Best answer: The older 500GB version of the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is indeed discontinued, but NVIDIA has refreshed the entire Shield TV lineup for 2019. The new and re-vamped NVIDIA Shield TV Pro uses the new Tegra X1+ processor, offers support for Dolby Vision, and ships with a much improved remote. The only downgrade is the modest internal storage, but you can add plenty of extra storage with a USB drive or a microSD card.
The new Shield TV Pro is more powerful than its predecessors
It’s been a long time coming, but NVIDIA has finally revamped the NVIDIA Shield TV with upgrades hardware. This has also brought the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro back from the dead after the 2017 model was discontinued from production, albeit without the beefy 500GB of internal storage that was the hallmark of the older Pro models. Given the prevalance of so many (or too many) great streaming services these days, the average user probably won’t notice or care about the drop in internal storage space.
The new Shield TV Pro offers upgraded processing power and downgraded internal storage
What you will notice is the improved performance and the new features enabled by the upgraded processor and 3GB of RAM. Not only does NVIDIA say it’s new Tegra X1+ chipset delivers 25% more processing power, but it also allowed for some machine-learning brilliance. I’m talking about the AI-enhanced upscaling, which intelligently increases the details and textures on media streaming in 1080p at 30 frames per second (FPS) up to 4K quality. However, it uses sophisticated algorithms that detects areas of the picture that can be upscaled. So rather than trying to upscale everything, you get noticable detail upgrades where it makes most sense.
As mentioned, the Pro also has 3GB of RAM compared to the standard Shield TV model, which only has 2GB. This is one of those specs differences that typically isn’t too noticable, but just might be a difference maker if you enjoy downloading some of the best games from the Google Play Store. The standard tube Shield doesn’t have the specs to run some bigger games like Doom 3: BFG Edition, Portal and others, but the Shield TV Pro handles it all with ease. That makes the new Shield TV Pro the clear choice for gamers.
You can still add extra storage as needed with USB and microSD
But what about the internal storage? Going from 500GB to 16GB could cause some problems if you plan to use the Shield TV Pro as a Plex Media Server, but fortunately NIVIDA has given users multiple options for expanding the storage.
Since the Shield TV Pro has maintained the surfboard design we’ve come to know and love, it has retained some legacy features including a pair of USB ports that can be used for connecting flash drives or even external hard drives. There’s also a microSD card slot, too, which might be even more convenient if you find a cheap card with the right storage and mount it as internal storage. Really, the choice is yours but I’ve included a great USB thumbdrive that’s barely there when plugged into the back of the Shield TV Pro but still adds an extra 128GB of storage for under $20.
Best value for extra storage
More space for your media
This USB flash drive is insanely small — perfect for plugging into the back of your Shield without interfering with other USB accessories you might use — and a great value for a 128GB drive.