Hello, readers! I've recently purchased one of those Nvidia Shield TV boxes. When I opened up the box and took it out, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was much smaller than I had expected it to be.

After firing it up for the first time, I discovered that it had about a gigabyte worth of download for an update, so I let it complete that. Interestingly, I was able to browse and watch some videos without the device clogging the network, so it appeared to have some sane limits, or conjestion detection at the very least.

Once the update completed, I set up the device, and was pleasantly suprised again when I discovered a feature allowing me to run an "Ok, Google" command on my phone. Google's done an excellent job with making setup easy and seamless for those already in their ecosystem.

After firing it up and testing the apps it was bundled with, and Kodi's performance, which I will cover below, I decided I wanted to root it. When I looked into it, I was yet again pleasantly surprised to find that Nvidia did NOT lock down the bootloader like some other device creators do. I'm looking at you, Samsung. A simple fastboot oem unlock later, I was ready to install the developer version of the rom!

Installation of the ROM was easy. I downloaded the developer rom, and ran the installer script it came with. A few minutes later, my device rebooted, and I was provided with the setup menu again. It has been, hands down, one of the most pleasant first-time rom flashing experiences on a new device. I didn't even brick it this time!

Until I tried to root it. After testing Kodi and nvidia Gamestream to ensure they worked well, I flashed TWRP, and then proceded to ignore instructions, and flashed the supersu zip over TWRP's adb interface... Which bricked the device. Preparing to have to set things up, I re-ran the installer script that installed the developer rom and...

I was greeted not by a setup screen, but by the launcher menu! Unexpectedly, re-flashing the developer rom did not wipe out my settings, it was programmed well enough to just install the basic OS and leave the userdata alone.

As a geek who loves to tinker, so far, this device has been quite friendly to me. I've not tried flashing any custom roms yet, but the XDA forums do have some that i may be itching to try. The basic rom however, with the exception of the play store being a bit more limited due to apps not being marked as Google TV compatible yet ( not the fault of the device, the app makers just need to get their play store offerings updated is all ), I'm very pleased with this.

The two features that made me look to this device the most was the reportedly great Kodi support, and the nvidia GameStream featureset. As I have a computer with a nvidia graphics card, I was interested to see how well the gamestream would work, to allow me to play my games on the TV without having to move my computer to do so.

I must say, I am again, pleasantly surprised. To me at least, there is no noticable input lag between myself and the game, allowing me to play things like Super Meat Boy, Binding of Issac, Rocket League, and other games with ease. All I had to do was log into the same nvidia account across the devices I want to connect, and GameStream did the rest.

However, I soon discovered that there was a noticable limitation -- even tho the application claimed to have mutliple controller support, that functionality was not really there. Luckily for me, I remembered an open source application called Moonlight, which was supposed to be able to connect to the same protocol. After giving it a shot, I found it to work nearly as well as the official application in most regards -- No on screen keyboard option, or other activatable options menu, having to quit the game or tell steam to stop the stream to leave -- but it excelled with passing along the controllers to my computer. No having to mess about with configurations, just plug 'em into the shield, and my comptuer would see it immediately.

That reminds me, I should try plugging in my flight stick and seeing if I can play Elite: Dangerous with it. That would be pretty kickass. I know what I'm doing tonight!

Kodi's performance is stellar. It runs at least as smooth, if not smoother, than how it handles on my computer. It's played the media I've thrown at it, it handles streaming media BEAUTIFULLY, and I'm just quite pleased.

All in all, so far, this device has been well worth the cost. I defnitely recommend this whether you are a geek or not. The interface is nice and simple, easy for the average user to quickly learn. I wish that more apps would show up in the default launcher so i didn't need to use a secondary launcher, but that's more the fault of app developers for not making their apps ready for this interface, so I won't hold it against the device.

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