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New Nvidia Shield TV/Pro still powered by Tegra X1

Jun 19, 2013
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The product page for the new devices, the 16GB Nvidia Shield and 500GB Shield Pro, has gone live. Notice how the product branding of the two devices has changed, Nvidia has dropped the "TV" part, and the only hardware going forward that makes up the Shield product line are these boxes, not the Shield tablet or handheld. Nvidia has also repositioned the devices as streaming boxes - emphasising a games library from your PC and the cloud (Geforce Now), rather than native titles.

From the page itself:

Get the fastest, highest-quality streaming for movies, shows, and games. It's all powered by NVIDIA Tegra® X1, the most advanced mobile processor NVIDIA has ever built.

I was expecting it to have a Pascal-based Tegra chip (so not 20nm), and for the Switch to use something similar to what Nvidia would have done there. I wonder if there are any differences to regular X1 then, and whether this changes anything about the Switch. The devices X1 launched in didn't sell particularly well (Shield TV, Google's Pixel-C).

Back when the Nvidia-Nintendo deal emerged from SemiAccurate's (presumably) Nvidia source, Thraktor theorised that Nvidia should be using those old X1 chips in the Switch and Nintendo would have gotten a good price for them:

Thraktor said:
Well, for all we know Nvidia could have done Nintendo a deal on the X1 simply to use up a TSMC 20nm wafer purchase commitment (as the X1 is their only 20nm chip, and it's only been used in the Shield TV and the Pixel C, neither are big sellers). It may have been cheaper for them to sell the chips at a loss to Nintendo than to pay a penalty to TSMC for dropping out of their wafer order.

Thraktor said:
The reason I was talking about it there is that it would explain why Nvidia would be willing to make a loss on the deal. As a point of reference, AMD was penalised to the tune of $320 million when they pulled out of a wafer order commitment with Global Foundries a few years back. That's the kind of order of magnitude you'd be looking at if (and it's a bit if) Nvidia had committed to large 20nm purchases from TSMC and they had to renege on them due to poor sales of the Nvidia X1. They'd be desperate to make the sale to Nintendo, as Nintendo would be pretty much the only customer buying in the quantity necessary to cover their wafer commitments, so would be willing to offer Nintendo an absurdly good deal, even to the point of making a loss on each chip sold, as it would still be better than paying the penalty to TSMC.

Does the reappearance of X1 in a brand new flagship Nvidia Shield device change this theory?
 

Sir_Crocodile

Member
Mar 31, 2009
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Not really, because the new shield probably isn't going to sell that well either, and nvidia know that.

Not that I'm saying the rumour is true, but this doesn't indicate anything.
 

Bojanglez

The Amiga Brotherhood
Apr 16, 2007
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It is a little disappointing. But for what they are actually doing with this device do they really need anything more?

I was going to get a Shield TV as a nice 4K Android TV device but held off to see what they announced at CES. It is a little underwhelming, but I'll probably still get one.
 

Luigiv

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Jun 8, 2009
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It's a little surprising but it does make sense. Parker really isn't suited to media and gaming with it's Denver CPUs and I guess Nvidia weren't going to go out of their way to build a second Pascal Tegra just for the Shield. I expect the next generation Shield (if it does happen) will probably feature Volta/Xavier (which seems much more suitable).
 

Deeke[VRZ]

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May 25, 2013
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I'd say Switch uses the Maxwell based Tegra X1 then.

I mean it's possible to use Pascal, but...I doubt it, especially since the new Shield (which actually looks the same as the older models) still uses it.

Pascal P1 Tegra might not be ready for devices just yet.

But then again nvidia did announce a Volta based AI chip to power their autonomous driving.
 

KingSnake

The Birthday Skeleton
Jan 9, 2013
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In my opinion this shows that Pascal Tegra/Parker is not ready/suited for these kind of devices. Maybe it was never supposed to be. Seeing how the Nvidia moves quickly to Xavier also for cars, Pascal Tegra seems now rather like a stopgap.

At least this explain why Switch is using Maxwell (at least according to the leaks). It also means that a 16nm fab is even less likely now.
 

Murdoch

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Mar 11, 2014
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I have the current Shield TV 16Gb with a SD card whacked into it.

The news announced last night is perfect to me in all honesty. Native games aren't really pushing the X1 to its limits as it presently stands so any increases in CPU/GPU would have been slightly overkill. The peripherals DID need an overhaul however; so I'm really glad they addressed that. 60 hours advertised battery life on the new controller sounds superb, lets hope it gets close to that figure. It's a fantastic little device and has been supported incredibly well via Nvidia from a firmware standpoint and its expected to get Android 7.0 this month.

What's really interesting to me is the fact that they announced two new native games to the Shield last night; the Witness and the Lara Croft Tomb Raider reboot that came out a few years ago. These are quite graphically intense games so it will be interesting to see how they hold up.
 

viHuGi

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Jun 23, 2015
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With Switch coming Nvidia is being smart to not spend much money on this, Switch is the main attraction and where sales are not this tablet.

Good call Nvidia.
 

Chesskid1

Banned
Jul 26, 2009
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What's really interesting to me is the fact that they announced two new native games to the Shield last night; the Witness and the Lara Croft Tomb Raider reboot that came out a few years ago. These are quite graphically intense games so it will be interesting to see how they hold up.

borderlands 2 and metal gear revengence are already available (and have been for a while) if you want to see how more graphical intense games run on it, and those newer games don't require much more power than those imo.
 

ParityBit

Member
Nov 14, 2006
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The shield pro was hard to get as it was. I could care less if they upgraded the hardware on not. It makes an amazing Plex server/remote PC game playing machine. Plus with the apps it is a killer device.

I pre-ordered my pro from Amazon and can't wait! (I was borrowing one the past 2 months)
 

Murdoch

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Mar 11, 2014
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borderlands 2 and metal gear revengence are already available (and have been for a while) if you want to see how more graphical intense games run on it, and those newer games don't require much more power than those imo.

Yeah I've got Borderlands 2 and the pre-sequel. I not sure I'd consider them graphically intense though? Either way those games hover around the 20fps mark which isn't exactly ideal. I hope more optimisation goes into the Witness and Tomb Raider.
 

ParityBit

Member
Nov 14, 2006
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I found the streaming to be really really good from my PC. Although not something I would do that often, it worked really well. I am interested in trying the Steam app and see how well that works.

One thing I am not sure of, can you use 3rd party controllers somehow? Like the Xbox one/PS4 controller?
 

Oregano

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Mar 13, 2013
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It means Nintendo actually went with the best hardware possible. "Industry Leading Chips" redeemed.
 

Harpua

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May 26, 2011
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Is there any difference spec wise compared to 1st gen?

Looks like this one comes with a remote. Only difference I see. I heard rumors of a native Amazon video app, hopefully those are true. Didn't see any mention of any of this in the Nvidia keynote thread.
 

kmfdmpig

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Aug 19, 2007
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Is there any difference spec wise compared to 1st gen?

Looks like this one comes with a remote. Only difference I see. I heard rumors of a native Amazon video app, hopefully those are true. Didn't see any mention of any of this in the Nvidia keynote thread.

The Pro versions are the same, but now the remote is included in the box. The non-pro versions include the remote, but no longer have the SD card slot or the micro-usb port.

The controller is different and it seems like it switched from Wi-Fi Direct to Bluetooth.

All of the software features of the new box (Android 7, Amazon Prime, and Google Home) will come to the old boxes. If you have an old box there is no compelling reason to upgrade. If you don't have one at all then the new ones are moderately more compelling unless the SD card slot or USB port is important to you.

I have a gen 1 Shield TV and have no interest in getting a new gen one, but love the device and am excited that it will have Amazon Prime and Google Home soon.

I found the streaming to be really really good from my PC. Although not something I would do that often, it worked really well. I am interested in trying the Steam app and see how well that works.

One thing I am not sure of, can you use 3rd party controllers somehow? Like the Xbox one/PS4 controller?


People have had success with a number of bluetooth controllers. The Xbox One S controller works OK for some games.
Here is a list showing what works and what doesn't:
https://forums.geforce.com/default/...ible-usb-adapters-and-gamepads-for-shield-tv/
 

Mr. Pointy

Member
Mar 12, 2006
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It's a little surprising but it does make sense. Parker really isn't suited to media and gaming with it's Denver CPUs and I guess Nvidia weren't going to go out of their way to build a second Pascal Tegra just for the Shield. I expect the next generation Shield (if it does happen) will probably feature Volta (which seems much more suitable).
I suspect the next Switch versions (New Switch, portable only Switch, console only Switch, etc.) we'll probably see in the next 18-24 months will be running on Volta Tegra as well.
 
Aug 24, 2014
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I wonder if the new controller is compatible with the old Shield and the K1 tablet. Looks and sounds like it's a huge improvement over the bulky, short-lived originals.

I haven't used my Shield TV in a while (had some frustrations getting Dolphin and Reicast to run on it from an external drive), but it's definitely a nice piece of hardware.
 

kmfdmpig

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Aug 19, 2007
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I wonder if the new controller is compatible with the old Shield and the K1 tablet. Looks and sounds like it's a huge improvement over the bulky, short-lived originals.

I haven't used my Shield TV in a while (had some frustrations getting Dolphin and Reicast to run on it from an external drive), but it's definitely a nice piece of hardware.

I would think they would as it seems like they're bluetooth based.
 

Harpua

Member
May 26, 2011
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Interesting that they got rid of the SD card and USB slots. Any current owners see a reason these would be needed?

I'd primarily use this as a Kodi/Plex box and would stream my PC games to it. I don't see any reason I would exceed the 16GB built in, but not sure if I'm not thinking about everything.
 

The Jackdog

Member
Feb 25, 2014
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why would I want this?

like genuinely asking. seems like a great streaming box but i just cant see what it offers me that i dont already have.

Video apps. I have an xbox one, a ps4, and chromecasts. dont need them, anything the sheild offers will probably be on par or worse than that.

Game streaming. Okay this is kinda cool. But i have a steam link already. Much cheaper too.

Plex server. I have my own dedicated media server. it runs plex to all the devices i just mentioned.
 
Jun 27, 2015
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I suspect the next Switch versions (New Switch, portable only Switch, console only Switch, etc.) we'll probably see in the next 18-24 months will be running on Volta Tegra as well.

Portable or handheld only defeats the purpose of the Switch and makes no sense from a marketing (ie name) perspective
 

kmfdmpig

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Aug 19, 2007
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Interesting that they got rid of the SD card and USB slots. Any current owners see a reason these would be needed?

I'd primarily use this as a Kodi/Plex box and would stream my PC games to it. I don't see any reason I would exceed the 16GB built in, but not sure if I'm not thinking about everything.

16GB gets pretty cramped, particularly with a decently sized Plex library and a number of SPMC (the better version of Kodi for Shield TV) add ons.

If you do get it be sure to use SPMC (a fork of Kodi designed for Android TV) rather than Kodi. It's better maintained and offers a number of advantages.

Losing the USB slot would hurt a bit in terms of expandability (keyboards, etc....), while the SD card slot is a cheap and easy way to add adaptive storage.

why would I want this?

like genuinely asking. seems like a great streaming box but i just cant see what it offers me that i dont already have.

Video apps. I have an xbox one, a ps4, and chromecasts. dont need them, anything the sheild offers will probably be on par or worse than that.

Game streaming. Okay this is kinda cool. But i have a steam link already. Much cheaper too.

Plex server. I have my own dedicated media server. it runs plex to all the devices i just mentioned.

Based on what you have/need you probably don't need it.

With that said, Shield TV >>> Xbox One, PS4, Chromecast for video apps.
 

Possumowner

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Jun 10, 2015
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These are just refreshes rather than a brand new Shields especially considering the old ones will get all of the software updates this month....If the Verges source is correct of course
 

Peltz

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Apr 26, 2014
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It's possible that Nintendo may have bargained for this in their deal. That Nvidia doesn't release a more powerful shield specifically for a certain period of time.
 

j0hnnix

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Mar 15, 2014
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The only main reason I use the shield for is SPMC(kodi). I will probably be using the Xbox S for my BR4k movie watching, ps4 pro will have Amazon 4k HDR, if I could get Kodi on the KS8500 id remove the shield. I don't play PC games that require stream to TV anymore, maybe in the future, but consoles satisfy my couch gaming.

I do have a 2tb attached to my OG Shield for additional movie watching.. So it's not that useless for me.
 

ParityBit

Member
Nov 14, 2006
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Interesting that they got rid of the SD card and USB slots. Any current owners see a reason these would be needed?

I'd primarily use this as a Kodi/Plex box and would stream my PC games to it. I don't see any reason I would exceed the 16GB built in, but not sure if I'm not thinking about everything.

Transcoding if it is your server. I have a NAS with my movies and run my (borrowed) one as a server. it is a 16 GB version and I can not transcode at original BPS as I get an error about disc space.
 

Schnozberry

Member
Nov 9, 2012
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It's possible that Nintendo may have bargained for this in their deal. That Nvidia doesn't release a more powerful shield specifically for a certain period of time.

The Shield devices have sold so poorly, historically, that it seems odd that Nintendo would see them as a threat. They also primarily target different market segments for different purposes. It's pretty hard to imagine that scenario you'd be making an either/or choice between the two.
 
Apr 12, 2013
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why would I want this?

like genuinely asking. seems like a great streaming box but i just cant see what it offers me that i dont already have.

Video apps. I have an xbox one, a ps4, and chromecasts. dont need them, anything the sheild offers will probably be on par or worse than that.

Game streaming. Okay this is kinda cool. But i have a steam link already. Much cheaper too.

Plex server. I have my own dedicated media server. it runs plex to all the devices i just mentioned.

I don't know what chromecast does but I think a big selling point of the Shield is Kodi. People pay decent money to get devices with Kodi installed and the Shield TV makes it as simple as can be since the Kodi app can simply be downloaded to it.

I know people use it for emulators as well. I don't know anything about those though either.

I just personally like it because it combines everything I use and it all works well (Netflix, Kodi, and Plex). You can't get Kodi on your consoles. Also I love the remote's voice search for Youtube (not sure if it works in other apps. I only use it for Youtube). It works really well.
 

bomblord1

Banned
Sep 6, 2014
9,616
2
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The Shield devices have sold so poorly, historically, that it seems odd that Nintendo would see them as a threat. They also primarily target different market segments for different purposes. It's pretty hard to imagine that scenario you'd be making an either/or choice between the two.

"Hardcore" gamers comparing the two would be inevitable. And they would eat up any perceived weakness. I can see the headlines "Nintendo releases Switch using old chip tech Shield TV more powerful"
 

Diablohead

Member
Jun 4, 2006
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I felt a little upset not hearing them talk about a new cpu gpu for the device but honestly the X1 is still a beast and can do a lot of stuff, this new box sounds like it's the same price as the original model too.
 

kmfdmpig

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Aug 19, 2007
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I felt a little upset not hearing them talk about a new cpu gpu for the device but honestly the X1 is still a beast and can do a lot of stuff, this new box sounds like it's the same price as the original model too.

It seems like a very minor refresh with a better controller, an included remote (which was previously only included in special sales), but a few cost saving measures (removing the SD card and micro-USB port). All of the other differences are software based and will come to the original model. If you can get an original on sale (it's been hard to find the last few months) then that's probably a better option.
 

Rodin

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Mar 12, 2015
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Pascal Tegra is Nintendo exclusive
Believe

Pascal and Maxwell are pretty much the same thing, they might as well have called it "Maxwell 3" for some architectural improvements over Maxwell 2 and the new node, but that's not how marketing works and all the threads we've had around here clearly show it. We only need to know what improvements they got from the "Pascal" chip used in the PX2 (i assume 128bit and the better color compression) and if it's 16 or 28nm.
 

LordOfChaos

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Mar 31, 2014
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Aw. The Shield TV was probably the most efficient Plex server out there due to hardware acceleration (desktop client is all on CPU), but could only do ~2 HD streams and one SD together. I had hoped for a chip update to allow more streams, would make an awesome plex server.
 

Schnozberry

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Nov 9, 2012
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"Hardcore" gamers comparing the two would be inevitable. And they would eat up any perceived weakness. I can see the headlines "Nintendo releases Switch using old chip tech Shield TV more powerful"

Yeah, I'm sure some would draw attention to it, but my guess is those people would never seriously consider a purchase of either one.
 
Aug 24, 2014
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Interesting that they got rid of the SD card and USB slots. Any current owners see a reason these would be needed?

More storage definitely comes in handy for using it for emulation.

There are a number of platform native and Android based games that would chew through 16 GB pretty quickly, hence their heavier focus on streaming with this new model.
 

Bojanglez

The Amiga Brotherhood
Apr 16, 2007
2,531
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Transcoding if it is your server. I have a NAS with my movies and run my (borrowed) one as a server. it is a 16 GB version and I can not transcode at original BPS as I get an error about disc space.

I think you can mount USB storage as internal storage on the Shield and that may then get used for transcoding space?

https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/220391808-Media-Storage-Options-for-NVIDIA-SHIELD

However it seems that they advise that you turn off thumbnail generation for the 16GB version.

I'm thinking of going for the Pro mostly to run as a Plex server, does anyone know if the 500GB is flash memory or hdd?
 

LordRaptor

Member
Aug 20, 2015
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In my opinion this shows that Pascal Tegra/Parker is not ready/suited for these kind of devices. Maybe it was never supposed to be.

It was always designed for mobile gaming, its just mobile manufacturers weren't interested in it because "moar gaming powar!" is not very high on either their manufacturing needs nor the general publics purchase requirements.

Its in cars because they were ready and they work for that purpose. Nobody at Nvidia ever sat down and designed a GPU for cars.
 

kmfdmpig

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Aug 19, 2007
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I think you can mount USB storage as internal storage on the Shield and that may then get used for transcoding space?

https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/220391808-Media-Storage-Options-for-NVIDIA-SHIELD

However it seems that they advise that you turn off thumbnail generation for the 16GB version.

I'm thinking of going for the Pro mostly to run as a Plex server, does anyone know if the 500GB is flash memory or hdd?

In the old one it was either hdd or SSHD and it caused some problems as well. I'd go with 16GB + adding an external (if that's still an option, and it may not be as they removed the USB port).
 

ParityBit

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Nov 14, 2006
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In the old one it was either hdd or SSHD and it caused some problems as well. I'd go with 16GB + adding an external (if that's still an option, and it may not be as they removed the USB port).

I hate extra crap hanging off/can fail off my machines. I tried that with my TiVO and it was nothing but a headache. The extra few bucks is worth it (assuming you are not also using that space for movie storage)
 

10k

Banned
Mar 20, 2012
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Sounds to me like Nvidia just wants to get rid of all these 20nm chips and when the order is complete they'll start putting 16nm chips in the Switch and Shields "slim" models and drop the prices.
 

kmfdmpig

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Aug 19, 2007
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I hate extra crap hanging off/can fail off my machines. I tried that with my TiVO and it was nothing but a headache. The extra few bucks is worth it (assuming you are not also using that space for movie storage)

I guess, although for me it's just a wire that runs behind the system to a small external drive that costs a fraction of the cost difference and offers 3x the storage.
 

RuGalz

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Jun 8, 2004
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It's already the best Android TV box so there's very little incentive for them to change anything and use up the chips they have produced. It's not a mobile device so there's no need for a smaller chip with better battery life -- might as well repackage it and market it as new. Heck, a lot of sites were reporting it supporting 4k HDR as if it's new initially.