Nvidia Shield and Google Chromecast have always been at the top of the food chain when it comes to streaming platforms. But which one to go for? Let's find out!
Apart from the usual perquisites that are a must on streaming devices, like buffering speeds, playback quality, content optimization, and whatnot, there are a few other things as well to check off.
In this comparison article, we will explore the various parameters and differentiators that make the Nvidia Shield and Google Chromecast such good options to invest in.
Nvidia Shield, though pricier than the Google Chromecast, comes with a few extra features like AI upscaling and USB ports. Both devices support 4K streaming but the Shield TV offers 4K HDR streams. With Nvidia Shield, however, you can also stream and play games, whereas Chromecast is purely meant for streaming.
|Criteria||Nvidia Shield||Google Chromecast|
|Price||Shield TV- $149.99|
Shield TV Pro - $199.99
|Google TV HD - $29.99|
Google TV 4K - $49.99
|Virtual Assistant compatibility||Google Assistant (built-in)|
|Google Assistant (built-in)|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 4.2|
|Cast using Chromecast||Yes||Yes|
|Resolution||4K HDR||Google TV HD - HD|
Google TV 4K - 4K
|Audio||Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10, Dolby Atmos||Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos.|
|USB port||2 ports||None|
|Storage||Nvidia Shield - 8GB|
Nvidia Shield TV Pro - 16GB
Here's a more detailed guide on everything you need to know about the two devices:
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Nvidia Shield is a streaming device designed and produced by Nvidia as part of their Shield brand of Android devices. From launch, they have put emphasis on the ability to stream games.
And to support such complex functions, Nvidia Shields feature the Tegra X1+ processor which is very efficient yet powerful at the same time.
It has two models, Nvidia Shield and Nvidia Shield TV Pro which are distinguished by their greater internal storage.
Also, the base model Shield TV has come to be known as the Tube model because of its tubular design.
Starting at a price of about $149.99, you can the Shield TV pretty much everywhere, online or off the shelf.
Google Chromecast with Google TV
Google Chromecast is the official media streaming player by Google. Their design makes it look like a dongle.
The latest model 'Chromecast with Google TV' is the first product line to feature an interactive user interface and a dedicated remote control for the device.
Two subsequent models were released, one which supports 4k video quality and the other 1080p.
Nvidia Shield VS Chromecast with Google TV: A Comparison
Now, for the reason why you are here. Which is better? Nvidia Shield or the Chromecast with Google TV.
We will compare these two products on the basis of Price, Features, Video and audio resolution, AI Upscaling capabilities, Variants and Storage options, Design, and Build quality.
So, without any further ado, let's get on with it:
Nvidia offers two models for the Shield lineup. Here's how much they cost:
|Shield TV Model||Price||Storage available|
|Nvidia Shield TV||$149.99||8 GB|
|Nvidia Shield TV Pro||$199.99||16 GB|
Albeit, you can find them at a discounted price from time to time in online stores.
To start off the list, the Shield TV comes with Google Assistant on board that is capable of taking voice commands.
With this feature enabled, you can walk into your hall and command your TV to show you photos, live camera feeds, weather, sports scores, and more.
Additionally, it works hands-free with Alexa, Google Home, and Amazon Echo.
You can download the SmartThings app from the google store and turn your SHIELD into a smart home hub that can support additional SmartThings compatible smart devices.
It supports Bluetooth 5.0, which is faster better, and more efficient than the previous version.
With Bluetooth 5.0, you can now connect and interact with multiple devices to the Shield TV simultaneously.
Subscribing to GeForce NOW, which is indeed one of the best apps for the Shield TV, transforms your TV into a gaming rig capable of running almost 100+ biggest free-to-play games.
Additionally, it unlocks GeForce RTX 3080 gaming servers in 4K HDR along with the shortest wait times and longest session lengths.
Also, you will be able to experience elements like RTX ON including ray tracing and DLSS graphics for supported games.
You can also connect to gaming platforms like Steam, Epic Games, and more, to directly launch the games you own onto your TV.
If that's not enough, try out the different emulators to play retro games. (And yes, emulators do work on the Shield TV!)
You can also stream from Chromecast apps and display your Google Photos on your TV.
Resolution and Audio
Shield TV supports video streaming up to 4K HDR. The picture quality is crisp and the colors are vibrant enough.
Nvidia does manage to keep bottlenecks, motion blurs, and other visual artifacts to a minimum.
Supported audio formats include WAV, WMA, AAC, PCM, Ogg Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, AC-3, AAC-LC, AAC +, WMAPro, and HE-AAC.
Your home theater experience is brought to life with Dolby Vision HDR, and HDR10.
Not to mention the exceptional Dolby Atmos support that can transform your living space into a really good theatre.
AI-Enhanced Upscaling, one the coolest features to try on the Shield TV, is an AI-assisted video enhancement feature that augments the resolution of the content you play.
Nvidia Shield is capable of upscaling HD videos to 4K resolution at 30 FPS in real-time giving crisp and clear video quality.
With this feature, you can convert lower-resolution content, say 480p SD quality video, into higher-resolution pictures with vivid colors and smooth textures.
Due note that this feature is artificially boosted, meaning it won't yield good results all the time.
Variants and Storage Options
The Nvidia Shield variant offers 8GB of storage while the Nvidia Shield TV Pro variant offers 16 GB.
Apart from the storage discrepancy, the Shield TV and TV Pro differ in the design department as well. More about this later.
The Pro model also includes 2 USB ports. You can expand the storage or stream content from an external source through these ports.
The Shield TV happens to be a great PLEX server client for hosting and transferring content. Although, you may need to expand the storage of your Sheild TV with a suitable NAS.
Design and Build Quality
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro features the Tegra X1+ processor making it a powerful Android TV streaming player capable of even playing games.
Nvidia Shield, regardless of the model, comes with a Shield remote that is motion activated and has backlit buttons. The Remote comes with Bluetooth control, an IR blaster to control the TV, and voice control.
The device also features a user-customizable button along with a built-in lost remote locator. This Shield Remote is truly one of a kind device, pumped up with features.
Nvidia Shield Pro looks really cool featuring a black form factor with green accents, and a sleek design that makes it look futuristic.
The base model Shield TV features a tubular design, much smaller than the Pro version. This compact design may allude to the minimalists among you!
All software updates are automatically upgraded directly from NVIDIA as long as the device is connected to an active Wi-Fi network.
ChromeCast with Google TV
The Chromecast, like the Shield TV, also offers two models marked by the resolution they support.
Here are the prices:
As evident from the table, both models are priced at a much lower price range than the Shield TV lineup.
But does this price discrepancy reflect a lack of features compared to the Nvidia Shield? Let's find out:
Chromecast relies on user preferences to provide a more user-oriented content.
Based on your subscriptions, viewing habits, and the content you own, you are given recommendations and personal suggestions.
Chromecast allows for the creation of a kid's profile to give access to a fun collection of family-friendly movies and shows.
Additionally, you can choose playful themes, set parental controls to restrict access to what content can be viewed, limit watching time, and set bedtime
Buying Chromecast with Google TV gifts you a subscription to Peacock premium for 6 months.
Chromecast also supports Bluetooth connectivity for Headphone/Headset connectivity.
Resolution and Audio
Chromecast boasts fast streaming with crystal clear picture quality of up to 4K.
Furthermore, HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision supplement this already refined picture quality to a new level of sharpness and color brilliance.
Audio, too, is crystal clear with discernable vocal and ambient audio separations. Not bad for a device shaped like a pebble!
The device provides high-resolution audio and surrounds sound support with Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos.
Unfortunately, the Chromecast with Google TV does not come with the AI upscaling feature.
This means that you will have to view your content in its original quality and cannot be upscaled to a better resolution.
Variants and Storage Options
Chromecast with Google TV has two models, the HD version and the 4K version.
As you might have guessed, the model name implies the maximum video streaming resolution they support.
Both models come with a maximum storage of 8 GB.
Out of the box, the Chromecast with Google TV comes with 4.7GB for the HD model and 4.4 GB for the 4K. The rest is eaten up by the OS and other software inclusions.
Design and Build Quality
Chromecast also comes with a dedicated remote to help you navigate your TV which supports voice search and has a built-in Google assistant.
It comes with a Quad Core A53 1.8 GHz processor capable of fast streaming without buffering assuming the network connection is sound.
The Chromecast is available in snow white color and is designed to be a minor extension connected to the HDMI port on the back of your TV.
If your goal is to get a simple device that will allow you to get the most out of your money, then the Chromecast with Google TV is the one for you.
However, the limited storage coupled with the complete inability to expand the storage might be a letdown for most.
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro costs almost four times the price of Chromecast with Google TV.
However, If you are a gamer or if you look forward to using more features like AI upscaling, which really does make a difference, then the Nvidia Shield is the right choice for you.
Hopefully, this article has brought you closer to figuring out what requirements matter to you and which device provides those requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I Chromecast to Nvidia Shield?
Nvidia Shield is capable of making use of Chromecast technology to cast your favorite content from your phone, tablet, or laptop to the TV screen. You can use this feature with both iOS and Android devices.
Is there a monthly fee to use Chromecast with Google TV?
There is no subscription fee for using Chromecast. However, if you want to stream from services like Netflix and Hulu, you will have to subscribe to these services.
Can I plug Chromecast with Google TV into a TV USB?
Chromecast with Google TV has a USB cable that is compatible with any USB port. Additionally, the device features Mission USB Power Cable which has special power booster technology that can even work with low-power USB ports (500mA).
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