It seems like every 12 months some wide-eyed tech scribe loudly proclaims 20XX to be ‘the year of the Internet of Things’ and this year was no exception.
There has been a noticeable upswing in the number of connected home devices on the shelves this year. It can safely be said that 2015 is the year that the Internet of Things started maturing.
While things like WiFi-connected coffee makers and remote pet feeders dazzled and amazed some (but not our Features Editor) at CES this year, we think it’s more traditional buys – like security cameras, smart thermostats, set-top boxes and mini-streamers – that will spearhead the true Internet of Things revolution.
With that said, when it came to the vote, the product that won the biggest show of hands in the voting process wasn’t a thermostat, a camera or a remote-controlled kettle. It was a games console and not one of the two current-gen ones either.
Of all the smart home products we’ve played with and tested this year it’s Nvidia’s Shield TV that’s truly blown us away. It’s a fast and powerful gaming device in its own right and if you’ve got Nvidia’s GeForce Experience installed on a bigger, customised gaming rig you can run games on that and stream them to your living room through the Shield TV.
If its gaming creds weren’t enough then there’s plenty of entertainment options too. It runs Android TV, which means you get Netflix and YouTube baked in, plus it’ll also act as a giant Chromecast – support for Google’s Cast API means that all of these apps will work on the Shield TV.
Perhaps the best thing of all is the price. The standard 16GB edition costs £150, but the much bigger 500GB edition is just £220, a mere £70 more.
Yes it costs more than a Chromecast or a Fire TV Stick, but the features:pounds ratio here is very high; the Nvidia Shield TV is not only a great device, it’s fantastic value for money too.