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Apple TV vs Nvidia Shield: Comparing Features

When choosing a streaming device for your entertainment setup, two top contenders are the Apple TV 4K and the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro. Both devices offer impressive performance, 4K video streaming, and convenient features to enhance your viewing experience, but what makes them unique?

Apple TV is known for its seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem and its extensive content library of exclusive shows and movies. On the other hand, Nvidia Shield TV Pro is a powerful Android TV box, packed with gaming capabilities and wide app compatibility, which costs a bit more.

In this article, we’ll dive into the key differences between these two popular streaming devices, making it easier for you to decide based on your needs. Consider your content preferences, ecosystem integration, and budget.

Prices, Performance, and Specifications

This section provides some of the most important aspects to consider. Also, take a look at the video below, showing some differences between Apple TV and Nvidia Shield.

Apple TV and Nvidia Shield Prices

The Apple TV 4K (2022 model) (on Amazon) can be found new or used for ~$100-$150, while the NVIDIA Shield Pro (2019 model) (also on Amazon) can be found at a slightly higher tier, new or used for ~$150-$200. Each device boasts robust features for controlling smart home devices, offering gaming services, and enhancing your entertainment experience, with some differences in compatibility and ecosystem integration.

Processor and Speed

The Apple TV 4K and Nvidia Shield TV Pro both come equipped with high-performance processors. Apple TV is equipped with an A10X Fusion chip, which is a powerful processor designed by Apple. This chip ensures smooth performance and quick navigation through the tvOS interface. It also supports 4K HDR content and delivers a responsive user experience. (Source)

Nvidia Shield, on the other hand, features a Tegra X1 processor, which provides robust performance for streaming high-resolution content and gaming. The Tegra X1 chip is known for its graphics processing capabilities, making it well-suited for gaming and media consumption. (Source)

Operating System

Apple TV runs on tvOS, a closed operating system developed by Apple. It integrates seamlessly with other Apple devices and services, such as AirPlay and Apple Music. On the other hand, Nvidia Shield runs on Android TV, offering a more open platform with access to a wide range of apps and games from the Google Play Store.

  • Apple TV 4K: Uses tvOS, an operating system specifically designed for Apple TV devices. This allows seamless integration with other Apple products.
  • NVIDIA Shield TV Pro: Runs on Android TV, offering access to the Google Play Store, Chromecast built-in, and features like Google Assistant.

RAM and Storage

When it comes to RAM and storage options, there are some differences between the two devices. The Apple TV 4K offers more storage choices while the Nvidia Shield TV Pro provides more RAM and expandable storage.

  • Apple TV 4K: Offers 32GB and 64GB storage options, but RAM details are not officially disclosed
  • NVIDIA Shield TV Pro: Comes with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage, which can be expanded via USB connection

Design and Connectivity Options

The Apple TV and the Nvidia Shield Pro have modern designs and connectivity options, with the Apple TV offering newer connectivity options and the Nvidia Shield providing more flexibility in terms of expandable storage and device compatibility.

Physical Appearance

Both the Apple TV 4K and the Nvidia Shield Pro have a modern design that will fit well in any home entertainment setup. The Apple TV 4K has a compact, square-shaped design with rounded edges, measuring 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.4 inches. On the other hand, the Nvidia Shield Pro has a unique angular design, measuring 6.26 x 3.858 x 1.02 inches, making it slightly larger than the Apple TV 4K.

The remote control for the Apple TV 4K is called the Siri Remote, featuring a touchpad, dedicated buttons for volume, play/pause, menu, and a voice command button for Siri. The Nvidia Shield Pro’s remote has a triangular shape with a built-in microphone for voice commands using Google Assistant and dedicated buttons for volume, play/pause, Netflix, and others.

No matter which option you select, make sure to check out our related articles on Nvidia Shield remote pairing and Apple remote charging to enhance your user experience.

Connectivity Options

As for connectivity options, both devices offer a variety of options to connect to your TV and other devices:

Apple TV 4KNvidia Shield Pro
HDMI 2.1 portHDMI 2.0b port
Gigabit EthernetGigabit Ethernet
Bluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
Dual-band Wi-Fi 6Dual-band Wi-Fi 5
Thread (smart home protocol)2 USB 3.0 ports
Connectivity options for Apple TV and Nvidia Shield

One major difference is that the Apple TV 4K comes equipped with the newer HDMI 2.1 port, which allows for higher frame rates and improved bandwidth. Additionally, the Apple TV 4K supports the newer Wi-Fi 6 standard compared to the Nvidia Shield Pro’s Wi-Fi 5.

In contrast, the Nvidia Shield Pro offers 2 USB 3.0 ports, which can be used to connect external hard drives or other peripherals, giving you more flexibility in terms of expandable storage and device compatibility.

Streaming and Audio Quality

This section provides similarities and key differences in resolution, audio, and available streaming services for Apple TV and NVIDIA Shield.

Supported Resolution and HDR Formats

When comparing the Apple TV and Nvidia Shield, both streaming devices offer support for 4K HDR video. However, they differ in their handling of HDR formats. The Apple TV supports HDR10Dolby Vision, and HLG, while the Nvidia Shield supports HDR10HDR10+, and Dolby Vision.

Audio Experiences

For audio, both devices provide a high-quality experience, though there are differences:

  • Apple TV 4K features Dolby Atmos audio which provides an immersive surround sound experience.
  • Nvidia Shield Pro supports Dolby Atmos as well but also includes support for DTS audio format, offering even more options for audio enthusiasts.

Additionally, Apple TV provides access to exclusive content through Apple Arcade, while the Nvidia Shield offers extended compatibility with other applications due to its Android TV operating system. As a result, both devices cater to a range of preferences and content needs.

Gaming and Extra Services

When it comes to gaming and extra services, the Apple TV 4K can access a wide variety of games through Apple Arcade, but the NVIDIA Shield Pro has the advantage of offering access to GeForce NOW, NVIDIA’s cloud gaming service that lets you play AAA games without the need for a powerful gaming PC or console.

Which one is a better option for you?

Apple TV is ideal for those deeply integrated into the Apple ecosystem, prioritizing access to iTunes content, Apple TV+ originals, and seamless AirPlay. Additionally, Apple TV is known for its user-friendly interface and smooth performance, making it a great option for those who primarily use streaming services and prefer a simple and intuitive user experience.

Nvidia Shield appeals to gaming enthusiasts with its support for GeForce NOW and GameStream, offering an open platform with access to a wide range of apps and games from the Google Play Store. Its robust hardware capabilities, including 4K HDR support and expandable storage, make it a versatile choice for a powerful streaming and gaming experience.