Android TV is a good way to watch live TV streaming services. This media streaming platform offers two main devices – the NVIDIA Shield and the Xiaomi Mi Box S. Many people recommend the NVIDIA Shield, as it’s commonly referred to as the most powerful streaming device available. However, the Xiaomi Mi Box S has its merits too, as you will discover. Whether you want to watch movies, manage photos, listen to music or use a smart speaker with your setup, here’s an overview of what each device has to offer and the apps and services which are compatible with them.
The NVIDIA Shield is usually priced between $160 and $180. It offers 4K resolution and compatibility with the Plex Media Server. It can be used in conjunction with Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and YouTube. When it comes to technical information, you’ll be pleased to know that this device offers a framerate of 60FPS, plus HDR10. Released at the start of 2017, the NVIDIA Shield is consistently described as providing users with a great performance experience.
The processor used with the NVIDIA Shield is a Tegra X1, and its GPU is the same. It has 3GB of RAM, and there’s 16GB of internal storage to be had with this device – which can be expanded with 2 USB 3.0 hard drives. It offers a HDMI external output, and cast for screen mirroring. The WiFi class is 802.11ac (MIMO) and it has Gigabit Ethernet. There is Bluetooth 4.1 available, remote connectivity via Bluetooth / IR and you can use the Google Assistant for on-device voice search.
If you want to use a live TV streaming service with the NVIDIA Shield, you can go for fuboTV, Philo, Sling TV or YouTube TV. Hulu Live TV will not work with this device. Furthermore, you can stream content using other services such as Pluto TV and tubi TV. Sports fans will find a number of compatible sports apps, such as ESPN+, DAZN, NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass, MLB.TV and NHL.TV. Only the Google Play Store will work with the NVIDIA Shield; the Roku Channel Store, Amazon Appstore and Apple App Store are not options. Additionally, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch will work, but Twitter will not.
For those wanting to watch a movie, the NVIDIA Shield offers compatibility with Vudu, Fandango Now, Google Play Movies, Redbox and Movies Everywhere. If music is desired, viable options include Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora and YouTube Music. Photo storage with this device is possible by using Google Photos, but you will not be able to use iCloud Photos, Amazon Photos or Facebook. Both the Amazon Echo and Google Home will work with the NVIDIA Shield if you want to set up a smart speaker, but you’re out of luck if you have an Apple HomePod. The good news is that you can use Nest if you have this smartphone app, and there is also functionality for the Kodi media server.
Xiaomi Mi Box S
The Xiaomi Mi Box S is typically priced at around $60 with retailers such as Amazon. You can control the power and volume on the TV using this device, and it will work with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. In terms of technical specifications, users can enjoy a 4K resolution and a framerate of 60FPS. HDR is available in HDR10, and it has a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor. The GPU is a Mali 450, and it has 2GB of RAM. Its internal storage is 8GB, and expandable storage is available via USB 2.0. Output connections on offer are HDMI, and screen mirroring can be cast. This device’s WiFi class is 802.11ac (MIMO) and it has 4.2 Bluetooth. The theater technology on offer is Dolby Audio, and remote connectivity is achievable using Bluetooth / IR. The Google Assistant can be used for on-device voice search.
Many live TV streaming services are compatible with this device. These include fuboTV, Philo, Sling TV and YouTube TV. Hulu Live TV is unfortunately not compatible. Less well-known streaming services which will work are Pluto TV and tubi TV. If you want to use sports apps with the Xiaomi Mi Box S, you can go for ESPN+, DAZN, NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass, MLB.TV or NHL.TV. You can make the most of the Google Play Store, but the Roku Channel Store, Amazon Appstore and Apple Appstore are not compatible. Furthermore, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch will work with this device, but Twitter will not when it comes to functional video apps. However, if you want to watch a movie, you can use the apps Vudu, Fandango Now, Google Play Movies, Redbox or Movies Anywhere; iTunes Movies will not work.
For music lovers, the Xiaomi Mi Box S can be set up with Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora and YouTube Music, but not Apple Music. In terms of photo management and storage, you won’t be able to use iCloud Photos, Amazon Photos or Facebook – only Google Photos. But if you want to use a smart speaker with this device, you can choose from the Amazon Echo or the Google Home (just not the Apple HomePod). For those wanting to keep an eye on their homes, the Nest smart home app will work with this setup, and the Kodi media server will work if you don’t want to use Plex.
It’s clear that Android TV can be used with two top of the range devices. Both the NVIDIA Shield and Xiaomi Box S can be used with a range of apps, from streaming services to music platforms and photo management systems. All that is required to set up such a device with your TV is plugging it in and following the on-screen instructions, before customising your media offering in the way you would like. Overall, if you want to watch Android TV with either of these devices, you’re sure to enjoy a high quality experience.