Roku vs Nvidia Shield: Looking at Different Models, Prices & Features

There are several streaming devices in the market today and making a choice between them can be confusing. Nvidia Shield and Roku are among the most popular brands that you should consider when looking for a streaming device. Due to their low price and the wide choice of options to choose from, Roku streaming devices have become quite popular. Nvidia, on the other hand, is a bit pricey and despite having been in the market since 2015, it is only recently that it is gaining some popularity. To help you make is choice, here is a head to head comparison of these two amazing devices:


There are 2 Nvidia Shield models which makes it very easy for you to make your choice, the regular Nvidia Shield that cost $199 and the Nvidia Shield Pro that cost $299. The major difference between these devices is the storage where the Nvidia Shield regular has a 16GB memory and the Nvidia Shield Pro has a 500GB memory.

When making your purchase, you may opt to pay the higher price to get the larger storage space but you don’t have to! The regular Nvidia Shield option has expandable storage without the need to tear your streaming device apart which is amazing. You will use the adaptable storage feature by plugging in a USB device or a flash drive and command the Shield to recognize it as a part of the internal memory. To achieve this, you’ll go to setting, click on the storage option and then reset to make your changes.

When using your USB or a flash drive as part of your Nvidia Shield memory, please note that you cannot use it on any other device. It will get encrypted to the Shield streaming device, making it impossible to use it elsewhere.

Reasons Why Nvidia Shield Streaming Device is a Great Option

1. Expandable Storage

One of the greatest benefits you’ll get by purchasing the Nvidia Shield streaming devices is the ability to expand your storage based on your needs. You will make use of the ‘adopted storage’ option when plugging in your USB or flash disk, then command your Nvidia Shield device to recognize it as a part of the internal memory. To achieve this, you’ll click on the settings option, storage, and then click reset to make your device accept the changes. The USB or flash drive you’ll be using with your Nvidia Shield cannot be used on any other device as it will be encrypted to Nvidia from then.

2. 4K & HDR Streaming

After Nvidia refreshed their streaming devices in 2017, they made them smaller, fast, and added other features such as the 4K resolution. They also added HDR streaming capability, something that most competitors are yet to embrace. With such functionalities, you can have the assurance of getting good value for your money when you buy this streaming device. When watching live streams using Nvidia Shield, it will be as though you are watching the scene unfold in real life. You’ll get a better contrast that will make darker scenes dark and lighter scenes dark, just as it happens naturally.

3. Wide Range of Content

Nvidia Shield streaming devices allows you to access all the major apps such as Netflix, Amazon, HBO Now, Disney Movies, Hulu, Sling TV, Crackle, and Google Play Movies, among others. You can also choose to download your favorite non-video apps from Google Play Store such as Facebook, Spotify or USA Today.

Another reason that makes Nvidia unique is the fact that it doubles up as a Plex server. With this, you don’t need to have a NAS server or use your laptop to access shows like Plex or Kodi. Once you save your content in your Nvidia streaming device, you’ll be able to access it from any location and at any time of the day or night. Nvidia Shield is also able to transcode more than one stream at once as it is more powerful than other streaming devices such as Roku. You will also be able to send files from your laptop to the device without the need for cables when you connect it to a WiFi network.

4. It Doubles Up as a Gaming Device 

Nvidia 2017 model is not only a TV streaming device but a gaming console as well. You can download your favorite Android-TV compatible games such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Grand Theft Auto or Final Fantasy on Google Play Store.

5. Smart Home Capability

You can also use your Nvidia Shield as a smart home center as a result of its ability to access Google Assistant. The in-built microphone will listen to your voice and act according to your command. Whether you want to play songs or even control your smart lighting system, among other functions.

As you can see, Nvidia Shield is an exceptional streaming device that will do much more than streaming live shows. From playing your personal media, streaming videos from other apps, playing Android games or even controlling your smart home, you can achieve it all using Nvidia. The only downside with this device is the high price as it costs twice the amount you will spend buying a Roku streaming device.


Rokus streaming devices are some of the most popular streaming devices in the market today. They are affordable, easier to use, and will allow you to access a wide range of channels. The problem comes when making a choice among the 7 Roku models available on the market. To make it even more complex, most of the Roku devices have almost similar names and are almost identical in appearance. To help you make a choice among them, here is a breakdown of the available Roku models:

Roku Express

Cost: $30

If you own an HDTV, Roku Express streaming device will be a great option. It has the same menu as that of other Roku devices but does not have the voice search option. When using the device’s remote, it will not be possible to control the volume of your TV. You should also be in a place where you can see your Roku Express device to use the remote since it uses IR, not WiFi.

The Roku Express remotes have shortcut buttons for some of the common apps like Sling, Netflix or Hulu. If your TV does not have an HDMI connection or it is the new 4K TV model, you cannot use the Roku Express streaming device.

Roku Express+ – $40

Roku Express + has almost the same look as that of the Roku Express. From the remote, HDMI port, and the channels you will be able to stream, they are the same as that of the Roku Express. What makes it different is the ability to connect using composite cables. Once you pay a $35 fee, you will be able to connect the Roku Express + device with your older TV. This will make it possible for you to get a streaming device even when you do not have the funds to buy a new TV set.

Roku Premiere – $40

If you own a 4K TV, the Roku Premiere is the most affordable streaming device you can buy. It has the ability to stream 4K or HDR videos as long as your TV can support them. Just like the Roku Express +, you will need an HDMI cable to connect it to your TV set.

Roku Premiere + – $80

This is an upgrade to the Roku Premiere streaming device as it has a voice search option that allows you to make your searches without the need to type out the title of the show or movie. You can also use the remote to control the volume or the power button of your TV which reduces the number of remotes you need any time you are watching a program. 

Roku Streaming Stick – $50

If you have limited space in your home or office, the Roku Streaming Stick is a great option as it is slim and will plug into the TV’s HDMI port directly. The device is only compatible with 1080p video and this means you cannot use it if yours is a 4K or an HDR TV. The remote is fancy and you’ll enjoy making your searches using the voice option.

Roku Streaming Stick+ – $60

This is an upgraded version of the Roku Streaming Stick as it has the ability to support 4K or HDR streaming. It also has a wireless extender that allows you to access reliable signal even when you are away from the WiFi router.

Roku Ultra – $100

This streaming device has the look of a large box and will support both HD and 4K HDR. It has all the features in the other Roku streaming devices and other additional features such as an Ethernet port that allows a better-wired connection and a headphone jack. The headphone jack on the remote will allow you to watch your favorite show without disturbing the peace of the other people in the house. The device also has a MicroSD support ability, USB slot, Gaming button, remote finder, and a night listening option. You can rest assured that this classy streaming device will provide the amazing streaming experience you’ve ever desired.

Both Nvidia and the Roku are great streaming devices and your choice will depend on your budget and the streaming quality you are looking for. If you are looking for quality without minding the cost, the Nvidia Shield will be a great option. However, if you are working on a limited budget, Roku devices will be the best for you.