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Nvidia launches new Shield TV set-top box

by Tarinder Sandhu on 16 January 2017, 14:00


Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadcxw

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Nvidia boss Jen-Hsun Huang took centre stage at the main Consumer Electronics Show (CES) keynote to launch the latest iteration of Shield - the company's video- and game-streaming set-top box.

Now known exclusively as Shield TV, thereby dropping the Android part of the previous name, the updated version launches in standard 16GB and Pro 500GB flavours. The previous Shield Android TV becomes end of line immediately.

Though the original has been available for 18 months, Nvidia keeps the same Tegra X1 256-core Maxwell-based chip that's supported by 3GB of RAM. It has the same 4K playback available in high-dynamic range (HDR), ostensibly for better contrast and more striking visuals for both games and shows.

Audio remains solid, with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS-X over HDMI. Rather than change what's inside, Nvidia updates the Shield software to Android 7.0 and improves upon the baked-in app selection by adding Amazon Video.

However, in the interim, Nvidia has shrunk the player by 40 per cent, and now bundles in the remote as standard. There's a style change for the controller, too. The smooth lines of the original are replaced by an angular, geometric look.

What's more, Shield TV has built in Google Assistant for the first time. Huang also announced the Nvidia Spot - a small microphone that plugs into the wall and connects to the Shield, giving rise to an AI assistant around the home. Huang mentioned that multiple Spots can be installed for home-wide coverage, thus indirectly taking a poke at the fixed-location Amazon Echo.

Shield TV 16GB model will be available from January 16 while the Shield TV Pro 500GB from January 30. Pricing starts from $199 (£189) - the same as the incumbent Shield.

In other news, Huang announced and update to GeForce Now - the cloud-based gaming system whereby, through downloading a small program, users can stream their games catalogue - from Steam, GoG, etc. - through Nvidia Pascal-based servers around the world. Huang showed a Mac running the Nvidia client and playing Tomb Raider at decent image-quality settings.

This iteration of GeForce Now took about 15 seconds to load and seemed to be relatively lag-free in the demonstration. Launching in March, GeForce Now costs $25 for 20 hours of usage - a new method of charging for streaming your own games from the web on computers not capable of running them. Games can also be purchased for, say, Steam and stored and automatically updated on the servers, as well.

We've seen this before with Nvidia Grid, of course, but this potentially extends the GeForce reach to all PCs that are not able to run modern games. We're not sure about the per-hour pricing, though.

You can purchase the Shield at the following stores in the UK.

HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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Lol, $25 for 20 hours of gaming of titles you already own.
WOW. No SOC update. Nice work Nvidia, you had my money, but lost it in the 2nd paragraph. I was ready to throw $350-400 for a 14nm or 10nm version coming, but at ZERO perf improvement, I'll wait for next year I guess. Unbelievable that new versions (with actual hardware improvements) are coming/here from MS/Sony due to them realizing they were massively under-powered and ARM would march over them this year or next, but NV thinks selling the same thing AGAIN will get me this time? Don't get me wrong, both my dad and I want one (shield tv is great), but neither with today's soc. I would have accepted a 14nm shrink of the same thing but clocked far higher, and even wanted a larger box so they could strap a heatsink/fan on it (and hopefully up the watts to 50-100), but I really wanted a 10nm (or two) that would be coming soon. Shocked I waited all this time, 10nm is literally incoming, and all we get is rev 1.01. I was hoping for 2.0-3.0…ROFL (14nm or 10nm…).

Don't even get me started on $25 for 20hrs for my own games. I can get an unlimited news server for $8 that can max a 60-70mbit connection for ALL month 24/7 (yeah you can do it…LOL). I suspect we'll be hearing about lawsuits from kids running up bills and parents wanting money back. I would not be willing to pay you $25 a month even, unlimited. People should just buy a new gpu and call it a day on this one, but I guess it's for people who are semi rich or something. Netflix is $10 (so is everyone else) and I can stream again, 24/7 from them on TWO connections. I could see maybe $15 (not for me, but for a larger crowd) but this just seems out of whack. Then again, even if 1mil sign up they'd probably be adding 100mil per year to their bottom line I guess. I just can't see how anyone that can afford this would not be able to afford $150-1000 for a gpu if you game much at all. Some people, especially with kids, can put in 100+ hours a month in some games. God forbid you have kids and summer comes up. $$$$$$.

I love NV stuff (the good stuff that is), but fail on both of these for ME anyway. Maybe the voice thing sells a few more boxes, but this really needed TWO 14nm socs, or two 10nm and a box pushed to 50-100w to much more closely perform with ps4/xbox1 versions (with GDDR5x or HBM2 in it too). They needed to at least DOUBLE the power any way they had to to get my money. I really expected TWO socs (like xbox1/ps4's) slapped together just to sell more silicon and amp up perf massively. Simply add $50 and I'd have bought it. The chips are made far cheaper than that so this seems a no brainer. Color me VERY sad. I was even half expecting a STEAMOS runs on our box too announcement, or at least “and it runs nintendo switch games too” since they aren't exactly directly competing and nintendo still gets more game sales that way. I figured this would come with streaming ALSO from PC to Switch announcement to make both sides happy about the deal. Hmmf…TRIPLE or QUAD fail here for me I guess…ROFL.

Oh well, they're still running #1 for my gpu update if Vega doesn't win watts/heat and over 50% of what I want to do. AMD looks like they get my cpu update shortly though, as handbrake is a big deal to me today. But I really want a TOUGH ARM box with multi-OS to add to my PC gaming (just due to all the odd stuff I want to play on android already not to mention coming vulkan stuff etc). Where is the STEAM OS runs on ARM announcement? Surely Qcom/Nvidia/Samsung want a chunk of INTEL's 60B+ pie and Valve REALLY hates Microsoft, so what gives? Don't they want to sell to a 2Billion NON window market yearly? Don't they want to help kill DirectX12? ***confused*** Maybe they're just waiting on Vulkan/10nm/HBM2 etc mature for all of the above for next year. If that is the case NV, make sure you put in a big enough box for a gpu slot if we want one at some point. I'll take a slighly smaller than xbox1, but prefer original sized box with multiple storage spots, gpu slot, etc. Full PC style HTPC. I mean Qcom devices will ship with 10nm before Q2 is over. I'm guessing the made too many and have to sell out the old ones so no changes other than a software update or someone just dropped the ball? Whatever, done whining about this I guess. I expected a new product after 18mo and two new die shrinks here now (or shortly anyway). Off to read about AMD board etc just mentioned. NV lost my interest until next announcements (1080ti?). Almost checked to see if it was april 1st or some kind of joke here. This should have been all about max perf.
“Nvidia’s latest Shield TV device is built on the company’s powerful and efficient Pascal architecture. Nvidia didn’t reveal detailed specifications about the processor inside the new Shield TV, but the company said that it's more powerful than any other Android TV streaming device on the market by a factor of three.”

So is you're article incorrect? 256-core Maxwell GPU is what is in X1 and at 20nm. If this is based on Pascal, you need to update your article correct? If they did not Explicitly say it was a X1 based on maxwell where did you get your information?

Consider me back ON (kind of) for buying this for now, as I'm interested if Tomshardware is reporting correctly. Now checking anandtech, etc etc to get more info.

“the new version will support 4K HDR for both games and movies”
Is old X1 capable of 4K HDR movies and games (maxwell based 256 core)? Multiple sites saying NV did NOT specify the chip running the console.

Back in Sept, they showed a chart with X1 (20nm), Parker (16nm) and the new Volta model (16nm also). Note the difference between Parker version and X1 is 16nm instead of 20nm and also 4K ENCODE at 60fps (only decode at 60fps on X1 20nm).
“So what’s Xavier? In a nutshell, it’s the next generation of Tegra, done bigger and badder. NVIDIA is essentially aiming to capture much of the complete Drive PX 2 system’s computational power (2x SoC + 2x dGPU) on a single SoC. This SoC will have 7 billion transistors – about as many as a GP104 GPU – and will be built on TSMC’s 16nm FinFET+ process. (To put this in perspective, at GP104-like transistor density, we'd be looking at an SoC nearly 300mm2 big)”

Xavier is an obvious BEAST at 300mm^2 and 7B transistors. “Xavier AI Car Supercomputer: 8-core custom ARM64, 512 core Volta, 30 TOPs DL, 30W” This is what SHOULD be in the new Shield TV (maybe the 2018 box? LOL), but I guess NOT likely the Volta though, since that (Xavier) can do dual 8K streams IIRC. But still a 16nm Parker would be an upgrade also and that has been in DrivePX for a while. Xavier also not supposed to come until Q4 2017, so left with Parker or no upgrade? Parker also has 2 Denver+4x A57 cores, while X1 has 4x A57/4x A53. So again, I guess we'd need more info to figure out which is in this thing.

Does anyone know if X1 can do 4K HDR? Can you do that with a simple software update which would mean no soc change?
Didn't they learn 32GB is the minimum in 2017?