Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV: Comparative Review

This article will illustrate the dissimilarities between Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV that are some of the most popular streaming devices among consumers. Both of them encourage you to ‘cut the cord’ and save money as they provide several channels or contents through them.

Comparing Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV, the Shield is an advanced streaming device with which you will have more flexibility and several options. Whereas, the Fire TV Stick or Stick 4k is portable, invisible, and user friendly.

Compare and contrast: Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV

Design

  Preview Visibility
Nvidia Shield Visible
Nvidia Shield Pro Visible
Fire TV Cube Visible
Fire TV Stick Less visible
Fire TV Stick 4K Less Visible

Nvidia Shield

With a tubular design that is around 6-inches long and has a tubular design.  It will not hang from the TV like other streaming sticks. The Nvidia recommends you to lie it on the floor. To hide it you can put it on the TV stand behind the TV or simply allow to sit it on the floor.

Nvidia Shield Pro

With classy aesthetics and lighting on the Shield, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro is bigger than Shield TV that measures 6.26” x 3.8” x 1.02” (w x d x h). It is not meant for hiding or to hang from the TV. But with HideIt wall mounts you can mount it behind your wall-mounted TV and hide it easily.

Fire TV Cube 2019

The Fire TV Cube measures 3.4” x 3.4” x 3.4”.  it is ideal to place it beside the TV on the TV stand. With a cube shape, it doesn’t look like a streaming device on a first look. With a LED bar on top, it looks spectacular and seems to be a great thing for show-off.

Fire TV Stick 2020

The Fire TV Stick has a dimension of 3.4” x 1.2” x 0.5”. It is designed so that it will hang from the TV. So, if you want a minimalistic setup with no hassle of wall mounting then you should definitely buy it.

Fire TV Stick 4K

The looks of this stick are bigger but similar to a TV stick. With a dimension of 3.9 by 1.2 by 0.6 inches (HWD) you can plug it behind your TV like a USB drive.

OS:

  Processor OS
Nvidia Shield NVIDIA® Tegra® X1+ processor with a 256-core NVIDIA GPU and 2 GB RAM Android 9.0 (Pie) with Chromecast 4K built-in
Nvidia Shield Pro NVIDIA® Tegra® X1+ processor with a 256-core NVIDIA GPU and 2 GB RAM Android 9.0 (Pie) with Chromecast 4K built-in
Fire TV Cube Hexa-core (Quad-core at up to 2.2GHz + Dual-core at up to 1.9GHz) Fire OS 7
Fire TV Stick Quad-Core 1.7GHz Fire OS 7
Fire TV Stick 4K Quad-Core 1.7GHz Fire OS 6

Nvidia Shield

The Android Tv platform is very straightforward and easy to use. Comparing Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV OS, the Shield and Shield Pro doesn’t forcefully flood you with certain contents. The interface is snappier making it one of the fastest streaming boxes on the market.

It will show popular content and you can always customize the side menu as well as the contents they display. This means you can allow the contents or apps you like to come first and then other things in second or third place. There is the option of add or delete also.

Fire TV Cube

The Hexacore CPU and ARM Mali G52-MP2 (3EE), 800MHz GPU produces cleaner OS and user experience without any delay. Unlike Smart TV like Vizio, switching between contents like Netflix to Vudu or Netflix to Home page is faster without any lag. It also has the updated version of Fire OS.

Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K

Fire TV Stick and TV Stick 4K OS and the home screen are similar. The Home screen shows suggested apps and contents with Amazon-based contents at first. You can select movies, TV shows from the options at the top of the TV, or search them using the search bar.

It has a feature called ‘X-ray’ where you can view the name of actors or music information of any particular scene that you are watching. The interface is easy to navigate.

Comparing Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV OS, you can’t adjust, add, delete or move the apps or menus up or down in Fire TV but you can easily customize and adjust in Nvidia Shield.

Audio quality

Nvidia Shield and Shield Pro

Dolby Audio (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos). DTS-X surround sound.  The audio quality is decent but not impressive. If you are a general user, then you won’t have an issue but if you are an audiophile then you will not be impressed with the sound quality.

Fire TV

Fire TV, TV Stick 4k, and TV cube support Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus. You can use Bluetooth headphones for private listening. The Dolby Atmos feature is enough to improve sound quality. So, you will experience a spacious, room-filling sound while using these streaming devices.

Video quality

  Video features: Supported codecs
Nvidia Shield 4K HDR, Dolby Vision, AI Upscaling, 32 bits H.265, H.264, H.263, MPEG 1/2, MPEG 4, WMV9/VC1, VP8, VP9
Nvidia Shield Pro 4K HDR, Dolby Vision, AI Upscaling, 64-bit H.265, H.264, H.263, MPEG 1/2, MPEG 4, WMV9/VC1, VP8, VP9
Fire TV Cube 4K HDR, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG. H.265, H.264, H. 263, MPEG2, 4, VP8, VP9  
Fire TV Stick 1080p, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG. H.265, H.264, H. 263, MPEG2, 4, VP8, VP9
Fire TV Stick 4K 4K, Dolby Vision, HDR 10+, HDR10, HLG H.265, H.264, H. 263, MPEG2, 4, VP8, VP9

Nvidia Shield

Comparing Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV 4K video quality, the difference lies in AI upscaling of Nvidia Shield that delivers upscaling with accuracy. The powerful Tegra X1 processor is 25% faster compared to the previous generation. While this increase in speed isn’t noticeable, it is needed for accurate AI scaling.

Compared to traditional upscaling of Fire TV, AI upscaling can provide striking clarity and better sharpness.  The approach is also different where AI upscaling takes the low-resolution content, then the deep learning methods predict the high-resolution picture but then produce an image closer to the original one.

It has upscale 720p or 1080p content. The main reason to choose AI upscaling is because it is needed to view content from apps like YouTube, Vudu, HBO, or Netflix.

Nvidia Shield Pro

The video quality is similar to Shield TV. Both of these models support the following:

  • Up to 4K HDR playback at 60 FPS
  • 4K HDR, Dolby Vision, and HDR 10
  • Up to 4K playback at 60 FPS
  • Up to 1080p playback at 60 FPS

One crucial difference between Nvidia Shield TV vs Nvidia Shield TV Pro is that the Shield TV has 32-bit but Shield TV Pro has 64-bits. So certain apps will not be supported by the Shield TV while TV Pro can easily play them.

Fire TV Cube

With 4K HDR resolution Fire TV Cube plays contents with a wide color gamut and enhanced contrast. The picture quality is even more enhanced and vivid with the addition of Dolby Vision and HDR.

With the 4K HDR row on the TV, you can easily find the compatible contents to watch them. Comparing Fire TV box vs Nvidia Shield, the Shield is more powerful and advanced while playing 4K and Dolby Vision Atmos contents.

Comparing Amazon Fire TV Cube vs Nvidia Shield, we see that the Cube doesn’t support streaming from several apps through 4k or Dolby Vision Atmos.

Comparison between Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV Cube video streaming:

  Nvidia Shield Fire TV Cube
4K Netflix Yes Yes
Prime Video Yes Yes
Disney+ Yes Yes
YouTube Yes Yes
Google Play Movies & TV Yes No
Vudu Yes No
FandangoNow Yes No
4K gaming Yes No
Dolby Vision. Atmos Netflix Yes Yes
Prime Video Yes Yes
Disney+ Yes Yes
Vudu Yes No
Movies Anywhere Yes Yes

Fire TV Stick

These days almost all TV or streaming device comes in 4K resolution. Comparing Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV, the new version of Fire TV Stick still hangs to the basic 1080p resolution which is usually a step back compared to other streaming devices.

If you compare Fire TV Stick vs Fire TV Cube vs Fire TV Stick 4k, you will see that only the TV stick lacks 4k content and Dolby Vision. While you can still connect the device with 4K TV, the picture quality will not be very good compared to native resolution. So, it is recommended to connect the device with a 1080p TV for optimum performance.

Fire TV Stick 4K

Between Fire TV Stick vs Fire TV Stick 4K picture quality, the TV Stick 4k supports 4k resolution. It also supports Dolby Vision and HDR which means the picture will be more vivid, with accurate details in dark scenes.

If you want the streaming device to support high-quality video then you can choose it over the Fire TV Stick because the color representation and better highlights will give you a better viewing experience.

Contents and apps

  Contents it lacks Casting
Nvidia Shield Most popular apps available Built-in Chromecast
Nvidia Shield Pro Built-in Chromecast
Fire TV Cube No Google Play Movies & TV, no built-in Google play store MiraCast with Fire Tablet
Fire TV Stick but no Peacock or HBO Max MiraCast with Fire Tablet
Fire TV Stick 4K No native YouTube app MiraCast with Fire Tablet

Powerful media streaming ecosystem and an accessible interface.

Cord-cutter

Nvidia

The streaming devices always want to accumulate certain popular channels and contents so that you don’t hesitate to stop paying for your cable connection. It has Showtime, CBS All Access, FOX NOW, Starz, ABC, NFL, ESPN, MLB TV, Fox Sports GO,

CBS Sports. It also has Live Channels.

Fire TV

The Fire TV supports IMDB TV content in the US which is free to watch with ads.  to the home screen in the US.

Live TV

Nvidia Shield

It supports YouTube TV, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue Live TVs.

Fire TV Cube

If you go to the Home Screen you will see the Live section on the right side. It has popular Live TVs like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, or YouTube TV.

Online streaming

Nvidia Shield

You can view the top streaming apps in Nvidia Shield such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, and Spotify. Comparing Nvidia Shield vs Nvidia Shield Pro, the Pro supports Plex Media Server.

Between Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV, the Shield has Google Play Movies, Google Play, and Google Play Music but the Fire TV doesn’t support these. If you compare Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV Kodi, the Shield supports Kodi, Tablo, and other apps for which the Fire TV doesn’t have a direct download option.

Between Fire TV gaming edition vs Nvidia Shield, the Shield also supports including Android games and Nvidia’s GeForce Now game-streaming service, PC-to-Shield streaming. You can buy an Nvidia Shield controller or connect Xbox or PlayStation gamepad.

Both Shield and Pro can cast via a built-in Chromecast.

Fire TV Cube

Certain apps like HBO, Starz, Hulu, PlayStation Vue and Crackle, The CW, NFL Network, AMC Amazon Music or Amazon Music Unlimited are available on Fire TV Cube.

It supports some gaming apps which are very few compared to Nvidia Shield that supports high-end games.  All Fire TV supports MiraCast.

Fire TV Stick

Apple TV, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV, Twitch, and YouTube

Amazon’s Fire TV app store is available. There is no Google Play services or Google Play Movies & TV content.

Fire TV Stick 4K

It doesn’t have Apple and Google services. However, the 4K Stick supports other major apps like Crackle, Crunchyroll, HBO Go, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV, Twitch, and Vudu. There isn’t any YouTube app but you can surf via Firefox and Silk Web browsers to watch YouTube.

Control options

Remote

  Nvidia Shield Fire TV
Backlit Remote Yes No
Lost Remote Locator Yes No
Customizable Button Yes No

Nvidia Shield

The Nvidia Shield remote has a triangular shape which is very easy to grip and feels comfortable. Between Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV remote, the Shield remote has backlit, and you can find it with its lost locator. It also allows you to customize the function of buttons but you need to remember what each button does in that case.

Fire TV Cube

It has HDMI CEC remote control that can turn on/off the TV or raise/low the volume. You can also use it to control other devices like a soundbar or A/V receiver.

Fire TV Stick

The remote control with a microphone button doesn’t have much improvement from the previous versions. It is sleek and has fewer buttons which is essential if you want to familiarize yourself with the remote. The IR feature can control TV power and volume.

Fire TV Stick 4K

The new remote is improved and it can control the TV’s power and volume.

Mobile app

Nvidia Shield

The remote-control app, NVIDIA SHIELD TV helps you to view app panels easily. It has a trackpad for sideloaded apps.

Fire TV

Fire TV devices come with a mobile app known as a Fire TV app. You can use it to control your TV but it doesn’t have any extra buttons or features. You can also use it to type and search for any content and apps.

Voice control

Nvidia Shield

Comparing Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV voice assistants, we see that the Shield and Pro support Google Assistant. Whether you use it to search for content or control TV functions, it is smarter than the Fire TV Amazon Alexa.

You can also use it to control smart devices or ask for any information. It will allow you to stream content from Netflix, YouTube, etc. It will also support Amazon Alexa.

Fire TV Cube

Like other Fire TV device, you can use Alexa to ask for any information or use it to control the TV and other smart devices. You can also use Alexa as a ‘visual version of Assistant’ to view the lyrics of a song that you are currently playing.

Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4k:

You can control the TV with Amazon Alexa but sometimes it may not understand you. In that case, if you were already watching content, you have to again go to the app and select the content to continue watching.

For UK and US users the voice control will not work on certain apps. Such as UK users can’t use voice search on BBC iPlayer and Now TV. For US users, they can’t access voice to control in Walmart’s Vudu.

Other than that, you can use the voice assistants to control more than 20,000 smart devices like lights, thermostats, or live camera feed.

Product Differentiators: Which one is best for you?

Streaming

If you mainly want a streaming device for watching online streaming content that has an easy to use interface, the Fire TV is the best for you. It is the best affordable streaming device in the market. If you don’t use or need Plex, Kodi, or Google Play services rather you want the most popular content and Live TVs with user-friendly remote, the Fire TV will suit you.

On the other hand, if you prefer Plex media servers, like gaming, want to connect devices to USB 3.0 ports then the Nvidia Shield is for you. The Shield also allows streaming from certain apps in 4k and Dolby Vision.  The Shield is more advanced with an interface and settings.

With the Nvidia Shield Pro, you will get even more storage. So, if you are a gamer but also into streaming services and Live TV with high-end AI upscaling, the Nvidia Shield is for you.

Advertising

When you use the streaming device, you use their user interface with their OS the most. In some cases, the Shield is faster than Fire TV. The Shield’s Andriod TV interface is customizable and doesn’t force you into any specific content. It also doesn’t have any ad.

The Fire TV displays ads and you can’t customize any app or panels to view what you like most. Rather users are often forced to view several Amazon-based contents that you have no way to avoid. If you are an Amazon subscriber or into those specific contents then you might be ok with it. Otherwise, it will annoy you and at some point, you won’t like it anymore.

Parting words: Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV

In this article, we have reviewed the differences between Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV. The major differences are: the Shield is more expensive, has AI upscaling, higher video performance, and more number of gaming apps.

Fire TV is budget-friendly and has a wide number of versions and models from which you can choose. Both streaming devices offer major apps like Netflix, Vudu, Sling TV, etc. however some models of Fire TV don’t have a native YouTube app or Google Play Movies & TV which can be annoying.

The Shield interface is more user-friendly than doesn’t bug you with ads. To sum up, each streaming device is flexible to certain features, apps, and contents. You simply need to choose the one that matches your preference.

FAQs: Nvidia Shield vs Fire TV

How can I access Kodi on Fire Stick?

Tto have access to Kodi on Fire TV Stick do the following steps:

  • Download Downloader. You can go to the search tab and write Downloader
  • Go to the Home screen, in the nav tabs move up and select Settings
  • Choose Device then select Developer Options
  • From the menu select ‘Apps from Unknown Sources’ and turn it ON
  • Open Downloader where you will see the Home page with a search bar
  • Download the Kodi you want

How to set up game stream PC on Nvidia Shield?

Follow these steps for Gamestream configuration:

  • Go to the Nvidia website to download the newest GeForce display, driver.
  • Open GeForce Experience and sign in with Nvidia account
  • Go to Settings, then SHIELD page
  • Toggle the “GAME STREAM” switch to enable it

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