Set top boxes have been around for quite a few years now: thinking of these two, SkyStream Three vs NVIDIA Shield which is the best? While only cable operators would offer these boxes for watching TV content, the emergence of Android as a stable TV platform has meant that there are several streaming boxes in the market right now.
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Last year, we spoke about the SkyStream Two streaming box and compared it with the NVIDIA Shield. While the SkyStream 2 has its own appeal, NVIDIA’s offering was chosen as the better variant thanks largely to its gaming prowess. However, it’s no longer 2018 and we have a newer SkyStream offering in the markets, known simply as the SkyStream Three.
So how does the SkyStream Three fare against NVIDIA’s tried and tested Shield console? Well, you might be surprised with the results. So let’s have a look.
SkyStream Three vs NVIDIA Shield Best Android TV Box Comparison
1) SkyStream Three
SkyStream launched the second generation console only last year, so the company’s refresh cycle is pretty rapid. With the SkyStream Three, the company is offering a significantly improved performance thanks to the hardware and the fact that it runs Android 8.1 out of the box. This means that the streaming box now comes with features like Google Assistant, helping you throw voice commands at your set top box. It is also important to note that the new SkyStream is available in two variants – the standard SkyStream III and SkyStream III Plus. The latter variant is the better equipped internally, while the standard SkyStream III is priced significantly cheaper for the budget audiences.
SkyStream Three Pros and Cons
This isn’t just another streaming box with Android, though. SkyStream offers a multitude of content out of the box, including the ability to watch several live TV channels in the U.S. for free using SkyStream TV. There’s also a DVR feature for this particular service, while the company offers a week’s free trial to let you try it out.
The device comes with 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM and a 64-bit quad-core processor on board, which will keep the device ticking faster than usual. The best part here is that despite getting only 64GB of internal storage, you can expand it using an SD card. Further, it has four USB ports and a standard HDMI port for TV connectivity. Setting up the system is as easy as opening up the package and setting it up.
As is the case with any new device, the SkyStream 3 barely has any cons to speak of. But if there’s one thing we can point to, it’s the lack of support for games that NVIDIA can offer by default to its Shield users. As far as multimedia content is concerned, though, the SkyStream 3 is definitely hard to beat.
SkyStream Three Pricing
This is one area where SkyStream has done really well this time. While the entry level SkyStream 3 is priced fairly the SkyStream 3 Plus will only cost a bit more expensive, making it one of the most attractive Android streaming boxes at this price point. Strangely enough, online retailers are only offering the “Plus” version of SkyStream 3, while the entry level model is pretty scarce now.
NVIDIA is a champion when it comes to gaming equipment as well as graphic cards. The company took the market by storm when it launched the Shield gaming console based on Android. The company subsequently launched an upgraded variant which is even better and faster than the predecessor. The way NVIDIA’s Shield differs from the competition is by offering enhanced gaming credentials. There are some gaming titles that are exclusive to the Shield and that’s what really makes it stand out from the competition.
NVIDIA Shield TV Pros and Cons
One of my favorite features of the Shield TV is the fact that it comes with its own gaming controller as well as a remote. Though this costs extra, it’s definitely worth the price tag given that you get the full gaming experience with this offering. What’s even better is that the new version of Shield is fully compatible with Amazon Alexa, helping you buy things off Amazon or ask random silly questions to the personal assistant.
Shield also comes with support for cloud play, allowing you to save your titles on the cloud, thus reducing dependency on the internal storage. Shield provides access t0 GeForce Now Beta, giving you the ability to play PC quality titles using nothing but the Shield console and a television.
Of course, Shield also has some cons that are worth looking at, especially compared to the SkyStream III Plus. First and foremost, it’s slightly older than the SkyStream III Plus, which is an unfair advantage. But even then, the Shield TV holds its own against the competition.
NVIDIA Shield TV Pricing
Understandably, the Shield TV is significantly pricier than the SkyStream III Plus. But that can be down to the fact that the Shield TV comes with bonus features like the added gaming controller as well as the wide array of gaming features that you cannot find on any other device. Keeping this in mind a price tag does make sense for the Shield TV.
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Conclusion on SkyStream Three vs NVIDIA Shield
If you’re confused between the two consoles after having a closer look at their hardware, well, you only need to remember two things. Firstly, what do you need an Android home console for? Are you a streamer or a gamer? This question will usually help you make the choice between the two devices. The SkyStream III Plus is an exceptional product for the current market situation and fits in very nicely with the crop of Android running consoles available in the market.
If you’re looking solely towards gaming, the Shield TV is a no-brainer really. It has all the features that would appeal to a gaming enthusiast along with the addition of the standard Android features like Google Assistant and the goodness of Android. NVIDIA is also pretty decent with updates, so you’ll have no trouble keeping this for a long time.
So will it be the NVIDIA Shield or the SkyStream III Plus for you?