The Nvidia Shield TV has emerged as the premium Android box on the market, driven largely by strong support and widening content options. Last but not least, the NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Home Edition costs $220 and includes the Android TV box and a SmartThings Link, which turns the NVIDIA Shield into a Zigbee and Z-wave smart home hub to wirelessly monitor, connect, and automate compatible smart devices so they can work together, using simple voice commands.
If you're looking for a way to connect your PC gaming with your Smart TV, the answer is the Nvidia Shield TV Home Media Server This state-of-the-art TV box uses an advances GPU and its potent wireless connection to cast your PC gaming to the screen of your television without any direct hardware connection, freeing you to play your games your way.
As you probably already surmised from the Streaming Stick+ copy above, we also just love the Roku OS. From the biggest library of apps (aka Roku channels”) to incredible cross-channel search functionality, there is no digital ecosystem that competes.
If you don't have a 4K HDR-enabled television, you obviously don't need to spend $50 to $100 on a device that streams in 4K. The Chromecast is a tiny, simple streaming device that works in tandem with devices you're already using — namely your phone or tablet.
However, if you have one of the supported devices, the mirroring works well if you want to show your tablet screen on your TV. This also means that if a streaming service you want isn't offered on the Roku, you can stream it from your tablet instead.
Key software features: If you want to get iTunes movies and shows up on the big screen with a set-top box, this is the only smart box that can do it (unless you use the Movies Anywhere workaround) — and that means it's the only box to cover everything from Apple, Google, Amazon, and the rest.
It's the ideal streamer for media hoarders who want to build a cheap a Plex server, for cord-cutters who want to roll their own over-the-air DVR, for Kodi enthusiasts (with that media center's morally dubious third-party plug-ins), for a certain breed of living-room gamers, and for people who just want as much computing power as they can get.
This type of integration with Google Home devices was already supported on the Chromecast dongle but it has taken some time for Google and partners to fully enable them on Android TV, which is the operating system found in Nvidia Shield as well as TVs from Sony, Philips, TCL, and others.
By nabbing an Nvidia Shield on a good deal, you'll get you a versatile entertainment hub that will appeal to gamers first, but absolutely provide an effective hub that can project everything TV and film in glorious 4K and HDR, too, as well as another cool piece of smart home tech.
Disappointingly, in April 2019 Google initiated a sponsored ad program that now runs on devices running Android TV. For now it's running as a pilot program,” but users report that even when they've gone into the settings to disable the ads they don't stay disabled.