Nvidia Defend TV overview (2017): The best TV streamer money can purchase

Nvidia Shield TV review (2017): The best TV streamer money can buy


When you’ve already constructed among the best Android TV subject within the market, the place do you go from there? That’s the question Nvidia confronted after releasing its Defend TV Android console once more in 2015. The distinctive Defend TV acquired me over nevertheless was let down by a shortage of content material materials, lack of bundled distant and a comparatively cumbersome (and ugly) controller.

Two years on and by no means solely is Android TV now a content-rich proposition, nevertheless Nvidia has addressed every single considered one of many genuine Defend’s factors, rising the system’s choices on the equivalent time.

Video video games and content material materials streaming are nonetheless very lots on the core of the Defend’s enchantment, nevertheless this yr Nvidia is using its latest console to go after the giants of home automation – Google Dwelling and Amazon Echo. This Defend TV is able to flip into the centre of your associated home.

In what might presumably be considered a controversial dedication, there’s utterly nothing completely completely different – in {{hardware}} phrases – between this yr’s Defend TV and the 2015 model. Many had been anticipating Nvidia to enhance its spectacular Tegra X1 chip nevertheless as a result of it’s nonetheless a reasonably extremely efficient chip, Nvidia felt it will likely be an pointless expense. Having seen what the Tegra X1 is ready to, not merely inside the Defend TV itself however as well as inside Nintendo’s upcoming Tegra X1-equipped Change console, it appears desire it nonetheless has a great deal of life left in it. The RRP is £189 and it can be found on Amazon UK for that (or Amazon US for $199)


Alongside the Tegra X1, you’ll get 3GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.1 help, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, two USB 3 ports and 16GB of internal storage. As with the sooner model, Nvidia will also be offering a “Skilled” alternative for the Defend that includes a 500GB HDD, which is near vital for anyone who plans to do better than merely stream video video games or media content material materials to their TV. The Defend TV Skilled is strictly the equivalent as a result of the 2015 model, even proper right down to the inclusion of a microSD slot, which has been omitted from the same old 2017 Defend TV model.

Nvidia Defend TV overview (2017): What’s modified?

So if the Defend TV’s guts are exactly the equivalent as that they had been two years previously, what’s modified? First up, Nvidia has made it smaller, reducing the scale by 40%, and whereas the distinctive Defend TV (and the model new Defend TV Skilled) measured 210 x 130 x 25mm (WDH), this yr’s model is a mere 159 x 98 x 26mm, which implies it’s even less complicated to tuck away behind a TV do you have to’d comparatively not have it on current.

This yr’s model stays to be merely as engaging to take a look at because the distinctive Defend TV. It might now be constructed from plastic, as a substitute of the plastic and metal assemble chassis of the distinctive (that’s now reserved for the Skilled model), nevertheless its faceted design is just as eye-catching. And that angular design look has moreover made its means all through to the totally overhauled Defend TV controller, which is a big enchancment on the distinctive and never looks like an unsightly lump of plastic.


Plus, in a switch that is sure to make the Defend a further participating proposition to newcomers, Nvidia is now along with the Defend Distant inside the subject together with that new sport controller. Beforehand, Defend owners wanted to pay £35 for the privilege, which was not solely unreasonably expensive, nevertheless those who sprung for it would even have been dissatisfied to look out its rechargeable battery would die inside per week or two of use.

Sadly, one disappointing change is the eradicating of a microSD slot on the same old Defend TV model. This isn’t really the tip of the world due to USB 3 storage help, nevertheless now that the Defend TV helps Android TV 7 Nougat’s adaptable storage, microSD help would have been a welcome addition.

And I found that using the USB 3 expandable storage alternative, effectivity by means of a USB flash drive and a conveyable 4TB onerous drive merely wasn’t that good. Video video games corresponding to The Witness and Metallic Gear Rising: Revengeance had essential factors with loading fast enough – factors that melted away as quickly as put in on the internal storage.

Nvidia Defend TV overview (2017): Peripheral contemplating

The principle enchantment in deciding on up a model new Defend TV, over making an attempt to pay cash for an outdated model on eBay, is the revamped controller. And whereas its polygonal pores and pores and skin appears good, what makes it a better controller is the assemble top quality and the feel of the sticks and buttons. The whole thing regarding the new controller feels bigger top quality and further refined than Nvidia’s earlier effort, and that makes it far more cosy to utilize for extended durations.

As part of the redesign, Nvidia has moreover eradicated the entire touch-sensitive navigation buttons from the pad, altering them with bodily ones positioned on the bottom of the controller, slightly below and between the two thumbsticks.


These can take a bit of little bit of getting used to at first, significantly as you’d rely on the “home” button to be the large Nvidia emblem inside the centre – as a substitute of the button beneath the proper thumbstick – nevertheless they’re a world of enchancment over the distinctive.

Nvidia has moreover improved gamepad battery life, claiming it would in all probability now final so long as 60 hours per value. I was sceptical, nevertheless I’ve put a powerful 40 hours or so of pretty intense use into it up to now, and the Defend Controller stays to be going sturdy.

Battery life will also be the foremost motive Nvidia tweaked its Defend Distant. Now ever so barely thicker than the sooner model, the newly bundled-in distant ditches the rechargeable battery and headphone port in favour of two removable CR2032 batteries, a change that Nvidia says gives it a yr’s worth of battery life.

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