Has the NVIDIA Shield TV been discontinued?

The redesigned NVIDIA Shield TV (2019)
The redesigned NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) (Image credit: Phil Nickinson / Cordcutters)

Best answer: No, the NVIDIA Shield TV has not been discontinued. NVIDIA released a new Shield TV model for 2019, which means the older models from 2015 and 2017 are being phased out, and products effectively discontinued. Still, you can expect NVIDIA to continue to support the older models with software updates for the foreseeable future.

Amazon: NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) ($150)

What's different about the new Shield TV (2019)?

A hardware refresh for the NVIDIA Shield TV had been rumored for years, but we finally got it in late 2019 with a radical redesign of the standard Shield TV from the familiar surfboard design to a more sleek tube design. It's a really streamlined look that has the power cord plug into one end and the HDMI cable out the other to your TV. There isn't even a power button on the tube, so everything is controlled via the new Shield TV remote.

This means you can comfortably leave the Shield TV tucked behind your entertainment center with all the other cables and enjoy all that the Shield TV has to offer without having to find space for the Shield TV to sit in your entertainment center. You'll also get to enjoy the redesigned Shield TV remote, which is a significant upgrade over the old style.

The NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) is a radical re-imagining of the console that is much easier to set up and use.

Despite its svelte size, the 2019 Shield TV still offers a nearly identical experience to the older models with some intelligent upgrades where it matters most — the processor. NVIDIA has introduced the Tegra X1+ for the 2019 Shield TV models, which claims to offer a 25% performance bump over the older Shield TV models. This improved processing power has also allowed NVIDIA to implement some impressive AI-Enhanced upscaling effects that use machine learning to recognize the details and textures of HD content (1080p at 30fps) and bumped up the quality in select areas to 4K. The effect works like magic when available. Check out our explainer on the topic for more details of how AI-Enhanced upscaling works.

You'll also finally be able to enjoy Dolby Vision on your Shield TV along with the previously included support for Dolby Atmos. This is one of those features that not everyone is going to care about, but if you own a TV that supports those Dolby services, you will be really happy with its inclusion with the new Shield TV models.

The new tube design has lead to some inevitable compromises in features, most notably the lack of USB ports for plugging in accessories such as external hard drives, wired keyboards and mice, or wired gaming controllers. There is still a microSD port for quickly loading up your favorite content or upgrading the internal storage (which is just 8GB for the standard Shield TV), and you can still connect Bluetooth keyboards and gaming controllers at your convenience.

Should you upgrade to the new Shield TV?

Part of what has made the NVIDIA Shield TV such a great Android TV streaming box has been its future-proof specs that have stood up over the years. If you own an older Shield TV model odds are you still love it and may not see a reason to upgrade to the new 2019 model.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider upgrading to the new Shield TV (2019), especially if you've recently upgraded to a newer 4K TV and want the best picture and performance from all your favorite streaming services. I'd also recommend upgrading just to get your hands on the new remote, which is way better than the skinny black remote that shipped with the older Shield TV models. The new remote will be available to purchase on its own in early 2020, but why wait when you can get it — and everything else that the new Shield TV has to offer — right now.

Mick Symons
Mick is a writer and duty editor for Android Central. When he's not on the job, he can usually be found vacuuming up pet hair or trying to convince his wife that he needs more guitars.