The NVIDIA Shield TV is the best thing that ever happened to PC gaming

Android dudes
Android dudes (Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

The NVIDIA Shield TV is one of our favorite Android devices of all time. At least it's one of my favorite Android devices of all time. It's the best Android TV box, is well supported by the company that makes it, and has the oomph to push out FHD HDR video to any TV that supports it.

Gamestream isn't new but it's a thing that didn't get the attention it deserved.

And it's a helluva way to play PC games on that big 50-inch+ screen in your living room.

NVIDIA Gamestream isn't anything new. And it's not just for the Shield TV so if you have a Shield tablet or a Shield portable you can get in on the same action at a smaller scale. What it does is let you play your games from your gaming PC, but have a remote screen and controller. Cool concept, right? The thing is that it's way cooler than you think it is once you try it.

How to set up GameStream on your NVIDIA Shield TV

I've always loved video games. I usually buy the next AAA title before I read any reviews just because I love playing games. I did just that with Mass Effect: Andromeda, and don't regret it. Anyhoo, I bought the PS4 version because I also like to kick back in a soft chair and play games in the living room. After I was 90% complete I decided I liked the game enough to give EA a few more dollars and bought the PC version only to be bummed out because your EA account doesn't sync between the console versions and the PC. Thanks, Sony, Microsoft, and Origin.

I didn't feel like starting over so I was going to dig out a monstrous long HDMI cable, but while I was digging for it I saw my Shield TV box and remembered Gamestream. If you love to game and have a decent gaming rig (full system requirements here) this is the shit.

It was super easy to set up, the response between controllers or keyboard/mouse and the screen is at least 99% as good as playing local and I get to chill in my La-Z-boy with my feet up and shoot stuff. I was hooked the minute I tried it and made sure my favorite games were set up so I could play them the same way. Now I can play ME: Andromeda as well as Fallout 4, Far Cry, The Witcher 3 and even old favorites like Thief in style. And I have an underpowered Steambox to give to the neighbor's kid because this is just plain better.

Consoles are great but if you have a gaming PC, a Shield TV is better. Flame on.

I know I'm not the only gamer out there who isn't gung ho for one particular bit of hardware to play games on and plenty of people have a console or two and a gaming PC. For anyone reading who thinks the same way, you really need a Shield TV just so you can do the Gamestream thing.

In fact, NVIDIA could cash in on just how great this is if it wanted to. Gamers spend a lot of money and won't balk too much at the price of a set-top box that can run Android apps and games, will soon have Google Assistant and can remote play the games they love with Ultra settings instead of console jaggies and stutters. They should demo this stuff in every GameStop in every mall in America and drop a $20-off coupon for one in the box my $700 video cards came in.

This is what's cool about the way Android is distributed. Sure, the distribution model lends itself to fragmentation and devices being left behind, but that's the companies not being on their toes and doing the right thing. Letting a company that knows how to do hardware use Android in ways like the Shield TV does is how you get cool stuff. Everyone loves cool stuff.

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Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.