Comparison of all 4K Android streaming devices from Amazon Fire TV, Walmart Onn, Google Chromecast, and Nvidia Shield TV

If you’re in the market for a 4K streaming device running Android, there have never been more options to choose from. Whether it’s running Google TV, Android TV, or Fire OS, you’ve got a wide selection of devices ranging from $20 to $200. Here’s a detailed table to compare all the specs of the most popular boxes, sticks, pendants, tubes, and cubes from Amazon, Google, Nvidia, and Walmart. Read more ›

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Android 11 and 12 updates reduced the performance of the Nvidia Shield TV and Google Chromecast 4K

With the new 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube being released tomorrow, I decided this was a good time to refresh all the benchmark scores for all competing devices so that everything was on an even playing field, since scores can change over time due to software updates. While no device ever scores exactly the same as before when rerunning benchmarks, especially when years have passed between tests, the two scores are usually close enough to not make much of a difference. As I retested the streaming devices in my arsenal, it became clear that the scores that dropped the most were the ones from devices that updated from Android 9 and 10 to Android 11 and 12, like the Nvidia Shield TV and the Google Chromecast 4K. The performance hit, from software updates alone, was as much as 12% in one case. Read more ›

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Comparison of the 2022 Apple TV 4K, Fire TV Cube 3rd-gen, 2019 Shield TV Pro, and more

Apple just announced the new 2022 Apple TV 4K earlier today. With Amazon announcing the new 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube last month, the market for flagship streaming devices is going to change quite a bit when these two new contenders are released in a few weeks. Here is a comparison chart of all the specs for the 2019 2nd Fire TV Cube, 2022 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube, 2019 Nvidia Shield TV (Cylinder), 2019 Nvidia Shield TV Pro, 2022 Apple TV 64GB, and 2022 Apple TV 128GB to help you compare the differences and similarities side-by-side. Read more ›

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3rd-gen Fire TV Cube will likely dethrone the Nvidia Shield TV in raw performance

The Nvidia Shield TV has been a beast of a device when it comes to performance thanks to it initially launching in 2015 as a gaming console first, before later pivoting to being a streaming device first when the microconsole hype of the mid-2010s fizzled out. That gaming origin, and the raw performance capabilities that came with it, have impressively kept the Shield TV comfortably on top of most streaming device benchmarks for years. Amazon has been slowly chipping away at that lead with newer Fire TV models and it’s looking very likely that the new 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube will finally dethrone the Shield TV in raw CPU performance when it’s released next month. Read more ›

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2022 Google Chromecast HD Benchmark Scores — Compared to Chromecast 4K, Firesticks, Fire TV Cube, Nvidia Shield TV, Onn, MECOOL, Tivo, and more

Google released its 2022 Chromecast with Google TV HD this morning and I picked one up to see how it stacks up against all the popular Google TV, Android TV, and Fire TV streaming sticks and boxes from Amazon, Walmart, Nvidia, Tivo, MECOOL, and more. First and foremost, here are Geekbench CPU and GFXBench GPU benchmark scores to see how much raw performance power the new Chromecast HD has compared to its big brother, the Chromecast 4K, and all the other streaming devices I could get my hands on. Read more ›

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Android/Google TV News Rundown: 16GB storage minimums, Nest/Fitbit Integration, Tivo TVs, & Software Updates

Over the last few weeks, there have been several newsworthy bits of information about Android TV and Google TV devices. Here’s a roundup of that news, which includes insight into new internal storage minimums, Nest, Fitbit, and Wear OS hardware integration, Tivo’s more into Smart TVs, and various software updates. Read more ›

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Nvidia releases Shield TV update to fix the numerous issues caused by Android 11

A 9.0.1 software update will begin rolling out to Nvidia Shield TV and Shield TV Pro devices to address several issues caused by the 9.0.0 update. That update moved Shield TVs from an OS based on Android 9 to one based on Android 11. Google made many changes to how Android handles file permissions in Android 10 and Android 11, and those changes wreaked havoc when they arrived on the Shield TV earlier this year. Nvidia has released several optional hotfixes that needed to be installed manually since then, but this new 9.0.1 update is the first one to automatically roll out to all devices. Nvidia says that it “resolves Plex Media Server issues, fixes storage permissions on media player, file browser, and emulator apps, and fixes stutter when playing interlaced content,” as well as numerous other fixes.

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Nvidia Shield TV issues caused by Android 11 update can be fixed with manually installed updates

Earlier this month, Nvidia rolled out an Android 11 update for the Shield TV. Unfortunately, the update has been a hot mess for a lot of people. Bugs in the update have broken app file access and Plex Server capabilities, to name a few. Nvidia has released 3 separate hotfixes for these issues, so far. These updates have not been pushed out to devices yet, so you’ll need to install them manually if you don’t want to wait for the public release. However, be aware that these fixes come with several caveats, like not being able to roll them back, not allowing you to watch HD HomeRun DRM channels, not allowing Disney+ to be installed, and others. Proceed with caution or sit tight for Nvidia to finish fixing all the issues and push out a public non-manual update to everyone.

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Nvidia Shield TV update to Android 11 begins rolling out

After several hints leaking regarding its inevitable arrival, the Android 11 update for Nvidia Shield TV devices is now rolling out. Shield Experience 9.0, as it’s officially called, is coming to all Shield TV models, including the original 1st-gen devices released in 2015. While the update makes very few customer-facing changes, its real value is in stretching the longevity of Shield TVs even further by ensuring app developers don’t stop supporting the device due to it running an old version of Android. Read more ›

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Android TV News Roundup: Shield TV update leaks, New budget 4K Google TV streaming sticks, easier BT headphone pairing, and more

Over the past few weeks, there have been a few noteworthy new announcements and devices for Android TV and Google TV. Nvidia’s Android TV 11 update for the shield TV seems imminent. There are several new budget 4K streaming sticks and dongles, all using basically identical specs, about to be released. Google will be making Bluetooth headphone pairing a lot easier for a subset of streamers and headphones. Read on for a quick roundup of notable news regarding Google’s streaming platform. Read more ›

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