I bought two Apple TVs (3rd generation) when they came out. One for my living room and one for my bedroom. At the time I thought they were amazing. Sure, I was locked into the Apple infastructure, and since my phone and computer were both Apple products – I didn’t see an issue with it.

Recently, they just seemed clunky, slow, and one of them would flash a black screen every minute or so. Plus, I was getting frsutrated that they would only play my movie library as long as it was loaded in an iTunes library. That was it – it was time.

Time in front of the TV should be a relaxing experience, not an annoying one. I decided I needed a new streaming box.

I had a ‘Smart TV’ but one of the earlier models, and although a great 60” 1080p television, It was slacking in built-in streaming capabilities.

I thought for sure that I would get the new Apple TV 4k. However, after researching this, the Roku, Amazon Fire and others – I stumbled upon the NVIDIA Shield TV, and boy am I glad I did.

This thing is a powerhouse.

Besides being incredibly more powerful, faster, smarter and versatile than the latest Apple TV – it is a game changer. Literally. You can play your games from your PC on your Shield. You can also play games from the Google Play store, or the NVIDIA game central. I am currently addicted to the free racing game, Asphalt 8. It is incredible, just like the controller and the remote. I really like the volume slider on both and ask Google buttons. If I ask Google to play a song no youtube, or music video – it is playing within 3 seconds, even when i have 5 apps running at the same time.

Keep in mind, I did not choose this device for its gaming capabilities. This was definitely a plus – but not the reason I chose it.

Since I am an Amazon Prime member, I haven’t really utilized my free Prime TV membership (recently I watched Mad Dogs – highly recommend it), the app wasn’t available on my Apple TV, and I got tired of syncing my phone to the TV to browse / watch anything. I was glad to see the Shield has this app built in, along with Netflix, Pluto TV (which is amazing). Pluto is packed with hundreds of channels of free TV, including CNBC, Monstercat TV (love their music) and a bunch of other awesome 4K channels, including movie channels.

Aside from these incredible streaming sources, I decided, while not having cable, that I would hook up a $25 HD Indoor Satellite, a $100 digital tuner for the satellite, and a $115 lifetime PLEX pass membership. In addition to this, I bought a 4 TB external hard drive for more than enough room for my NAS, which would house the DVR recordings from PLEX and all my personal music, movies, TV shows, and more. All of these media items once uploaded in PLEX show all metadata and information, including reviews and theatrical trailers. I can even logon to PLEX on my computer in a different country and watch live TV from my home satellite, set up DVR recordings and watch all my other content. The NVIDIA Shield TV makes the perfect PLEX server.

So now I had my live television game strong. I pick up around 60 channels here, and the vital channels (abc, nbc, cbs, fox, wgn, wttw, etc) all come in HD. PLEX has been working like a dream for me, and is definitely worth the lifetime pass. The interface is clean and organized, and very intuitive.

There are plenty of other incredible features with the NVIDIA Shield, Android TV. I prefer this over the closed system Apple TV because of it’s high level of customization. The Shield TV beats out the competition by having both Amazon Prime and Netflix, by being way faster and durable, for offering PLEX live TV, for having the capability to play legacy games, and for many other reasons.

Right now, I am extremely pleased with my home theater setup and happy that I went with the streaming service that seems to spend the least on Marketing, and the most on its capabilities.

All apps that I have installed and frequent: PLEX, Pluto, Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube, Haystack TV, Spotify, Watch ESPN, AccuWeather, Asphalt 8