The NVIDIA Shield TV is an Android-based product, but it should be of interest to PC gamers thanks to the tight integration NVIDIA implemented between the box and your rig. By using GameStream, you're able to play your PC games in your living room through the Shield TV.
It's a powerful set-top box on its own, but the Shield TV at $199 is also a pretty handy gaming machine. Here's what you need to know.
Using Shield TV for gaming
Before you get going, there are some prerequisites. The first, of course, is that you own a NVIDIA Shield TV. It doesn't matter if it's the 2015 or 2017 model, because they're both mostly the same and both support GameStream.
You also need a powerful enough PC. NVIDIA has made the feature pretty accessible, but at a minimum, you need a GTX 650 graphics card, 4GB of RAM and Windows 7 or above. Have a look at our best graphics cards roundup if you need to upgrade. You'll also need a fairly decent home network, with either a wired connection to the Shield TV or a 5GHz 802.11ac-compatible router if you're going wireless. Check out the full requirements for more. You can game up to 4K and with HDR, as long as you have the hardware for it.
You'll also need to be running Geforce Experience, which you can download here if you don't already have it. Then follow these steps:
- Login to Geforce Experience with an NVIDIA account or create one using Google or Facebook.
- Make sure the latest drivers for your PC are installed.
- Once you're up to date, go into settings.
- Select Shield.
- Make sure GameStream is enabled.
- Boot up your Shield TV.
- Go into GameStream, which you should find automatically on the home screen.
- Login with the same account as you did in step one.
Now you should be good to go. NVIDIA GameStream-supported games will be automatically detected by the system and allow you to play them on the Shield. If they support controller, you're all set and can begin playing with the stock NVIDIA Shield controller you have with your box.
If you need a mouse and keyboard, the Shield supports both wired and wireless options for both. Either hook up to the USB ports on the back or over Bluetooth in the Shield's settings menu. That said, if you're using mouse and keyboard you're probably just going to do it in front of your PC, right?
GameStream also supports streaming your Steam library, somewhat similar to Valve's own Steam Link.
The Shield TV is already an awesome set-top box, whatever your preferred software platform, and NVIDIA's gaming prowess makes it all the more exciting. Besides streaming your own games, you can also sign up for the Geforce Now service, which allows you to stream games you don't own from the cloud right to your Shield. That's on top of being able to play exclusive versions of top titles, such as Tomb Raider and Half Life 2.
So, while it runs Android TV, the NVIDIA Shield TV is definitely something the PC gamer should be interested in — especially if they occasionally like a little sofa time!
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