Is the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro still worth buying in 2022?

NVIDIA Shield TV Pro (2019)
NVIDIA Shield TV Pro (2019) (Image credit: Android Central)

Best answer: NVIDIA updated the Shield line of Android TV boxes back in 2019 and now these are the best options you can get your hands on. The Shield TV Pro features the same sleek design as its predecessor, along with some great improvements to the internals to allow this box to last for years.

The Shield TV Pro is what you make of it

NVIDIA Shield

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

On the front, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference between the older version and the updated Shield TV Pro. From a design aspect, they are almost the same, but there are a few key differences with the version released in 2019. The first difference you'll find is the new and improved remote that offers a matte finish instead of the glossy remote found on the original.

The first difference you'll find is the new and improved remote that offers a matte finish instead of the glossy remote found on the original.

Under the hood, the Shield TV Pro (2019) sports the new Tegra X1+ processor, which opens the door for the ability to do much more than its predecessor. Many of these features come in the gaming realm, as you can pair NVIDIA's Shield Controller (or other controllers) for those gaming sessions.

This brings us to the controller itself, as that was another way for NVIDIA to cut costs. The Shield Controller is no longer included when you buy the TV Pro (2019). Instead, you'll have to use your current controller or grab a new one. Fortunately, you can use an Xbox, PS4, or SteelSeries controller if you don't want NVIDIA's option.

There are a ton of great games available across the Google Play Store, NVIDIA Games, and GeForce Now libraries, along with Steam Link which lets you stream games from your PC to your Shield. You'll even get to take advantage of Advanced Android Gaming which are games that were developed specifically for the Shield TV, including some familiar AAA titles.

That is the allure of the Shield TV Pro — it was versatile enough to let you make it your own with all your favorite media, games, and apps while remaining portable to be easily set it up anywhere. On the software side, the Shield TV Pro will continue to receive regular updates, and NVIDIA has done a good job at keeping the Shield experience fresh and exciting with new features that are to come in the future.

Take your streaming offline

External drive for NVIDIA Shield

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

As popular as media streaming has become there's still something to be said for the simplicity of offline content. Let's say you have a massive library of movies, TV shows, and music — with the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro, you could load all that great stuff on and enjoy it using Plex, an outstanding media player. NVIDIA also included the Plex Media Server app pre-installed, which lets you keep your media library instantly accessible on the Shield, and streamable to other devices (phones, tablets, video game consoles, etc.) running the Plex app.

At just $50 more than the Shield TV (2019), one way that NVIDIA cut down on cost is with the internal storage. On the old TV Pro, NVIDIA packed a 500GB hard drive into the unit, but that has been removed and replaced with just 16GB of onboard storage. Thankfully, NVIDIA has included two USB 3.0 ports, allowing you to hook up an external hard drive and either play your favorite games or watch some content.

With an external drive like the Seagate Portable Hard Drive (5TB) (opens in new tab), you'll be able to load up just about anything onto the Shield TV Pro and access it with ease. There aren't a lot of difficult steps needed to set up, as the hard drive with the Shield TV Pro is practically a plug-and-play situation for your media. You'll just want to take advantage of the Plex Media Server app if you want to manage and enjoy the library.

Bottom line

The new NVIDIA Shield TV Pro (2019) is the big brother in the Android TV streaming arena and one that packs quite a wallop. Sure, you don't get the huge internal storage, but you can add your own external hard drive and use the TV Pro for your gaming, movie nights, and much more. And with Android TV along with the new and improved remote, it's pretty tough to say no to this one.

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.