Those of you interested in an Android TV may have already figured out that there are a number of models out there. Some of these devices are a bit more advanced than others, however, and can offer a better experience.
TiVo Stream 4K
Taking advantage of Google’s Android TV platform, TiVo Stream 4K for Android is a streaming dongle that supports a wide range of streaming services. As part of its initial launch, TiVo will include a free week of Sling TV. But it’s not as simple as downloading the app and signing up for the service. Rather, you must go through a quick setup process.
While the device does offer a lot of the features offered by its competitors, it also has some unique TiVo-inspired additions. For example, TiVo Stream 4K supports Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound.
Another interesting feature is TiVo Stream’s integration with Google’s Assistant. The virtual assistant will allow you to search the web and access your smart home devices.
It’s also possible to cast content from your phone or PC to the device, and you can even add external storage drives to the port. However, the port has a few limitations. For example, you can’t use it to record TiVo Mini recordings. And you won’t be able to share recordings with other TiVos in your household.
The device is powered by a micro-USB cable. It also comes with an Ethernet adapter. You’ll also need to set up a Google account for the device to work.
The device will come pre-loaded with the Sling app, but you can upgrade to the paid version. While you won’t get all the Sling features, you’ll get a better experience.
Nvidia Tegra X1+ chip has AI upscaling
Those with a Nvidia Shield TV can now enjoy the benefits of Nvidia’s AI upscaling feature. It’s possible to upscale 720p and 1080p content to near-4K, sharpening HD videos for a more immersive viewing experience.
Nvidia is using its Tegra X1 chip to power this feature. The company says it’s 25 percent faster than the previous generation, and offers up to a 25% increase in performance. It also supports Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision.
The AI upscaling model used in Nvidia’s Shield TV is trained offline on a database of popular movies and television shows. The model can then apply real-time refinement to get close to native 4K video. The technology is also able to split screens to show pre- and post-AI-upscaling videos.
The new Shield TVs have an all-new design, and they’re powered by a Tegra X1+ processor. The remote is updated, too, with dedicated buttons for Google Assistant, Netflix, and YouTube. It also features programmable buttons to toggle the AI upscaling feature.
The new SHIELD TV comes in a basic model and a pro model. The pro model offers more storage space and two USB 3.0 ports. The base model has a more modest design, with a tube-like shape and a new starting price.
Both models are available with Google Assistant and Plex Media Server support. They’re also compatible with all of the features that Shield TV had previously.
During CES, Nvidia unveiled a new version of its popular Shield TV set-top streaming box. This updated device features improved hardware, a redesigned remote, and a more modern UI. It also includes an ambient microphone that lets you use “OK Google” voice commands without holding your phone.
The new Shield TV app also makes the most of the device by introducing a 360-degree video feature. This is especially exciting for concert fans, as it lets you watch immersive content without the need for a headset.
Aside from a new interface and a few improvements, the update is largely unchanged from 2015. The remote is redesigned, and it now comes with an optional ambient microphone. This helps the Shield act as a smart home hub.
The Shield TV’s redesigned UI also helps it organize its content more effectively. The app also introduces a 360-degree video feature, which lets users watch immersive content without the need for a clunky headset. It’s one of the better features on any streaming device.
For $199, the Shield TV is a compelling alternative to the Apple TV 4K. It offers a wider variety of sources for 4K HDR content. It supports the Dolby Atmos sound format, which provides the best audiovisual experience. It also has a redesigned remote with an ambient microphone that lets you use “OK GOOGLE” voice commands without holding your phone.