When it comes to Android TV boxes, the NVIDIA Shield is hands-down the best unit on the market. It comes with a wide variety of features that cater to gamers and cord cutters. But unfortunately, its price can be quite steep and it’s not accessible to most people. That’s why we did some research to find great alternatives that offer similar features but at an affordable price tag.
Read on for our list of the best NVIDIA Shield budget alternatives.
1. Amazon Fire TV Cube
If your home runs on the Alexa ecosystem then you’ll love the Amazon Fire TV Cube. In addition to built-in Alexa, it supports HD ULTRA and 4K streaming with the ability to stream content from all of your favorite streaming services. Not only that but the Fire TV Cube supports satellite voice controls and cable as well. It’s definitely one of the best NVIDIA Shield budget alternatives.
Attention: Read before you continue
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2. Xiaomi Mi Box
The Xiaomi Mi Box comes with all the features you’d expect from an Android TV box. But this is without leaving a dent in your pocket. You can play HD and 4K content with it and it has the ability to stream a variety of content from services like YouTube, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix to name but a few. It’s the best NVIDIA Shield budget alternative.
3. Google Chromecast Ultra
This Google Chromecast Ultra may not come with all the bells and whistles of a regular streaming box, but it does offer some interesting features. For example, you can control it with your smartphone. This eliminates the need for a remote, and all you need to do this is an HDMI dongle. It also supports 4K and ULTRA HD streaming across multiple platforms. This earns it a spot on this list of the best NVIDIA Shield budget alternative.(Discover yourself here)
NVIDIA is Still the Best
Make no mistake, the NVIDIA Shield TV device is still the best when it comes to Android TV streaming boxes. It comes with built-in Chromecast and Google Assistant functionality, in addition to a variety of other features.
Internally it has the most impressive specs of all the boxes available on the market and we love its packaging. The in-built microphone means that you can use it with your Google Assistant software or app. You can even connect a mouse and keyboard for a full-on gaming experience. Bluetooth connectivity is also available and it makes searching and password entering that much easier.
The NVIDIA runs on Android 8.1 which is the latest version of the software, and the user-face is super easy to use. You’ll find plenty of recommendations to choose from on the home screen so you’ll never be at a loss as to what you should watch next. Plus, it gives you access to all the best streaming services, including Spotify, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and even media streaming platforms like Plex and Kodi.
In addition to streaming like a boss, the NVIDIA Shield offers impressive processing power which is great news for avid gamers. You’ll have your pick of the latest games in addition to classics from the Google Play Store. If you still can’t find something you like, then you can always find games on the NVIDIA PC games archive. Using popular streaming services, you may also cast games from your PC to your TV. This way you can enjoy them from a larger screen.
What About Extra Storage?
The difference between the pricey NVIDIA Shield TV Pro and the 16GB NVIDIA Shield TV is that the former comes with a whopping 500 GB worth of built-in memory. The option you choose depends on the quality and quantity of the media you consume. Either way, the NVIDIA Shield is a great option for anyone that has a large library of content, including TV shows, movies, and music. Instead of keeping your content in an external hard drive that could contract viruses, you could just move it to the Shield.
Otherwise, the 16 GB version will work just fine for users who rely on platforms like YouTube and Netflix without a huge personal media library. If that’s still too pricey for you, then you should consider one of the devices featured in our list of the best NVIDIA Shield budget alternatives.
Figuring Out the Shield Controller
There are a lot of features to consider in the Shield controller and each of them is useful. There’s a USB charging cable, a micro-USB port, a rechargeable battery with a 60+ hour lifespan, and a 3.5mm headset jack which comes with stereo auto support. The Shield controller is compatible with Shield tablet, Shield TV and Windows PCs.
Connecting NVIDIA Shield to a PC
Should you wish to transfer media data from your Shield TV you can do so by connecting the device to your PC through a local network. All you have to do is to click on the “Settings” button of your NVIDIA Shield go to “Storage & Reset”, followed by “Over Local Network”. Click “Enable” so the screen can show you the Shield’s IP address, and credentials such as your username and password. Now you’re ready to enable this function on your PC. Go to the “File Explorer” option in your computer; input your NVIDIA Shield’s IP address, and credentials (password and username). From here, you should be able to access the Shield’s attached and adopted storage.
As you can see, the NVIDIA Shield is right up there with the best Android TV box devices. Also, it has very few competitors. But, it comes at a high price tag that’s not accessible to many, which is why there’s an increasing number of alternatives out there. In our opinion, the Xiaomi Mi Box is the best NVIDIA Shield budget alternative. Why? Because it has the ability to stream 4K and Ultra HD content and it comes with all the features you’d expect from a good quality streaming box.
Have you tried any of the streaming boxes featured in this article? Let us know in the comments section below what you think about them.