Pro- Memory & Storage

Storage capacity and Memory is another significant difference between Nvidia Shield TV 2017 and Nvidia Shield 2019 models.

Nvidia Shield TV 2017

The Shield 2017 comes with 3 GB RAM and 16 GB of storage capacity. So, you have plenty of space to store apps, games, and movies. Moreover, you can use a USB stick or hard drive to expand its storage.

Nvidia Shield TV 2019 Standard

Although non-pro Shield 2019 comes with a faster and newer processor, it has less memory and storage capacity. To keep the price down, Nvidia cut its RAM down to 2GB while its native storage capacity is just 8 GB. It is quite enough for streaming purposes.

However, This reduced storage is not acceptable for true gamers. Another downside is you can expand storage via a microSD card rather than a hard drive or USB stick as it lacks USB ports.

Nvidia Shield TV 2019 Pro

The Nvidia Shield pro also comes with 3GB RAM and 16GB native internal storage along with a faster chipset. The Nvidia Pro also supports a large hard drive, and you can also expand pro Shield storage using a USB stick. So, you get massive to store movies, TV shows, and games.

The enhanced spec of Shield 2019 pro ensures smooth streaming, gaming, and deal tasks in a better manner than another shield. So, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is a must-have device for hardcore gamers.

The Winner Is: The Nvidia Shield 2019 Pro

 

Audio & Video- Dolby vision, Upscaling, Dolby Atmos, & More

Audio & Video- Dolby vision, Upscaling, Dolby Atmos, & More

Arguably, the technical upgrades like Dolby vision, AI upscaling, and more are the basic reasons to consider Shield TV 2019.

Nvidia Shield TV 2017

Sadly, The Shield 2017 doesn’t feature Dolby Vision and AI upscaling. However, it still supports HDR10 and includes upscaling. Like every Nvidia Shield, it also supports HEVC and VP9 codecs and can display 4K images at 60 fps.

Furthermore, it has Dolby Digital audio and supports all video and music apps. Besides, Shield 2017 is compatible with many Dolby, DTS, and audio codecs, older TVs, and audio devices.

Nvidia Shield TV 2019 Standard

In contrast, the 2019 model comes with Dolby Vision and AI upscaling that can upscale lower-quality videos (720p and 1080p) to 4K at 30 fps. It is a nifty feature of the new Nvidia Shield models. Although some 4K TVs come with this feature, Nvidia ensures that its technology gives sharper and clearer vision quality.

In term of audio, Shield 2019 again deliver improved quality by bringing Dolby Digital plus while the older versions have Dolby digital Atmos (pass-through). Technically, you get a higher bitrate, more channels, and efficient compression.

Nvidia Shield TV 2019 Pro

Like non-pro shield TV, the pro version also comes with audio and video enhancements. So, you can the same improved audio and video quality by buying an Nvidia non-pro or pro model.

The Winner Is: The Nvidia Shield 2019 Pro and non-pro models

 

Remote Controller of Nvidia Shield 2017 and Nvidia Shield 2019

Remote Controller of Nvidia Shield 2017 and Nvidia Shield 2019

One more noticeable difference exists in their remote controllers. The new versions come with a new and improved Shield remote.

Nvidia Shield TV 2017

The old remote of Nvidia 2017 runs on coin cells and has voice search, Bluetooth connectivity, and IR blaster options. However, the good news is the new and updated shield remote is compatible with the older versions such as Shield 2017 and 2015.

Nvidia Shield TV 2019 Standard

The updated remote includes many handy options such as a lost remote locator, motion-activated, and backlit button. Besides, the new Shield remote comes with more media and audio controls and a programmable button to make use of Plex.

Furthermore, It has a big Netflix button that has a self-explanatory function. Overall, you can breathe new life with the modernized Shield remote.

Nvidia Shield TV 2019 Pro

Both the Nvidia Shield pro and non-pro models have similar Nvidia Shield 2019 remotes with a sleeker design than the old remote. Besides, it has all the options you find in the previous one such as voice search and Bluetooth connectivity.

One plus point, all three models of Nvidia Shield TV can use the official Nvidia Shield mobile app to perform all operations instead of the Shield remote.

The Winner Is: The Nvidia Shield 2019 and Shield Pro

 

Nvidia Shield 2017 vs 2019: Pros & Cons

Nvidia Shield TV 2017Nvidia Shield TV 2019Nvidia Shield TV Pro 2019
Pros:Pros:Pros:
Great streaming and gaming capabilitiesConsiderable technical enhancement such as Dolby vision and AI upscalingConsiderable technical enhancement such as Dolby vision and AI upscaling
Google Assistant support and Alexa compatibilityMore attractive designSleeker design
4K and HDR supportUpdated remoteUpdated remote
Remote and Controller includedUp to 25% fast processorUp to 25% fast processor
Compatible with GeForce Now streamingExcellent features at comparatively less costExcellent gaming and cloud streaming
Cons:Cons:Cons:
Quirks in interface and app selectionLess Memory and storageRelatively expansive than the Shield 2019 non-pro model
Lacks Dolby vision and AI upscalingLacks USB ports
Game streaming needs faster and more reliable internet connectivityNot novice-friendly
Logitech c920sLogitech c920sLogitech c920s

 

FAQs

What is the difference between Nvidia Shield 2017 and 2019?

The Nvidia Shield 2019 comes with many more technical improvements than Nvidia 2017 model. It has a faster processor, AI upscaling, HDR Dolby vision, and Digital Plus. Besides, it comes with an advanced remote controller.

What is the difference between Shield and Shield pro (2019) models?

Shield 2019 and Shield pro come with a completely different designs. Meanwhile, the non-pro Shield has 2GB Ram and 8GB storage that is expandable through a microSD card. While the pro version has 3GB Ram and 16 GB storage that is expandable vis hard drive or USB stick.

Which Nvidia Shield model is best?

Nvidia Shield TV 2019 Pro is a better choice if you want excellent gaming and streaming experience. It can also act as a hub for SmartThings.

Does the 2017 Nvidia Shield have AI upscaling?

No, Shield 2017 doesn’t receive AI upscaling via an update.

Will there be a new Nvidia Shield in 2021?

Unfortunately, No! Nvidia officially skip it and says it was a “no-op” for the company.

Is it worth upgrading to the new Nvidia Shield?

If Dolby Vision and AI upscaling entice you, the upgrade is worth considering.

What can I use Nvidia Shield for?

Initially, it can act as a control hub for your smart home. You can use it for streaming PC games and as a media center for online and local streaming and media playback.

What is Plex on Nvidia Shield?

Plex is an app that allows you to stream your media anywhere and on any device. It makes your shield a media player and a media server as well.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, Nvidia Shield is wholly a revolutionary device that allows you for streaming, gaming, and gives total control over your smart home devices. All Shield models cater to different potential audiences. If you already won Shield 2017, it is not worth upgrading. But if you don’t have any shield, Nvidia Shield 2019 is a decent option due to its great feature with a lower price point. However, by spending some extra buck, the Nvidia Shield Pro will be your best bet.

Thus, the clear winner of our Nvidia Shield comparison is The Nvidia Shield TV Pro (2019).

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